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A fresh litter of animal books

As you can see in this week’s episode of “Tagged!” brought to you from the studios of Barnes & Noble, there’s a whole slew of new dog books coming out, including “Izzy and Lenore,” the latest by Jon Katz, the suspender-wearing, farm-dwelling writer of “Dog Days,” “The Dogs of Bedlam Farm” and more.

In his previous books, Katz has focused on the ups and downs that come with owning a 110-acre, 1861 homestead in rural New York state, surrounded by dogs and farm animals. In his newest work, “Izzy and Lenore,” coming out this week, he takes readers to a far different place – the world of hospice care, which he enters with his dogs in tow.

Training both himself and his two dogs – a black lab and Border collie – for therapy work was rigorous and life changing, Katz recounted in a recent interview with The Saratogian.

“I thought this was going to be hard because you walk in these houses, these people are alone, their families are isolated,” Katz said. “When you come walking in the door with Izzy or Lenore, they just light up. They couldn’t be more grateful. If you climbed Mt. Everest it couldn’t be a bigger deal to them. I’ve actually found more love, affection and friendship than I’d ever experienced.”

“The dog connects with people in a way that people don’t,” he said. “They don’t speak and they’re non-judgmental. A dog doesn’t see a sick person, doesn’t see a dying person. The dog just sees the spirit of a person and reacts to it.

“The dog is the key to opening people up.”


Comment from Mary Schmidt
Time September 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm

I’ve been reading Jon Katz’ blog for a while and am always captivated by the photos he posts of his hospice work. I enjoyed seeing this video of both Katz and Izzy. Thanks.

Useful techonology that brings me blogs like Ohmidog, good books to look forward to reading, and clean dog Amie who got a bath yesterday afternoon–no wonder I’m feeling ridiculously content this fall afternoon.