'I believed Rose had a secret plan for the farm, a detailed map in her head that showed exactly where all her ewes and lambs and humans ought to be. Though I was nominally the herder, I wasn't privy to the map. My job was mostly to latch and unlatch the gates, the rest was up to her'
Jon Katz leaves the suburbs for a remote farm in order to give Border Collie puppy Rose - along with our friend Devon from A Dog Year - a true taste of herding life.
Rose's adventures start early, going head to head with a head-butting ram the day the sheep arrive. She soon establishes a routine for the sheep, chickens and donkeys - and Jon - that makes everything run like clockwork. However, any notion Jon has of the romance of a rural idyll is shattered when the snow comes and temperatures of minus twenty set in. With two fingers damaged to frostbite and a sheep lost, the prospect of all-night lambing seems terrifying. But with Rose by his side Jon finds there is little that together they can't do, and as spring comes and the frost thaws he finds himself battered, drained yet exhilarated.
This is his delightfully funny, touching and insightful depiction of the realities of country life, and of how one man turned his life upside down for the love of a dog.
Please note, A Home for Rose is the UK title for the book published in the US as The Dogs of Bedlam Farm.
Jon Katz has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, GQ and other magazines as well as having a regular column about dogs and rural life for online magazine Slate. He has written sixteen books, many of them about dogs, and co-hosts an awardwinning radio show Dog Talk. His website is www.bedlamfarm.com.