Monday, January 11, 2010
Book Review-Soul of a Dog
Recently I read the book, "Soul of a Dog, Reflections on the Spirits of the Animals of Bedlam Farm" by Jon Katz. Katz has published a number of non-fiction volumes, many of which are related to Bedlam Farm, his home in upstate New York, populated with dogs, cats, sheep, cows, donkeys, and chickens. As you can imagine, a menagerie such as this provides a virtual smorgasboard of material for a writer. Katz uses it well.
The book is set up as a collection of short stories that give an interesting read on their own. However, Katz goes one step further by discussing certain questions. Do animals have a conscience? Do they have a free will and reason? Do they have a soul?
While Katz may not have all the answers, he does know his way around a story. I loved hearing about Rose, his independent workaholic border collie. It's clear that Rose has a special place in the author's heart, and it doesn't take long to figure out why.
Then there's Lenore the Labrador's affectionate relationship with Brutus the ram. Unconventional to be sure, but strong and loving all the same.
It's actually hard to choose which story in the book I enjoyed most. Elvis the steer? Mother the cat? Henrietta the chicken? Suffice it to say that I got through the book very quickly, and enjoyed the read.
Don't expect to find ponderous philosophy here. But you will discover simple stories about animals that touch your heart...and your soul.