by Jon Katz

Reviewer Rating:


A sweet, quick read, Katz recounts how his now wife Maria and her dog Frieda came into his life. Katz and Maria met when they were each married, and neither imagined that those marriages would fall apart, or that their deep connection, fueled by their creativity (Maria is a fiber artist, Katz a writer and photographer), would eventually lead to love. One of the obstacles to their relationship was Frieda--she was fiercely protective of Maria, and Katz didn't know if his farm full of animals (including other dogs, sheep, donkeys, and chickens) would ever be safe with Frieda around. He sets out on a mission to get to know Frieda (unlike with many shelter dogs, he is able to investigate and find out a lot about her history), who used to guard an auto shop and then was abandoned in the Adirondacks for about 2 years to fend for herself. He uses what he finds out to build a trusting relationship with Frieda, eventually welcoming both Maria and Frieda onto the farm. Katz is extremely practical when it comes to dog training--he acknowledges that not every training method will work on every dog, his own failures/lack of patience, and that there will be setbacks. An ode to the power of later in life love and how a dog can change your life.

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