Rose in a Storm

Rose in a Storm

by Jon Katz


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345502667
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/13/2011
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 683,339
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 8.08(h) x 0.66(d)

About the Author

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.


Montclair, New Jersey

Date of Birth:

August 8, 1947

Place of Birth:

Providence, Rhode Island


Attended George Washington University and The New School for Social Research

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Inside the farmhouse Rose lifted her head and pricked up her ears. She heard the troubled wheezing of a ewe. From the window, through the dark, she could see mist, mud, and the reddish shadows of the barns. She pictured the herd of sheep lying still, spread out behind the feeder.

Raising her nose toward the pasture, she smelled the rich, sticky scent of birth, of lamb. She smelled manure and fear.

She heard a gasp, the sound of death or desperation, and then one ewe calling to the others in alarm. She stood and padded quickly from the window to the side of the farmer’s bed, then looked up at his sleeping face. She barked once, insistently and loudly.

Sam, the farmer, startled awake from a dream of Katie in the dark January night. He muttered, “Are you sure?” and mumbled something about a night’s sleep, but got out of bed, pulling on pants and a shirt.

He knew better than to ignore Rose, especially at lambing time. She seemed to have a sort of map of the farm inside her head, a picture of how things ought to be. Whenever something was wrong or out of place—an animal sick, a fence down, an unwelcome intruder—she knew it instantly, and called attention to it, sniffing, barking, circling. She constantly updated the map, it seemed to Sam.

Occasionally her map failed or confused her—but that was rare. Sam saw to it that Rose was always with him, that she was apprised of everything that came and went—every animal, every machine—so she could keep her mental inventory.

Among his friends, Sam called Rose his farm manager. They had been together for six years, ever since he had driven over to the Clark farm in Easton and seen a litter of border collie/shepherd mix pups. He had still been debating with himself about whether to get a herding dog—he had no idea how to train one, and no time to do it, anyway.

But, perhaps picking up the scent of sheep, Rose ran right over to him, looking so eager to get to work, even at eight weeks old, that he brought her home. A few weeks after she arrived, some sheep had wandered through an unlatched gate and across the road, and Rose shot out of the house through the newly installed dog door, corralled them, and marched them back, working on instinct alone. She certainly had no help from Sam, who wasn’t even aware that the sheep were at liberty. The two had been working side by side ever since.

From then on, Sam would shake his head whenever he saw the elaborate, highly choreographed herding trials on television. Rose grew into the role on her own; she simply seemed to know what to do. The farm, he told his friends, was the world’s greatest trainer. And the sheep did what she told them to, which was all Sam really cared about. Get them from one place to another. Didn’t have to be pretty, though sometimes it was beautiful.

The relationship had grown way beyond anything Sam understood at first, or even imagined. It was more like a partnership, he had told Katie, an understanding subtler than words. It was something he lived, not something he thought much about.

I think you love that dog more than me, Katie would sometimes joke. Sam would blush and stammer. She’s just a dog, he would say, because he could not say what Rose truly meant to him.

Now he could tell from the urgency of Rose’s bark that something was wrong. She kept tilting her ears to the pasture, agitated, eager to get outside.

So on this cold and windswept night, Sam, a tall, thin man with what had once been a ready smile and a full head of reddish-brown hair, went downstairs and got a flashlight, pulled on a jacket and boots, and he and Rose walked out the back door and into the night. Even in the dark, in the reflected light of the moon, he could see the glow of her fiercely bright-blue eyes.

The farmhouse sat at the bottom of a gentle, rolling pasture. By the back door, there were two paths. The one to the left led out into the woods, and the one to the right ran toward the two barns and the pasture gates.

The first barn was big, filled with hay up in the loft and tractors, and sometimes cows, down below. A shed was attached to the big barn, which housed equipment and supplies, as well as some feed. Farther up the hill was a large pole barn. A three-sided structure with the fourth side open to the air, it allowed the sheep to be outside, which they preferred, while still offering some shelter from the elements. When they were kept inside a closed barn, they got fearful, claustrophobic, bleated day and night. Anyway, it was the way Sam’s father had done it. The three buildings formed a triangle: the farmhouse at the bottom, the big barn off to one side nearby, the pole barn a hundred yards up the hill. The cows were in the other pasture on the far side of the barn.

A few hundred feet from the farmhouse, the path led to a gate that connected to a fence encircling all of the pastures and barns. Sam was proud of that fence. He’d spent years shoring and patching it, and in the past year or so, no animal had slipped out, or in.

As they neared the barn, Sam finally saw in the beam of light from his flashlight what Rose had heard and sensed, up behind the building. He moved faster, opening the pasture gate. Rose raced through and ran to the struggling ewe. Sam retrieved his sack of medical equipment from the barn and hurried behind the dog up a path well worn by the animals, marked by manure and ice-encrusted mud, pungent even in winter. The big barn was on the right, looming like a great battleship, its lights sending small beams out into the dark, foggy pasture. That old barn had a lot of stories to tell.

The lambing shed where Sam had put this pregnant ewe a few days earlier was also open on one side, though protected from the snow and wind. An open hatchway led from the lambing shed inside the barn to an area warmed by heat lamps and lined with hay and straw, where the ewes could take their newborn lambs. With this arrangement, they were outside when they went into labor, so they could be near the other sheep, and Sam could still see and hear them from the house. Or at least Rose could.

He trained his light on the sick ewe, number 89. Her wheezing had calmed, which was an ominous sign, and she lay still, on her side, in the corner of the pen in a bed of hay.

Rose waited for Sam to open the birthing pen gate, then rushed in to the mother and attempted to rouse her, nipping at her nose and chest.

Sam opened his bag and pulled out scissors, forceps, bandages, syringes, a jar of iodine, antibiotics, and some rope and salve. He was serious and calm as he followed Rose’s lead, this small black and white dog, with those piercing eyes, moving with speed and confidence.

The other sheep gathered in the pole barn up the hill, watching, intent and anxious. Rose glanced up at the crowd of ewes, and at the Blackface, their leader, who had appeared at the front of the flock. Rose’s eyes and posture gave clear instructions—stay back, stay away from Sam—and they obeyed.

If necessary, she would use her teeth, pulling some wool to get things moving, or to stop things from moving. She rarely needed to do that. But tonight, particularly since there was no food around the lambing area, Rose knew they would keep their distance. The sheep wanted no part of a human or a dog in the middle of the night.

It was black and cold, and the ground was icy. Rose saw and smelled the amniotic fluid puddling under the ewe. Rose could see the almost imperceptible movement of the ewe’s stomach, hear the faint breath, see the moisture in her eyes, the stream from her nostrils. She could hear the faintest of heartbeats.

She could smell the ewe’s struggle.

Rose and Sam had done this before, many times.

Having failed to get the ewe to her feet, Rose backed up while Sam set up his light, kneeled down, rolled up his sleeves. She watched him rub salve on his hands before turning the ewe and plunging his arm into the dying mother, finding the lamb stuck in the uterine canal.

The smell was intense, and troubling. This was a bad sign. Lambs didn’t last very long after the water had broken.

Sam muttered and cursed. He turned the lamb’s feet until they were pointed in the right direction, then he grunted, pulled, and pulled again. Finally, Rose saw him draw out his hand, and with it, the lamb. The small, matted creature was not moving.

Sam dipped his pocketknife in a bottle and then used it to cut the umbilical cord. Then he stood, lifted the lamb by its feet, and swung it, left and right, in the cold air, to get its heart beating. The lamb was slick with fluids, and the air was frigid. Lambs can die quickly in these conditions. If they’re healthy, their mothers will usually guide them through the hatchway to the warmth of the heat lamps.

Rose barked, excited. The lamb suddenly coughed and wheezed. It was alive. Rose ran around to the ewe’s face and began nipping at her nose, urging her to her feet.

The dog and the farmer worked with urgency. The cold was biting and Rose felt the sting of it in her paws. Her whiskers were covered in ice. She needed to get the ewe up quickly, had to get her to clean her lamb. And the lamb needed nourishment.

Sam pulled out a plastic bottle with sheep’s milk that he had stored in the freezer and thawed, putting it gently in the lamb’s mouth. He pulled a syringe from his other pocket—a vitamin booster, for strength and energy—and gave the lamb a shot. Rose kept working to get the mother up, so she and her lamb could bond by smell and know each other.

The ewe began to stir, looking at Rose. The dog did not waver or back off, but barked and lunged, nipped and kept her eyes locked on the ewe’s.

The ewe closed her eyes, reopened them. She was suddenly alarmed, breathing more heavily now, as she struggled to get to her feet. Afterbirth trailed from under her tail.

Sam carefully put the lamb down and came over to help, pulling the ewe up gently. She was disoriented, panicky, and as soon as she was upright she tried to bolt. Rose headed her off. She and Sam knew all too well that when ewes ran, they could forget the smell of their lambs and abandon them entirely. That was not going to happen, had never happened when Rose was there.

Rose held the ewe to the spot while Sam positioned the lamb beside her. Then he ran into the barn and came back with some water laced with molasses syrup for the ewe. She lapped it up greedily while the lamb searched for its mother’s nipple. The ewe seemed to gain strength, returning to the world, becoming aware of her baby.

The ewe began to call out to her lamb. Now protective, she turned, lowered her head at Rose, and charged, butting her, and catching her off guard.

“Head’s up, Rose!” said Sam.

Rose was sometimes unprepared for how powerful the mothering instinct was in ewes once it kicked in and they bonded with their babies. It was a testing time for her, as the formerly compliant ewes changed, and she was suddenly, sometimes violently, challenged. She always regained control, with her body, her eyes, her teeth, and her ferocious determination, which eventually wore down even the most maternal ewe, even though it sometimes left Rose bruised or limping. After a time, they became sheep again, doing what they were supposed to do.

The vet once told Sam that Rose weighed thirty-seven pounds, and that any one of those two- and three-hundred-pound ewes or rams could have stomped or butted her senseless, but they didn’t know they could. Rose had to make sure they never knew.

Sam looked up and saw that it had begun snowing lightly, and the wind was picking up. He was huffing hard on his hands, looking up at the sky. Rose looked up, too, and felt a stirring in all of her senses.

Sam appeared different to Rose than he used to, quieter, not as strong, not as clear-headed. A lot of things were different since the night Katie had been taken from the house.

The very map of the farm had changed.

She watched Sam as he worked silently, purposefully, toweling off the lamb. Once he was sure the mother had the smell of the lamb, he picked it up in a cloth sling. It was time to get it under the heat lamps and onto a pile of straw. There the mother would finish cleaning her baby, and the baby would find her teats and drink some more, getting warm and dry, and the ewe could bond with him—it was a ram—and know his cry. The two would nestle up together and talk to each other in a language all their own.

Sam was now backing up to the hatchway, and the ewe looked around frantically. Rose kept her distance, a bit away and behind her, so that she wouldn’t panic and head for the other sheep, who were still watching from the pole barn.

The ewe darted a few feet up the hill. Rose dashed ahead of her and brought her back. They repeated this two or three times, Rose and the ewe, in a kind of a dance, Rose anticipating where the ewe would go and blocking that route. Even though her lamb was being carried in that direction, it was unnatu- ral for the ewe to move away from her flock, and toward the barn, especially with a human and a dog. Only the ewe’s intensifying mothering instincts kept her from running off. That and Rose in her face, whenever she looked or turned to go up the hill.

Finally at the hatchway entrance to the barn, the ewe froze. Rose watched her look up the hill, then toward her lamb. Rose saw that she was still thinking of bolting up to the pole barn, to the Blackface, to the safety and comfort of the other sheep.

Sam backed into the barn, making sure the ewe could see him and the lamb in his arms. He opened the lambing pen gate, then turned on the heat lamps and put the baby down in the warming glow. The lamb bleated, and the ewe bleated in response, rushing through the hatchway and into the pen.

Rose kept the mother in until she settled down there. The ewe eventually forgot Rose, and nosed the lamb under the lamp and onto the hay. She began licking him. Sam closed and tied the plastic fencing of the makeshift pen. The ewe, exhausted, would let her baby feed, and then the two of them would sleep.

Sam turned away to check the wiring of the heat lamp and bring some fresh hay. Rose sat down, calming also. Her job was done. But in less than a minute she stood again and turned away, limping slightly from the butting of her shoulder.

“Okay, girl,” Sam said to Rose as he shone the flashlight around to see if the other pregnant ewes were up to anything. Rose did not understand his words but understood the tone of voice, his approval. And she also understood it as the end of this work.

Rose smelled the warm, rich mother’s milk, heard the sound of suckling. The timeless map, a compilation of countless memories and experiences and images, was as it should be, and now updated to include one new creature.

Sam slid the door shut.

Rose followed him to the gate and then trotted toward the house. Sam walked on ahead of her, but on the stoop, she paused for a moment. Something made her look up again at the predawn slate sky.

Rose felt the storm coming, smelled snow and heavy air. She remembered other storms, the snow and wind and killing cold. She felt a flash of deep alarm run through her like a bolt of lightning. The hair on her back and neck came up. Sam called for her, but she waited a moment longer before following him inside.

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Rose in a Storm 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Crazy_Cat_Ladys_Library More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has ever owned an animal has had the thought at one time or other: "I wonder what he/she is thinking?" Rose in a Storm by Jon Katz provides us with a glimpse into the mind and thoughts of Rose, a working border collie, intuitively and effectively answering that question for us. Not only do we get the opportunity to share Rose's daily routines, we are also treated to glimpses of her memories and emotions. At the beginning of the book, Rose and her farmer/owner, Sam, are preparing the farm and its animals for an upcoming blizzard, one predicted by the local authorities to be a "storm of the century." As they work together to erect vital strongholds for the other animals to survive the oncoming atmospheric onslaught, we are not only given insight into Rose's thoughts but Sam's as well, and the resulting give and take of their relationship is as intricate as a fine ballet. When the expected blizzard finally arrives and Rose and Sam are faced with far more serious challenges than Sam could have ever anticipated, Rose shows a steadfastness of spirit and tenacity that is truly amazing. With fortitude and valor, she never stops trying to keep everything together and everyone safe, even as the world she knows keeps spinning ever further out of control. Rose in a Storm is a truly inspiring story. I was so engrossed in its unfolding that I had a truly difficult time putting it down. This is the first of Mr. Katz' books that I have had the pleasure to read, ut I assure you that it will most certainly not be the last! I give Rose in a Storm 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a rare book that takes us away from concerns of daily life and propels us into the natural world. Jon Katz succeeds with his border collie Rose; how she handles the crisis of a frightening storm, while taking care of everyone - farmer and animals alike, with dedication and intelligence.
Chezjolie More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoy this book written from the border collie's point of view. Since we already know how smart they are, this book just proves their ability to think, reason and cope with issues facing them. I really sobbed at the end!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Book!! Keeps you captivated throughout, couldn't put it down & the way Katz describes every detail makes you feel like you are there with Rose!!
BarkingPlanet More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book for dog lovers and people who are close to the natural world...written by Jon Katz, a gifted writer, the book takes you into the world of Rose, a border collie/shepherd mix. The bond between Rose and her owner, a farmer, and the raw world of nature that is theirs, is vividly portrayed. The story flows with the rhythms and events of the natural world, from skittish sheep, driven by fear, to hungry coyotes. A major blizzard disrupts the farm in multiple destructive ways, bringing a snow driven struggle for survival to this powerful story. An extra dimension is provided throughout by Katz's informed knowledge, from both research and direct experience with his own dogs -- Rose, Izzy, Lenore and Frieda -- when he takes you into Rose's mind and reveals the canine soul. Not for kids, but excellent for adults and young adult readers, I found this gripping book to be totally engaging.
Diwms More than 1 year ago
absolutely wonderful and unique. I loved every minute of this book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Sam the Farmer and Rose the herding mixed breed dog have been together for six years at Granville Farm since she introduced herself to the widower when she was eight weeks old. They have become best buddies and kindred souls as both are workaholics. During the lambing season, a horrific blizzard of the century assaults Granville Farm. Structures collapse under the tons of snow and Sam breaks his leg and more after a tumble from a slippery roof. Already overworked keeping the other animals safe, responsible Rose takes over running the farm while her human partner is flown to a hospital. When a vicious pack of coyotes attack, Rose becomes hurt in the melee but keeps fighting aided by an enigmatic seemingly paranormal wolf and Flash the wild dog. Rose in a Storm is a fascinating whimsical family drama starring a wonderful canine protagonist, her human partner, and her new dog pal. The poignant story line avoids sweetness but instead focuses on what makes a dog contented, which varies. Through Rose's observations, readers also learn how lonely Sam has been since his wife Katie died, but he has has a friend and partner on the farm and maybe even a pet. No one gets into the Soul of a Dog deeper than Jon Katz does. Harriet Klausner
MyFunnyDadHarryAuthor More than 1 year ago
This book is really good!  It's a touching fiction story about the life of a farm working dog, Rose.  I really liked learning about farm life through this book and seeing how the animals connected and interacted with each other.  When Sam, the only human on his farm gets injured during a 5-day blizzard with temperatures -30 degrees and is air-lifted to a hospital, his border collie, Rose, takes care of the farm without him.  I especially identified with Rose's memory of her special connection with Sam's wife Katie, who died.  I'm sure anyone who lives on a farm or likes animals would love this book!  I am a city girl and enjoyed it very much.
LucyLu2 More than 1 year ago
Rose is an amazing dog, and the way Katz wrote this story - from Rose's perspective, it gives us insight into the dogs in our own lives and how amazing them may be right under our noses. Maybe we're missing out on giving them jobs that would make their lives fuller. This is a beautiful story that dog lovers will read again and again. Couldn't put it down. Thank you, Jon Katz.
labdaddy4 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Easy to read & very descriptive. Interesting perspective - mostly from the dog's point of view. I do think the sections about Rose traveling to "dog heaven" were a bit over the top - as was the situation with the wolf. It was like this animal just was magically transported in to save Rose - and then left just as quickly. But, this is fiction after all.I did love and was very moved by the "wild dog".
Schmerguls on LibraryThing 8 months ago
4818. Rose in a Storm A Novel, by Jon Katz (read 20 Apr 2011)This book turned me off right from the start, since it was so contrary to what I know about dogs, animals, and farming. It tells of a storm in the Adirondacks which has the heroine dog, Rose, doing unlikely and impossible things, and long stretches of telling what the dog is thinking.. And at the key point in the story it becomes a fantasy. Only once, in the whole story, was there anything of interest--as the dog dug her master out of the snow which had covered him. I was glad she did the rescue. But boring is the word for this book
writestuff on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Sam is facing a huge winter storm on his farm for the first time without his beloved wife Katie. Since her death, he has not been the same. No one has noticed this more than Rose, his loyal working dog. Rose misses Katie, too ¿ she keeps looking for her, confused as to why her scent is everywhere and yet, Katie is nowhere to be found. Without Katie, Sam and Rose have only each other to depend on, and as the first huge flakes begin to fall, accompanied by a steep drop in temperature and a howling wind, their loyalty to each other begins to deepen.At these moments, he would sometimes look at Rose, who was always watching him, watching the farm, ready for anything, and he thanked God that he had her. He¿d thought at first that he was getting just a dog. Now he understood only too well that she had become something else, something more. He did not even want to think of being on this farm alone without Rose. ¿ from Rose in a Storm, page 75 -Rose in a Storm is narrated almost entirely from the perspective of Rose ¿ a border collie who is completely defined by her heart for her job. her person and the animals she is tasked with protecting. Rose senses things before Sam can possibly be aware of them ¿ the scent of coyotes on the wind, the struggle of a ewe about to give birth, and the ferocity of a storm that will change everything.Jon Katz has written a novel which is tender, bittersweet, and deeply perceptive. This is a book about a dog, but it is also a book about the relationship between animals and people. Anyone who has loved a dog, will recognize the power of Rose and Sam¿s friendship.Working dogs are not like other dogs ¿ this I know from experience, and Katz aptly describes the mindset of a dog who lives to work. Rose is fierce, loyal, perceptive, intelligent and highly motivated ¿ all traits that characterize the best working dogs. Katz also gives Rose a sensitivity and philosophical outlook that almost humanizes her.Had Sam been in the farmhouse and looked out, he would have been amazed to see this solitary dog, covered in a coating of white, staring up the hill, giving eye to the wind, the snow, the coyotes, to life and the world, to her choices and her duty. He would have marveled at her responsibility, her loyalty, and her bravery. Rose had never run, never backed down, never failed to get it done. He had said that about her so many times ¿ he bragged about her like she was his child, although never in her presence. It would have been patronizing, even insulting to praise Rose too much to her face. Work was her reward. ¿ from Rose in a Storm, page 179 -I thoroughly enjoyed this novel which explores themes of loss and grief, aging, and the special bonds between humans and the animals with whom they share their lives. This is a short, quick read that had me captivated from beginning to end. Readers who love stories about animals, or those who have experienced a special bond with a dog, will find Rose in a Storm a warmhearted and enjoyable read.
mysterymax on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I have to respond to the reviews who just couldn't find this book "realistic". Once an interviewer told Robin Williams that his movie wasn't realistic. He responded by saying "It's NOT real, it's a MOVIE". This book isn't non-fiction. It is fiction. And as fiction it is a wonderful story about courage and responsibility. If you allowed yourself to enter Rose's world it was a moving story, full of drama and fulfillment. An excellent story.
dissed1 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Rose in a Storm was good, but I honestly get more heartfelt satisfaction from his nonfiction. The entire concept for this novel is Rose's heroic actions in an extended snowstorm. It seems like an idea that would work better in short story format--the many misfortunes and accidents that occur seem a bit forced. Yes, farm life is dangerous, but would a seasoned farmer continually venture back out, or allow his beloved dog to? Also, I was a bit confused by the wolf that appears to save Rose during a coyote attack . . . . Is this truly supposed to be a wolf, or is it some incarnation of Rose/Flash's primeval self? Again, it didn't seem to fit smoothly into the realism of the book.I did appreciate the differing bonds between Rose and every other character. It gave genuine dimension to her and her world. Seeing the things from a dog's point of view was also enlightening. All in all, I liked the story, it just got a little tedious and hard to buy into at times.
ccayne on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is a perfect book for a dog lover. Katz is very disciplined about maintaining Rose's narrative voice and it rings true. I like how she puzzles out her changing circumstances as the storm moves in and how she figures things out by watching her surroundings. I love the detail about noticing the types of shoes humans wear so she can figure out what's next - my dogs wait at the bottom of the stairs to see what shoes I'm wearing when I come down - are we going on an expedition or hanging around the house? There are some elements near the end which seemed forced but they didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book.
-Cee- on LibraryThing 8 months ago
What a storm! What a dog! What a story!Rose, a working border collie, senses a killer storm approaching her farm. After all possible preparation is made the blizzard hits with ferocity. Man and beast are tested to their limits of creativity, sensitivity and strength. In the midst of unbearable cold, unprecedented amounts of snow, and blinding winds Rose and her farmer struggle for their own and the farm's survival.This book is very intense. Things go from bad to worse. Nature can be merciless. At times it was hard to put this book down and hard to keep reading. Oh! the dilemnas of a good read. Katz's story continuously deals with new life and approaching death, loyalty and confusion, grief, pain and sacrifice. Though Rose is a working dog and not a pet, her total committment to work is illuminated with emotional bonding and spiritual beauty. This book deals with purpose and acceptance from a dog's naturally adaptive perspective. Something very special.
FionaCat on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I absolutely loved this book! Unlike many animal stories, there was nothing sappy or maudlin about this story of Rose and her passion for her work and the farm she loves. Told mainly from Rose's point of view, she is not overly anthropomorphised. Her thoughts are clearly dog thoughts. There is an element of mysticism, a sort of "dog religion" you might say, but for the most part, this is the story of a real dog living on a real farm with real sheep, cattle, chickens, goats, cats and one old donkey. Katz gives us a beautiful picture of the daily life of a working dog, a dog who has a purpose in life and takes that purpose seriously. When a terrible storm descends on the farm and her "boss" is badly injured, Rose must take charge of the farm. Her motives are plausible; she knows what her job is, and she does her best to do it without the assistance and guidance of Sam, the farmer.
tloeffler on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Sam the farmer and Rose the dog live a pleasant, if busy, life together on the farm. They are incredibly in tune with each other, and Sam relies on Rose to herd the sheep and to let him know when things aren't right. Sam trusts Rose's instincts. When a huge snowstorm comes up, they hustle to get all the animals where they belong, and work hard to keep them fed & watered. But what if something happens to Sam?The story is told alternately from Sam's standpoint and from Rose's standpoint. The author does an excellent job of not "humanizing" Rose--she works mostly on instinct and doesn't think like a person. Apparently, Jon Katz consulted with animal behaviorists to keep it believable, and it works.I found the beginning of the book to be a little bit slow, as the stage was set, but once the storm started, the interest level picked up quite a bit. Do animals die in this book? I'm sorry to say that they do (it is a farm in a snowstorm, after all), but Katz also handles that well. This book brought to mind Jack Londons Call of the Wild. Maybe it should have been called Call of the Domesticated? Anyway, a good book.
crazycatladyslibrary on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Anyone who has ever owned an animal has had the thought at one time or other: ¿I wonder what he/she is thinking?¿ Rose in a Storm by Jon Katz provides us with a glimpse into the mind and thoughts of Rose, a working border collie, intuitively and effectively answering that question for us. Not only do we get the opportunity to share Rose¿s daily routines, we are also treated to glimpses of her memories and emotions.At the beginning of the book, Rose and her farmer/owner, Sam, are preparing the farm and its animals for an upcoming blizzard, one predicted by the local authorities to be a ¿storm of the century.¿ As they work together to erect vital strongholds for the other animals to survive the oncoming atmospheric onslaught, we are not only given insight into Rose¿s thoughts but Sam¿s as well, and the resulting give and take of their relationship is as intricate as a fine ballet. When the expected blizzard finally arrives and Rose and Sam are faced with far more serious challenges than Sam could have ever anticipated, Rose shows a steadfastness of spirit and tenacity that is truly amazing. With fortitude and valor, she never stops trying to keep everything together and everyone safe, even as the world she knows keeps spinning ever further out of control.Rose in a Storm is a truly inspiring story. I was so engrossed in its unfolding that I had a truly difficult time putting it down. This is the first of Mr. Katz¿ books that I have had the pleasure to read, ut I assure you that it will most certainly not be the last! I give Rose in a Storm 5 stars!
Beecharmer on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I am a dog lover, so I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I liked the book being told in the perspective of Rose, but the ending left me wondering what happens next.Rose is a working dog that lives to work. A devastating blizzard rages for days and during this storm Sam, her master gets hurt and taken away and Rose is left to guard the farm. Rose's sense of responsiblity is much stronger than her sense of self. She struggles to keep the animals safe and alive, but encounters a pack of coyotes that almost kills her. This little dog's will and courage won my heart. I hope to read more from John Katz.
nyiper on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Although I was fascinated with Rose and her 'thinking"---I was literally exhausted as I read of her incredible, really unbelievable, efforts to save the farm in this incredible snowstorm. I was feeling her pains almost more than I wanted to but it was very effective writing. There were lovely explanations of things---Katie, for example, and missing her? I was almost in tears for Rose, as well as for Sam. The story presents an amazing effort on the part of a man and his dog to do more than anyone who is not doing it can comprehend. It seems just plain impossible---but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it--holding my breath at some points along the way.
PaperbackPirate on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Over the week and a half it took me to read this short book our average high was around 92 degrees, the hottest day reaching 99 degrees. Did that contribute to my dissatisfaction with this book, the tale of a dog named Rose who tries to save farm animals during a massive snow storm? Or maybe it was the way the story was written from the border collie/shepherd mix's point of view, adding to the implausibility of it all. Just as one example, at one point in the story Rose starts grabbing mouthfuls of hay to feed to the starving cows. I've had some dogs that have done amazing things, and I like to anthropomorphize with the best of them, but it was just too much for me to swallow. I would probably recommend it to a young adult audience that doesn't live in the desert.
Copperskye on LibraryThing 8 months ago
First of all, I need to say that I am truly a fan of Jon Katz¿s non-fiction/memoirs about his animals and his life at Bedlam Farm. So much so that I struggled through the first half of Rose in a Storm just trying to separate the real Rose from fictional Rose and the real Bedlam Farm from the fictional Granville Farm. Several other animals on the fictional farm also had the same name as their real counterparts in Katz¿s books and I found that distracting.Things got more interesting when the storm kicked into high gear and Rose was left to fend for herself and the other animals (the title is pretty self-explanatory). But then the action just started to get unbelievable and a deus ex machina resolution was just too much for me. Less mysticism and less overall conflict would have been better as Katz obviously put a lot of effort into realistically portraying the actions of a dog facing such a huge trial. A straight-on, smart dog survival story would have been a more satisfying read.
4daisies on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I loved this book. Katz has written in such a unique way, the perspective of Rose with imagination yet without being overly sentimental. It was a very thoughtful, believable insight on the possible way a working dog would think. Although it may be a relief to some of Katz's fans that Rose does not die in the end (thank you very much), it is not to say death is not a presence in the novel. When a storm unlike any in recent memory descends on the farm, Rose's instincts of just what needs to be done to protect those in her charge is spot on. Her unfailing determination is the difference between life and death for not only the farm animals but for Sam himself as he and Rose work together to keep the storm's devastation at bay. I could not put this book down and am very thankful I had the opportunity to read this as an early reviewer.
SugarCreekRanch on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Rose in a Storm is a novella about a working sheepdog, her farmer, and their struggle to care for the farm and its livestock during an overwhelming blizzard. As a dog lover, I enjoyed much of the book because it is a good dog stor and, captured a lot of the border collie personality. I loved the setting, which was described so well I could see it. But I found that Rose's character was too perfect (best, smartest, hardest working, etc) with no real flaws. That made her less real, and less interesting. There are some mystical elements that didn't quite fit with the rest of the story, and I was frustrated by the ambiguity of the resolution of the final crisis situation.