Order a signed copy of Jon Katz’s upcoming book, The Second-Chance Dog: A Love Story
. Jon and Maria will sign and personalize (if requested) your book.
We accept payment three ways: 1) you can pay via PayPal – click the Buy Now button below, 2) you can call us with your credit card information (we are at 518-677-2515), or you can send us a check (Battenkill Books, 15 East Main St., Cambridge, NY 12816). The book is $25, tax is $1.75, and shipping (per book) is $7 within the US, making the total $33.75.
Our PayPal button only allows you to order one book at a time, so if you wish to order multiple copies, or any others of Jon’s books, kindly just email us here. Likewise, international shipping is additional, please email us and we will let you know how much it’ll be.
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.”
Best-selling author Katz (Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die, 2012, etc.) brings readers the intimate story of falling in love with a woman and her extremely protective pet dog. “There was me, sixty-one, broke and bewildered,” writes Katz, the prolific author of books about pets and, in particular, dogs. “And there was Maria, a sad, brooding fiber artist in her forties…seeking to find her lost creative soul…and finally there was Frieda, aka “the Helldog,” a Rottweiler-shepherd mix who had been cruelly abandoned.”
What starts out as a story of despair—for Katz and Maria, as their respective long-term marriages fell apart, and for Frieda, who was raised as a guard dog and then abandoned only to spend years living in the wild—turns to joy as faith, trust, friendship and love replace fear, extreme panic attacks and an over protectiveness bordering on dangerous. Nearly 20 years older than Maria, Katz felt a sense of urgency to create a life with her and Frieda, but he tamed his desperate need to love and be loved and learned that infinite patience would finally win the hearts of woman and canine. With Maria, he expressed tenderness and an awareness of her stalwart desire for independence—yet he was persistent in his marriage proposals. With Frieda, hundreds of pounds of beef jerky, steady training and an understanding of the dog’s past experiences helped create a bond that allowed Katz to move closer to both dog and the woman he felt was his soul mate. “The poet Rumi says to gamble everything for love if you’re a true human being,” he writes. “We did. We are.”
Bittersweet in its telling, Katz reminds readers of the importance of human and animal connections.
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.
Jon Katz has written nineteen books—seven 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 the artist Maria Heinrich; his dogs, Rose, Izzy, Lenore, and Frieda; and his barn cats, Mother and Minnie.
Additional Jon Katz titles available
Running to the Mountain, $15
Katz on Dogs, $13.95
A Good Dog, $15
Dog Days, $14
The Dogs of Bedlam Farm, $15
The New Work of Dogs, $13.95
A Dog Year, $12.95
Izzy and Lenore, $15
Soul of a Dog, $14
Rose in a Storm, $14
Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm (picture book), $16.99
Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die, $15
Lenore Finds a Friend (picture book), $15.99
The Story of Rose (ebook), $2.99 – available as an ebook only
Dancing Dogs: Stories, $24 hardcover, $15 paperback (available 10/1/13)