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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Soul of a Dog" author coming to Lyndhurst

soul (sol) n. 1. an entity which is regarded as being the immortal or spiritual part of the person and, though having no physical or material reality, is credited with the functions of thinking and willing, and hence determining all behavior. 2. the moral or emotional nature of man. ...

And the Websters definition continues.

But do animals have 'em?

One of my co-workers argues not. Nor does he believe humans have them. "I don't believe in the existence of a literal soul," he just reminded me. Pause. "Also, I really like to irritate Robin (Palmer, my fellow pet blogger)."

OK, OK, so that's one person's opinion.

Then there's Jon Katz, who dedicated an entire book to exploring what's going on in that furry head of Man's Best Friend.

Katz, a New York Times bestselling author, will be in town Sept. 21 to discuss, promote and sign copies of his newest book - which is really a series of enlightening animal stories - called "Soul of a Dog: Reflections on the Spirits of the Animals of Bedlam Farm."

In the book's introduction, he describes his border collie Rose as heroic and hard-working for her master. "She's not the sweetest dog, not the kind most people want. She doesn't live to show me unconditional love; I doubt she could care less about making a sick person feel better, or charming a small child."

But watching her, knowing her, gets him thinking, so he delves into 12 chapters about his thought processes living on the farm in upstate New York.

Why do most Americans believe their pets have souls? Why does the question matter? With an epilogue entitled The Mystery of Things, does Katz even know?

Those seeking answers - assuming they're soulful themselves - can meet Katz at 7 p.m. Mon., Sept. 21, at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Legacy Village, 24519 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst. Find the link to the event page here.

The rest should check out his Web site,, for more on his dog work with hospice, his 17 other books and projects, and his amazing nature, animal and farm photography - breath-taking.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,


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