Finding Peace When Pets Die
By Jon Katz
(Villard, Hardcover, 9780345502698, 192pp.)
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
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In Soul of a Dog, Izzy & Lenore, A Good Dog, and other acclaimed works, New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz has written meaningfully about the cherished bond between humans and animals—especially our intense connection to our pets. Now, in this moving and thoughtful book, Katz addresses the difficult but necessary topic of saying goodbye to a devoted companion, and offers comfort, wisdom, and a way forward from sorrow to acceptance.
When Jon Katz first brought Orson home, he couldn’t predict how this boisterous border collie would change his life, most notably by inspiring him to buy Bedlam Farm. Yet for all of Katz’s years as a dog owner, Orson’s death shook him in a deeply profound way. “I was embarrassed by my grief,” he remembers. “What right did I have to fall to pieces over a border collie?”
Drawing on personal experiences, stories from fellow pet owners, and philosophical reflections, Katz provides guidance and support for those in mourning. By allowing ourselves to grieve honestly and openly, he posits, we can in time celebrate the dogs, cats, and other creatures that have so enriched us. With great compassion, Katz compels us to consider if we gave our pets good lives, if we were their advocates in times of need, and if we used our best judgments in the end. In dealing with these issues, we can alleviate guilt, let go, and help others who are undergoing similar passages.
Full of empathy, insight, and sage advice, Going Home is an invaluable guide and touchstone for anyone who has lost a pet. Jon Katz honors the animals that have graced our lives and reveals their truly timeless gifts: unwavering companionship and undying love.
Jon Katz has written twenty books—eight novels and twelve works of nonfiction—including 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, The 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 his wife, the artist Maria Wulf; his dogs, Rose, Izzy, Lenore, and Frieda; his donkeys, Lulu and Fanny; and his barn cats, Mother and Minnie.
Praise for Going Home
"[He's] probably my favorite dog writer, although I will warn people that he's such a lovely writer that he ... tends to make me cry. I have at least twice ended up in tears on an airplane reading a Jon Katz book."—Julie Rovner, NPR
"For the country’s 77.5 million dog owners and 93.6 million cat owners, this account of the essential grieving process should be extremely helpful."--Library Journal
"(R)eaders will find this book refreshing in its honest depiction of grief over pet loss."--Kirkus
"(A) must-read while your pet is vibrant and healthy...the perfect guidebook for both preparing for and coping with that eventual loss most painfully approach with trepidation."--Seattle Kennel Club
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
“Katz proves himself a Thoreau for modern times as he ponders the relationships between man and animals, humanity and nature.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“I toss a lifetime award of three liver snaps to Jon Katz.”—Maureen Corrigan, National Public Radio’s Fresh Air