Talking to Animals: How You Can Understand Animals and They Can Understand You

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There are so many benefits to learning how to communicate with animals. Love, trust, a spiritual connection that goes to the heart of the human-animal bond. Every time I listen to them, I learn about myself.

We seem to need animals in our disconnected lives more and more, yet we understand them less and less. In Talking to Animals, New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz—who left his Manhattan life behind two decades ago for life on a farm where he is surrounded by dogs, cats, sheep, horses, cows, goats, and chickens—marshals his experience to offer us a deeper insight into animals and the tools needed for effectively communicating with them. By better understanding animal instincts, recognizing they are not mere reflections of our own human emotions and neuroses, we can help them live happily in our shared world.

Devoting each chapter to an animal who has played an important role in his life, Katz tells funny and illuminating stories about his profound experiences with them. He shows us how healthy engagement with animals falls into five key areas: Food, Movement,Visualization, Language, and Instincts. Along the way, we meet Simon the donkey who arrives at Katz’s farm near death and now serves as his Tai Chi partner. We meet Red the dog who started out antisocial and untrained and is now a therapy dog working with veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. And we meet Winston, the dignified and brave rooster who was injured defending his hens from a hawk and who has better interpersonal skills than most humans.

Thoughtful and intelligent, lively and heartwarming, this book will completely change the way you think about and interact with animals, building mutual trust and enduring connections.
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About the author

Jon Katz has written over twenty books, including Talking to Animals, Soul of a Dog, Izzy & Lenore, Dog Days, A Good Dog, and The Dogs of Bedlam Farm. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Rolling Stone, Wired, and the AKC Gazette. He has worked for CBS News, The Boston Globe, Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Katz is also a photographer and the author of a children’s book, Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm. He lives on Bedlam Farm in upstate New York with the artist Maria Heinrich; his dogs Izzy, Lenore, and Frieda; and his barn cats, Mother and Minnie.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
May 2, 2017
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781476795508
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Animals / General
Pets / Dogs / General
Pets / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Dr. Jan Pol
Jon Katz
From the acclaimed author of A Good Dog, Dog Days, and Going Home comes this eBook original—a poignant memoir that celebrates Jon Katz’s beloved border collie, Rose, and their transformative years together on Bedlam Farm.
 
“I like to say you get the dog you need,” Jon Katz writes, “and I don’t think any human ever needed a dog more than I needed Rose in the fall of 2003.” That year, Katz embarked on a quixotic quest, moving from the suburbs of New Jersey to a sprawling farm in upstate New York to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. And by his side was Rose, his unswervingly loyal and unflappable new dog.
 
Whether herding sheep on the rolling hillsides, rounding up the neighbors’ stray cows, or rescuing lambs on a freezing winter night, Rose had a nimble mind and a great love for work. Never wanting to be coddled, she watched over Bedlam Farm with singular focus and efficiency, protecting Katz and his menagerie from wild coyotes and menacing storms. Yet Rose saved Katz in more ways than he ever imagined. As he struggled to manage the farm’s daily dramas—and continued to seek his true sense of purpose—Rose connected him to his deeper humanity and a more authentic life. 
 
With warmth, insight, and emotional honesty, Jon Katz has written a joyful remembrance of a one-of-a-kind dog. The Story of Rose reaffirms the profound bond people share with their pets, and the ways that animals indelibly shape our lives.
 
“Jon Katz understands dogs as few others do, intuitively and unburdened by sentimentality. . . . With wisdom and grace, he unlocks the canine soul and the complicated wonders that lie within and offers powerful insights.”—John Grogan, author of Marley & Me
 
Includes moving excerpts from Going Home, and from Jon Katz’s upcoming short-story collection, Dancing Dogs.
Jon Katz
From New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz comes a wise, uplifting, and poignant memoir of finding love against all odds, and the power of second chances for both people and dogs.
 
“I had no idea that Frieda would enter my life and alter it in the most profound way, but that’s one of the beautiful things about animals. They change you, and you almost never see it coming.”
 
In 2007, a few years after purchasing Bedlam Farm in upstate New York, Jon Katz met Maria Wulf, a quiet, sensitive artist hoping to rekindle her creative spark. Jon, like her, was introspective yet restless, a writer struggling to find his purpose. He felt a connection with her immediately, but a formidable obstacle stood in the way: Maria’s dog, Frieda.
 
A rottweiler-shepherd mix who had been abandoned by her previous owner in the Adirondacks, where she lived in the wild for several years, Frieda was ferociously protective and barely tamed. She roared and charged at almost anyone who came near. But to Maria, Frieda was sweet and loyal, her beloved guard dog and devoted friend. And so Jon quickly realized that to win over Maria, he’d have to gain Frieda’s affection as well.
 
While he and Maria grew closer, Jon was having a tougher time charming Frieda to his side. Even after many days spent on Bedlam Farm, Frieda still lunged at the other animals, ran off into the woods, and would not let Jon come near her, even to hook on her leash. Yet armed with a singular determination, unlimited patience, and five hundred dollars’ worth of beef jerky, Jon refused to give up on Frieda—or on his chance with Maria.
 
Written with stunning emotional clarity and full of warm yet practical wisdom, The Second-Chance Dog is a testament to how animals can make us better people, and how it’s never too late to find love.

Praise for The Second-Chance Dog
 
“No one speaks the language of a dog like best-selling author Jon Katz. His latest heartwarming memoir about finding love after struggling through a broken relationship . . . gives testament to how dogs can make us better human beings.”—The Free Lance–Star

“[An] intimate story of falling in love with a woman and her extremely protective pet dog . . . Bittersweet in its telling, Katz reminds readers of the importance of human and animal connections.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“In this heartwarming story of love and redemption . . . dogs and humans alike get second chances at life, love, and growth. . . . This moving work is recommended for readers who want a true-life love story, for dog lovers seeking a book with a happy ending (the dog doesn’t die!), for seniors who think that receiving a Medicare card means that love is out of the question, and for dog trainers who want to learn more about Katz’s philosophy of dog training.”—Library Journal

“The story [Katz] tells gives hope that no animal is beyond help, as long as enough love and patience are thrown in.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune


From the Hardcover edition.
Jon Katz
In this heartfelt, thoughtful, and inspiring memoir, New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his beloved rescue donkey, Simon, and the wondrous ways that animals make us wiser and kinder people.
 
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 near 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, 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 friendship.”
 
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.”

Praise for Saving Simon
 
“Heartwarming . . . a touching tale.”—USA Today
 
“Highly recommended . . . an enjoyable and thoughtful work.”—Library Journal (starred review)
 
“[Saving Simon] 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.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“The message of this true story will linger with the reader long after the book has been placed on the shelf.”—Bookreporter
 
“[An] uplifting and insightful memoir . . . Katz’s fans and animal lovers of all kinds will no doubt be delighted by Simon’s heartwarming story.”—Publishers Weekly
 
Praise for Jon Katz
 
“With wisdom and grace, Katz unlocks the canine soul and the complicated wonders that lie within and offers powerful insights to anyone who has ever struggled with, and loved, a troubled animal.”—John Grogan, author of Marley & Me
 
“Katz’s world—of animals and humans and their combined generosity of spirit—is a place you’re glad you’ve been.”—The Boston Globe
 
“From Toto to Marley, our canine friends are a sure bet in the literary biz. But no one seems to speak their language like Jon Katz.”—San Antonio Express-News


From the Hardcover edition.
Jon Katz
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jon Katz's Going Home.

“People who love dogs often talk about a ‘lifetime’ dog. I’d heard the phrase a dozen times before I came to recognize its significance. Lifetime dogs are dogs we love in especially powerful, sometimes inexplicable ways.”–Jon Katz

In this gripping and deeply touching book, bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his lifetime dog, Orson: a beautiful border collie–intense, smart, crazy, and unforgettable.

From the moment Katz and Orson meet, when the dog springs from his traveling crate at Newark airport and panics the baggage claim area, their relationship is deep, stormy, and loving. At two years old, Katz’s new companion is a great herder of school buses, a scholar of refrigerators, but a dud at herding sheep. Everything Katz attempts– obedience training, herding instruction, a new name, acupuncture, herb and alternative therapies–helps a little but not enough, and not for long. “Like all border collies and many dogs,” Katz writes, “he needed work. I didn’t realize for some time I was the work Orson would find.”
While Katz is trying to help his dog, Orson is helping him, shepherding him toward a new life on a two-hundred-year-old hillside farm in upstate New York. There, aided by good neighbors and a tolerant wife, hip-deep in sheep, chickens, donkeys, and more dogs, the man and his canine companion explore meadows, woods, and even stars, wade through snow, bask by a roaring wood stove, and struggle to keep faith with each other. There, with deep love, each embraces his unfolding destiny.

A Good Dog is a book to savor. Just as Orson was the author’ s lifetime dog, his story is a lifetime treasure–poignant, timeless, and powerful.
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