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Download Soul of a Dog: Reflections on the Spirits of the Animals of Bedlam Farm Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Soul of a Dog: Reflections on the Spirits of the Animals of Bedlam Farm, 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 (507 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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Do animals have souls? Some of our greatest thinkers, Aristotle, Plato, Thomas Aquinas, and countless animal lovers have been obsessed with this question for thousands of years. Now New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz looks for an answer and finds even more questions as he recounts the lives and stories of the residents of his celebrated Bedlam Farm: Rose, his beloved workaholic sheepdog who runs the farm, and an array of gentle donkeys, industrious chickens, docile sheep, obnoxious goats, and a murderous yet loving barn cat.

Do these remarkable creatures have consciences? Do they possess free will and reason? Do they have a sense of self, or an existence in the spirit world? Do they shape their own lives? Or are we projecting onto them traits we want and need them to have, allowing ourselves to be manipulated into trading food and shelter for what we see as unconditional love?

With his signature wisdom, humor, and clarity, Katz relates the stories of the animals he lives with and finds remarkable kinships at every turn. Whether it is Rose’s brilliant and methodical herding ability, Mother the cat’s keen mousing instincts, or Izzy’s canine compassion toward hospice patients, Katz is mesmerized to see in them individual personas and sparks of self-awareness. He marvels, too, at the distinctions between the species, our desire to change and our ability to edit and censor ourselves, and their capacity to live in the now. And yet the differences never keep Katz from fully enjoying, loving, and cherishing his unusual cast of Bedlam Farm characters. Katz’s reflections on this eternal debate will resonate with anyone who loves dogs, cats, or other animals, and who wonders about the spirits that animate them and the deepening hold they have on our emotional lives.

“If no two dogs are alike,” Katz says, “neither is there a universal relationship with them.” Such an observation helps to shine a light on the powerful interspecies connection that is redefining the human-animal bond in our time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Jon Katz’s] rich vignettes may just inspire you to take a journey upstate to meet the creatures who call Bedlam home.” 

    New York Daily News

  • “A lyrical yet unsentimental memoir about the bond between people and animals.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “As close as our bonds with animals become, Katz avers, we must recognize and respect how divergent our inner lives are from theirs. And though we must take responsibility for animals, Katz has no doubt that we need them more than they need us.” 


  • “Katz’s anecdotes and ruminations, his pure joy and amazement shine through. Each chapter, whether about dogs or chickens or donkeys or sheep, will engage readers and tug at their heartstrings. An engaging and thought-provoking read.

    School Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melissa | 2/13/2014

    " Katz combines great animal stories from life on his farm in upstate New York with philosophical musings on the true nature of the animals on his farm. This was a nice relaxing read that made me really think about my own animal experiences. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Heywu | 2/6/2014

    " I have really enjoyed most of Jon Katz's books. This one seemed like a collection of essays written along his the way and I did not enjoy this as much as the other books. This may all be colored because he put down Orson, when I thought he could have found other techniques to manage Orson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melissa Norton | 2/5/2014

    " Another thoughful dog book from Jon Katz. More introspective than his other books, Soul of a Dog examines human-animal relationships as observed on Bedlam Farm and its environs. Izzy's work in hospice, Rose's work with sheep, and even Henrietta the hen's personality traits are represented in well written and insightful essays. And as always, Katz turns a keen eye on himself and his foibles as he chronicles his life on Bedlam Farm. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dawn | 1/29/2014

    " I don't always agree with Katz's view on animals, but I do enjoy what he writes about his life with them. "

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