An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys and Me
by Jon Katz
Jon Katz moved with three border collies into an old farmhouse in upstate New York where he shared land with a bunch of sheep and a few donkeys (as you can see from the subtitle). A novice at livestock keeping, he plunged into the work with the help of his half-trained dogs and some friendly neighbors. Toiling through a bitter winter a bit unprepared, Katz came face to face with some of his limitations, to know himself and his dogs better than ever before.
Most of all, The Dogs of Bedlam Farm is about how dogs are what we make them. The trainer (or lack of training) does a lot to shape a dogs' behavior, demeanor and work habits. Katz realized that to have better dogs, he had to be a better person, because they were a reflection of himself. And so he begins a long struggle to do so, taking us along with him on the rough road to overhaul his spirit, with many mishaps, amusing adventures and new friends gathered along the way.
The personalities of the workaholic dogs, woolly sheep and two gentle donkeys shine though these pages full of reflections on life and descriptions of the land. This book was a joy to read, and inspirational as well.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 256 pages, 2004