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Download Saving Simon: How a Rescue Donkey Taught Me the Meaning of Compassion Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Saving Simon: How a Rescue Donkey Taught Me the Meaning of Compassion, by Jon Katz Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 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 the spring of 2011, Jon Katz received a phone call that would challenge every idea he ever had about mercy and compassion.

An animal control officer had found a neglected donkey on a farm in upstate New York, and she hoped that Jon and his wife Maria would be willing to adopt him. Jon wasn’t planning to add another animal to his home on Bedlam Farm, certainly not a very sick donkey. But the moment he saw the wrenching sight of Simon, he felt a powerful connection—Simon touched something very deep inside of him. Jon and Maria decided to take him in.

Simon’s recovery was far from easy. Weak and malnourished, he needed almost constant care, but Jon was determined to help him heal. As Simon’s health improved, Jon would feed him by hand, read to him, take him on walks, and even confide in him like an old and trusted friend. Then, miraculously, as if in reciprocation, Simon began to reveal to Jon the true meaning of compassion—the ways in which it can transform our lives and inspire us to take great risks.

This radically different perspective on kindness and empathy led Jon to a troubled border collie from Ireland in need of a home, a blind pony who had lived outside in a pasture for fifteen years, and a new farm for him and Maria. In the great tradition of heroes—from Don Quixote to Shrek—who faced the world in the company of their donkeys, Jon came to understand compassion and mercy in a new light, learning to open up not just to Simon, not just to animals, but to the human experience: to love, to risk, to befriend.

With grace, warmth, and keen emotional insight, Saving Simon plumbs the depths of the bonds we form with our animals and the rewards of living a more compassionate, considered, and meaningful life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Heartwarming…a touching tale.”

    USA Today

  • “The message of this true story will linger with the reader long after the book has been placed on the shelf.”


  • “Highly recommended…an enjoyable and thoughtful work.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “[An] uplifting and insightful memoir…Katz’s account of this emotionally wrought journey is rooted in self-awareness; by caring for Simon, Katz comes to terms with other relationships in his life including a falling out with his now deceased mother. Katz’s fans and animal lovers of all kinds will no doubt be delighted by Simon’s heartwarming story.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Full of reflections on the interactions, both physical and emotional, between animals and humans, Katz’s story revolves around Simon and includes the moments when old dogs die, the arrival of a new border collie, and the slow integration of a blind pony into life at Bedlam Farm. More introspective than previous stories, perhaps reflecting his desire for a slower pace in life, this book handles the emotional highs and lows of living with animals with empathy and thoughtfulness, forcing readers to re-examine their own meanings of compassion and mercy. A heartwarming tale of rescue and redemption.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Tom Stechshulte narrates in such a natural and expressive style that listening to this memoir is like taking a walk with Simon himself. Verdict: This sweet memoir will be of interest to animal lovers, fans of the author, and those interested in small-scale agriculture.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “Narrator Tom Stechschulte’s folksy style captures the affection Katz has for Simon’s trusting nature and gentleness. Listeners hear these traits echoed in the friendship between a border collie and a blind pony, a story as fascinating as Simon’s. Stechschulte’s narration brings listeners into the world of Katz’s upstate New York farm.”


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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.