A Home for Rose - Jon Katz
A Home for Rose is a paperback book written by Jon Katz. I bought this book about 2 months ago on eBay for around £2.50 plus postage but I only got round to actually reading this book over the past weekend when I found myself with an 8 hour train journey and time to kill. I originally chose to buy this book as I have previously read some of Jon Katz other books about his life with his dogs and I was keen to read some more of his work.
Jon Katz is a writer from New Jersey, he has written quite a few books portraying the stories and events from his real life experiences and his life on Bedlam Farm with his family and dogs.
A Home for Rose is written about the time when Jon has recently moved from New Jersey to Bedlam Farm, a decision which was made for the benefit of his 3 Border Collies in order to enable them to follow their natural herding instincts with the flock of sheep he has purchased with his new life at Bedlam Farm.
This book follows the story of Jons' newest addition to his family, a Border Collie puppy named Rose and how his life changes completely when he and his dogs move to Bedlam Farm. The book begins with a brief introduction of the flock of sheep arriving at the farm and continues into the story of how Jon made the decision to change his life completely in order to give his dogs the life he thought they deserved.
In Katz first book, A Dog Year, he tells us the story of Devon, a wild Border Collie who he takes into his life while he is still living in the city, since this book Jon has acquired another Border Collie and his new puppy Rose. A Home for Rose is a continuation of where A Dog Year finished and Devon, now renamed Orson, and his troublesome and wild ways also contribute a lot to the book and often add a nice bit of humour to the tale.
While the blurb on the back of the book gives the impression that the book is mainly about Rose, it is in actual fact more of a story about how Katz and his dogs survived their first autumn and winter at Bedlam farm and the book includes a lot of stories of general farm life and country life. I particularly enjoy how Katz portrays country life and his comparison of the people he now calls his friends and neighbours and how they differ from the kind of people he has associated with all of his life. I also enjoyed this book because when Katz talks about his animals, whether it be his dogs, the sheep or even the two donkeys he acquires, you can really sense his passion for animals and the love and respect he feels towards them. A large part of the book does of course focus on Rose and how she grows from being a highly intelligent and alert puppy into a well trained herding dog who has a passion for sheep from the moment she sees them.
I found this book to be a very captivating read and I was so hooked on the stories of the antics of Bedlam Farm that I actually managed to read the entire book in one 8 hour train journey and the time thankfully flew by!
The book is based entirely on real events and experiences of Jon's life with Rose and their first winter season on Bedlam Farm. The book contains a nice mixture of both very funny moments as well as quite a few more serious moments. Katz doesn't shy away from reality when it comes to telling the his stories of life on the farm with his animals and how he misses his family back in New Jersey. He makes some very good references to the seriousness and responsibility of care involved in dog ownership and the importance of proper training and control of your animal.
A Home for Rose was first published in 2009 and is printed by Ebury Press. It was also published under the title of 'The Dogs of Bedlam Farm' in 2004 in the USA. I bought my copy of A Home for Rose on eBay for around £2.50 in excellent condition. I would defiantly recommend A Home for Rose, it is a really enjoyable read and a must have read for anyone who loves animals and especially for dog lovers or owners as you can really relate to everything Jon Katz goes through with his dogs.
A highly recommended and enjoyable read.
Thanks for reading! :)