What do you do when the woman you’re falling in love with has a dog that, seemingly, can’t stand you?
Beef jerky, trust and patience are key, but it also helps to be Jon Katz.
The author of numerous dog books recounted in Parade last week how he came to marry Maria – an artist who was using one of his barns as a studio – and how that required much woooing of her Rottweiler-shepherd mix, Frieda.
Katz was still married when he met Maria and cut a deal with her allowing her to use a barn as a studio in exchange for helping with his animals (a herd of sheep, four donkeys, four chickens, three dogs, and two cats) at his farm in upstate New York. Both later saw their marriages end, and they began developing a friendship — or at least to the extent Frieda would permit.
Frieda was fiercely protective of Maria and, Katz writes, ”whenever I approached the barn, Frieda would fling herself against the door in a frenzy, barking ferociously.”
Frieda had been dumped, pregnant, along the New York State Thruway by a man who had been using her as a guard dog. She lived in the wild before she was captured and brought to a shelter. That’s where Maria met her and adopted her, Katz says:
“They were the perfect pair, the human-canine version of Thelma and Louise, united in their devotion to each other and in their great distrust of men.”
As Katz and Maria made the transition from friends to something more, Frieda continued to act out in the presence of Katz and his dogs. At night, Frieda stayed in the barn. Even though it was heated, it was not a desirable arrangement.
“I was falling in love with Maria,” Katz writes, “and I hoped she would agree to marry me one day, but I knew I had to work things out with Frieda first.
Katz says he bought $500 worth of beef jerky, and began a morning ritual, tossing a piece to Frieda every day. He started getting a little closer to the dog on each visit and, after months, Frieda let him put a leash on her and walk her. “My goal was to get her into the house by Christmas, as a surprise for Maria, evidence of my commitment and good faith.”
Katz and Maria and their animals are one big happy family now, and you can read all about it when The Second-Chance Dog: A Love Story, comes out next month.
To learn more about Katz and his other books, visit his website, bedlamfarm.com.
(Top photo: Maria and Frieda and author Jon Katz at Bedlam Farm; by George Forss)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a love story, animals, author, barn, bedlam farm, behavior, books, books on dogs, distrust, dog, dog books, dogs, farm, frieda, jon katz, lovers, maria, married, mix, new york, parade, pets, rottweiler, shepherd, studio, the second chance dog, trust, wife
“We are sad to announce that after 16 years of marriage we have decided to file for divorce. The decision was made after much consideration and time. We remain caring friends, and are fully committed to the co-parenting of our two boys,” said a statement posted on Millan’s website Friday.
People magazine reports that Ilusion Millan filed for divorce at Los Angeles court Friday, citing irreconcilable differences. She is seeking primary physical custody of the kids with visitation for Cesar, 40, as well as spousal support from the longtime host of the National Geographic Channel’s “Dog Whisperer.”
Millan came to the U.S. from Mexico with $100 in his pocket and a dream of becoming a famous dog trainer. He succeeded – with the help of some famous Hollywood clients — establishing an empire that includes dog products, a television show, a new magazine and several best-selling books.
His show begins its sixth season Oct. 9 and his fourth book, “How to Raise the Perfect Dog,” is in stores now.
Millan and his wife also founded the nonprofit Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, which promotes animal welfare by supporting the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of abused and abandoned dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: books, cesar, cesar millan, divorce, dog whisperer, dogs, empire, filed, filing, husband, ilusion, los angeles, magazine, marriage, milan, national geographic channel, pets, splitting up, trainer, tv, wife
Gabriella, the English mastiff scheduled to be executed for biting the wife of Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and another woman, has won a reprieve.
A decision issued Friday by Hingham District Court would allow the dog to be sent instead to a New York shelter, where she would serve life, without parole, the Boston Globe reported.
Gabriella was ordered euthanized by Hingham selectmen after a lengthy hearing in late October because of two biting incidents, both of which took place at her owners’ art gallery in Hingham Square.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: art gallery, bit, bite, biting, boston, charges, complaint, court, english mastiff, euthanasia, euthanize, gabriella, hingham, leslie badger, life, massachussetts, mastiff, megan ulman, pitcher, red sox, robert ullman, sanctuary, shelter, tim wakefield, wife
A California man is blaming his dog for the fatal shooting of his wife.
John Aaron Norris, 25, of San Miguel said his dog ran underneath his feet, tripping him and causing the semi-automatic rifle he was holding to fire.
Norris is accused of involuntary manslaughter in the July 9 shooting death of 24-year-old Tasha Dawn Norris. His preliminary hearing is scheduled to resume today.
Norris pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge and to a charge of possessing an illegal weapon at his home — a semiautomatic rifle found by investigators, according to The Tribune in San Luis Obispo.
Sheriff’s deputies testified Wednesday that Norris stated he was standing on the stairs when the dog ran under his feet and tripped him. He told authorities he was holding the gun because he was planning to remove the ammunition before fire inspectors came to his home to examine new sprinklers in the condominium.
Tasha Norris was seated on a couch in the home when she was shot, according to investigators. Medics attempted to revive her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, blame, blamed, california, charges, crime, dog, dogs, fatal, fired, guns, hearing, john aaron norris, rifle, san miguel, semi automatic, shooting, shoots, shot, tasha dawn norris, tripped, wife
For five straight days, Greg Wong returned to the lonely stretch of highway on Wyoming’s prairie where his wife was killed, searching not for closure but for Sammie and Maddie, the two small dogs traveling with her.
Hours after state police on May 30 called his home in Laramie, notifying him that his wife, Susan, had been killed on Highway 487, Wong made the first two-hour trip, arriving at 2 a.m., just as a tow truck pulled the SUV his wife had been driving from a deep ravine.
Police told Wong that his wife apparently lost control of the vehicle. It rolled over three times and landed in the ravine. Police told him no dogs were found inside the vehicle, or in the area.
Wong told the Casper Star-Tribune that as soon as he got the news, it was as if he heard his wife’s voice in his head, saying “find the dogs.”
“I guess a lot of it didn’t soak in,” he said. “…You get to that point where you almost turn into a zombie. You are afraid to start thinking about it too much because emotionally you can’t handle it. I kept focusing on ‘you have to find those dogs.’ In a way, I was thinking my last connection to my wife was those dogs.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, auto, cairn, casper, cathy orde, cold nose investigators, curt orde, dogs, fatality, golden retriever, greg wong, husband, killed, laramie, maddie, missing, sammie, scent, search, susan wong, tracking, wife, wyoming, yorkie, yorkshire, zoe