I heard an interview with Jon Katz on my WFYI, my NPR local station recently and was intrigued by his story of being saved by his dogs; he was not able to keep up with their daily needs which finally forced him to visit a doctor, although he was normally quite averse to medical attention. Literally, he said, the dogs saved his life by keeping him active and then sending him in where heart trouble was diagnosed and treated. I decided to try and read one of his books to better understand the dog-centered life he lives.
I found A Good Dog to be a compelling read, and finished it in about 4 hours - half of it during a road trip. It is immensely sad at the end; anthropomorphically, I kept waiting for the dog's redemption until it slowly dawned on me that the dog was not after redemption, never would be. I know no one who would have put as much effort into this animal. Katz did an excellent job of stringing me along through the process he went through in reaching this conclusion, without forcing it on me. Having a new canine companion in the home, and trying to adjust to her as well as give her the now-requisite obedience training etc., this was a heck of a timely read. Of course, my Perl's mischief has been thus far confined to merely puppyish acts of destruction, not the wanton acts of chaos that so derailed Orson's life.
There is a good Exerpt available from Slate, an interesting segment but not one characteristic of the work as a whole. I'm curious as to whether his other works tend more towards the human-philosophical (as occurs inthe exerpt) or the canine stories that I think are of more interest - share your comments if you've read any of his other works.