Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: “Second Chance Dog: A Love Story” by Jon Katz!

Just recently we got a chance to review the new book by Jon Katz, “Second Chance Dog: A Love Story,” thanks to the good folks at Ballantine Books.

I admit it. Mum and I were leery of reading another Jon Katz book. Why? Because of what happened in one of the first and only Jon Katz books we read, years ago. But I, like everyone, know that people change, people grow, people learn. And people's decisions at the time may differ if presented with similar situations later in life. Just ask my Mum, she has made a lot of mistakes with me and she's always learning and growing, and changing how she would handle situations with me and Gracie as she gains more knowledge and understanding.

Second chances are about second chances; and that's what we wanted to give Mr. Katz. We have open minds and understand time, learning, loving, living and growth are a part of everyone's life, so we dove in to the new book.

Mr. Katz's experience with a particular aggressive and difficult dog, wrapped around an interesting story of new love, getting along, learning to live together, second chances; well you get the pretty much the premise of this book

I am happy to say that in our eyes we believe Mr. Katz has learned a lot over the years and am very happy that Freda, the second chance dog, is now a happy, healthy, 'integrated into the family' pup thanks to the gentle and respectful time that Mr. Katz worked with her.

A difficult dog is difficult. I am not the easiest dog to get along with, mostly because of the time years ago I was attacked by dogs. I became very reactive, very misunderstood, very challenging around other hyper, high energy dogs (most all the dogs that we find at agility). But Mum understands me, is patient with me, works with me (luckily the way I needed even though she was very inexperienced in dog training and behavior in the beginning). Mum gets me! And I have really improved over the years.

What we loved reading about in Second Chance Dog is that Mr. Katz learned to 'get' Freda. And we believe that this is what made all the difference in both of their lives.

The story begins as Jon meets Maria, an artist that he fancies with a rottie-shepherd mix named Freda that she adopted from the local animal shelter. While Maria is quiet and introspective, Freda is a wily, fervently protective and people/dog aggressive pup; both obstacles standing in the way of real, potential relationships for both of them.

Not only does Jon have to win over Maria (not an easy task given his past relationship experiences), but he has to win over Freda too; and that's how Mr. Katz begins his work; with determination, patience and positivity to win over both of them and become a new, integrated and together family.

Do we agree with everything Jon does in the book? No, there are a few things that Mum and I would do differently, but that's what learning is all about, right?

We give Second Chance Dog an overwhelming second chance and a definite four paws up. You can get the Kindle version of Second Chance Dog: A Love Story on Amazon like we did, or you can order the paper version.


  1. Sounds like it is a good read. Thanks for the review!

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book! Great review, Johann!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly


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