'Izzy & Lenore', by Jon Katz

New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz and his animals on Bedlam Farm have taken us to some remarkable places. This October, Katz returns with a dramatic dog adventure to the edges of life in IZZY & LENORE: Two Dogs, An Unexpected Journey, and Me (Villard Books Hardcover; On Sale Date: September 23, 2008). In IZZY & LENORE, Katz examines two of his exceptional dogs and the mysterious power they have in their interactions with the humans around them. One healed his own soul and the other brought Jon into some of the most gratifying work of his life, that of a hospice volunteer in Washington County in Upstate New York.

Izzy was an abandoned three-year-old border collie whose sketchy past and nervous disposition reminded Katz of the dogs he has been closest to over his life. As Katz taught this newest denizen of his animal menagerie to calm down and embrace the rhythm of life on Bedlam Farm, Izzy exhibited an uncanny sensitivity to, and tenderness toward, humans who were troubled, ailing, or ill. It was Izzy's special receptiveness that led Katz to a pursuit he'd often pondered but never seriously considered: volunteer hospice work. Katz and Izzy trained for months and learned to read each instinctively. When it came time to put the training into action, Katz feared he might have made a mistake. Would hospice work be too intense for both of them? In fact, Izzy's gift brought Katz to a series of uplifting emotional experiences that led him off the farm, into new, extraordinary friendships, and showed him what dogs can do for people at our neediest and most intimate times.

Lenore was a glossy jet-black Labrador Retriever puppy known as the "Hound of Love," whose arrival heralded the healing of Katz's own troubled soul. As she grew to adulthood and found her place on the farm and in the company of his spirited border collies, her calm demeanor and seemingly boundless capacity for love reminded Katz why he'd come to the farm in the first place—and why he'd devoted so much of his life to working with dogs. As Katz says, "Animals and people work best together when they lead us to people. Lenore, whose presence alone brightens every space she enters, brought me out of my own darkness and reconfirmed the importance animals have in all our lives."

IZZY AND LENORE is a moving and inspiring story of love, compassion, and the incredibly rich and complex relationships between dogs and humans.

Brian McLendon