Sep 1, 2014

Soul of a Dog

by Jon Katz

In this book Katz muses on one particular idea: do animals have souls? He tells stories about the various animals on his farm, highlighting their individuality and possible self-awareness, their responsiveness to people, their motives. He surmises that some animals are just relating to people to get something out of them (his cow likes extra food) but that other animals- the dogs- are more attuned to our emotions and respond to need. Waffles around on this. Gets into spitituality more than I had expected. I'm no longer a religious person, so all the introspective back-and-forth about will dogs go to heaven? did not interest me and honestly I got tired of it. But I did like reading the portraits of the various species he lives alongside: the sassy goats, gentle donkeys, one hen who acts out of the ordinary; a cat who is friendly and loving to humans but ruthlessly hunts down smaller creatures (typical). There are, as usual, glimpses of his life- the struggles of running a farm, his friendship with a few particular neighbors, his visits with Izzy the border collie to a local hospice. Mostly it's about the animals. Reading several books in a row by Katz, some phrases and sentiments start to feel oft-repeated to me; the musings have taken a slightly different path but reflecting on the same bent so I feel like I'm reading nothing new and begin to get a distracted. A bit of space between them would improve the reading, I think.

I borrowed this one from the public library.

Rating: 3/5      184 pages, 2009

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