Izzy & Lenore: Two Dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me
Jon Katz. Villard Books, $24 (198pp) ISBN 978-1-4000-6630-8
After a half-dozen books about the dogs and other animals that live with him on Bedlam Farm in upstate New York (Dog Days, A Good Dog, Katz on Dogs), Katz's gentle, folksy style and intuitive connection to the world around him work a familiar but comforting vein, entirely suitable to his subject: ""I cherish the considered predictability of these creatures, their sociability, their contented acceptance of life. I wish I possessed even one of those traits. I'm working on it."" The latest features his adoption of Izzy, a sensitive border collie who inspires Katz to take up volunteer work with hospice patients. Whether meeting Timmy, a young boy dying of brain tumor, or Glen, a terminal patient who recollects his own beloved dog, Katz evokes vividly the hospice environment and the deep meaning its patients find in Izzy. Unfortunately, the balance of the book, concerning a black lab named Lenore and Katz's own struggle with depression and a painful past, suffers from a lack of detail and leaves little impact. Fans will be happy to return to the farm, but newcomers may want to start with his first dog volume, 2002's A Dog Year. Photos.
Reviewed on: 09/29/2008