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Download A Good Dog: The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Good Dog: The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life, by Jon Katz Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,695 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jon Katz Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this gripping and deeply touching book, bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his lifetime dog, Orson: a beautiful border collie—intense, smart, crazy, and unforgettable.

From the moment Katz and Orson meet, when the dog springs from his traveling crate at Newark airport and panics the baggage claim area, their relationship is deep, stormy, and loving. At two years old, Katz’s new companion is a great herder of school buses, a scholar of refrigerators, but a dud at herding sheep. Everything Katz attempts—obedience training, herding instruction, a new name, acupuncture, herb, and alternative therapies—helps a little but not enough and not for long. “Like all border collies and many dogs,” Katz writes, “he needed work. I didn’t realize for some time I was the work Orson would find.”

While Katz is trying to help his dog, Orson is helping him, shepherding him toward a new life on a two hundred-year-old hillside farm in upstate New York. There, aided by good neighbors and a tolerant wife, hip-deep in sheep, chickens, donkeys, and more dogs, the man and his canine companion explore meadows, woods, and even stars, wade through snow, bask by a roaring wood stove, and struggle to keep faith with each other. There, with deep love, each embraces his unfolding destiny.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Katz’s] subtle, evocative descriptions of the beasts around him—including Rose, another border collie whose brilliant herding steals the show—vividly capture the fascinating, enigmatic lives of animals.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Katz's border collie, Orson, evoked all kinds of emotions during their fulfilling time together…Tom Stechschulte captures all of these flawlessly but none more movingly than when Orson’s end comes. The eloquence with which Katz describes those moments moves Stechschulte to tears, as it surely will the listener.”   

    Audiofile 

  • “A heartbreaking memoir of love, friendship and responsibility.”

    Kirkus Reviews 

  • “This is a lovely memoir.”

    Booklist

  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Heather | 2/8/2014

    " This was my first (and last) Katz book. I loved the first 3/4 of the book. It is both sweet and funny and, as a dog lover, I related well to much of it. This book was on its way strong 4-5star rating at that point. Unfortunately, I fundamentally disagree with the decision that Katz eventually came to, which truly ruined my good feelings on this book. As an animal lover, I recommend you look elsewhere for a good animal memoir. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mtipping1 | 2/4/2014

    " I thought this was a wonderful book and would highly recommend it to all dog lovers, especially those with "problem" dogs. A bittersweet, true story... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sue | 1/31/2014

    " Very good for a dog lovers but warning it is very sad!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Michelle | 1/30/2014

    " LOVE. THIS. BOOK. I can't believe this is the first I'm reading Katz, one of my new favorite authors. LOVE. "

  • > Show All
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About the Author

Jon Katz is a journalist and author who has written works in a variety of genres, including numerous nonfiction books on dogs. His book Dog Days was a New York Times bestseller, and his book A Dog Year was made into a movie starring Jeff Bridges. Along with his nonfiction work, he has also written the Kit DeLeeuw mystery series and is a frequent contributor to the online magazine HotWired. Before writing books, he worked as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, and Washington Post. His articles have also appeared in publications such as Wired, GQ, and the New York Times.