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THE DOGS OF BEDLAM FARM

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Katz, whose books A Dog Year and Running to the Mountain earned him many faithful, dog-loving readers, here channels James Herriott's brand of agricultural humanism. It's a classic setup for amusing anecdotes: a 50-something "suburban rookie" buys a farm in upstate New York, stocking it with three border collies and a small herd of sheep. His skeptical wife agrees to the plan, but wisely forbids firearms, farm machinery and long trips in the pickup.

This leaves plenty of latitude for adventures—lost sheep, horrible weather, the dramas of dog training and lamb birthing. Soon, the introspective author realizes that his interactions with dogs are about "trying to become a better human." After all, his dogs have unfailingly high expectations of him. The troublesome pup, Orson, becomes the great test of Katz's emotional maturity, requiring consistent discipline and love in the face of awful misbehavior.



Donated by Phyllis Chan