Tag Archives: Dogs

Going Home


Title: Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die

Author: Jonathan Katz

Publisher Villard Books, 2011 

Summary/Review: Jonathan Katz is famous for his many books on dogs and life on Bedlam Farm – he’s written seven novels and twelve works of non-fiction.  But he’d never really addressed what happens to someone when an animal that they have loved and cared for dies.  When Katz made the very difficult decision to put down his border collie Orson, he was blindsided by a grief that was so strong, he didn’t quite know how to deal with it, so initially he didn’t.  After some time and healing, he realized that his experience was very similar to others who’d lost pets, so he decided to write a book about it.  This beautiful book will be of real help to anyone who’s said goodbye to an animal that they loved.  Katz addresses not only the grief – he also writes about the guilt that may come from having had to make the decision to end a pet’s life.  Speaking from personal experience, this book is very comforting and a true gift for anyone in pain over the loss of a pet.

Who Will Like ItAnyone who has ever shed a tear over the loss of a beloved pet.

If you like this, try this: As mentioned, Jon Katz has a number of other books including “Dogs of Bedlam Farms”, “A Good Dog”, and “Dog Year”.  If you’re looking for more stories about pets, try “Marley & Me” by John Grogan, or “Dewey” by Vicki Myron.

Recommended by:  Mary, Reference Librarian

If you’d like to read this book, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and place a hold [Link will open in a new window]

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

Title: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

Author: David Wroblewski

Summary: I could have lain in the hammock for hours on end with the new book by first-time author David Wroblewski.  What a storyteller! The story takes place in 1970′s Wisconsin at the Sawtelle farm, whose owners, Gar and Trudy breed a wonderfully smart, unique dog — the Sawtelle dog.  But a child is missing in their life and a son is finally born to them. Although Edgar is mute, even as a young boy it is obvious that he is a keen and intelligent observer of people and dogs, and he communicates with both by signing.

Gar’s brother, Claude, shows up at the farm one day (Edgar is now 14) and his father puts Claude to work on the farm. But the tension between the brothers is palpable.  It is clear that two brothers are very different and have unspoken grudges dating all the way back to their childhood. Unexpectedly, Gar, Edgar’s father, dies, apparently of an aneurysm, but Edgar suspects murder. And Claude continues to insinuate himself on the life of the farm and into the affections of Edgar’s mother.  The parallels to “Hamlet” occur throughout the book and culminate in a fantastic scene where Edgar’s dead father appears to him in a sheet of rain.

David Wroblewski has woven together a coming-of-age story, combining fiction and the supernatural to drive you to a pulse-pounding end.  Even though the book is about 550 pages, it is worth the investment.

Recommended by: Susan Z, Reference

The Darkest Evening of the Year

Title:The Darkest Evening of the Year

Author: Dean Koontz

Summary:Dean Koontz makes a frequent use of canines in some of his previous bestsellers such as Seize the Night, Fear Nothing, and Midnight. Here Koontz brings us Nickie, a golden retriever, who has all the attributes of Koontz’s beloved dog, Trixie, who passed away since the publication of this New York Times Best-seller.

Amy Redding, who has established a dog rescue service in California devoted solely to golden retrievers has a secret past. Along with her boyfriend Brian McCarthy, an architect, she rescues a family and their dog, Nickie from an abusive alcoholic. Nickie with some mysterious qualities becomes the alpha dog in Amy’s household. Amy begins to realize that someone is shadowing her movements and Brian begins to receive e-mails from his past. Soon their pasts converge.

This is a fast read and brings an awareness of dog rescue and puppy mills to the reader. Although it doesn’t grab you as fast as other Koontz’ novels, it is still worth a night or two while it tugs at your heart strings following the plight of abused dogs.

Who will like this book? Readers who like thrillers and dog lovers.

If you like this, try this: Marley and Me, for the ultimate “dog fix” and any of Koontz’s previous novels, especially Velocity.

Recommended by: Sandy, Technical Services