In this heartfelt memoir, Mr. Katz tells the story of how he and his wife acquire a donkey named Simon, who is near death. After receiving the call from an animal control officer and hearing Simon’s heart wrenching story, Mr. Katz immediately takes the trip to see Simon himself. Once he arrives, the condition that Simon is in is deplorable. All the rescuers aren’t even sure that he will make it out of this rescue alive. As you go deeper into this story, readers find themselves so engrossed. This donkey will learn that he has a lot to live for still and by being rescued and rehomed at Bedlam Farm is the first step in the right direction to his long healing and recovery process.
I loved this story and found myself not being able to put it down. I enjoyed how Mr. Katz told it and I felt as if I was another character seeing everything play out before my eyes. It was fun getting to know all the animals and learning their individual personalities as I turned the pages. My heart was truly filled with hope and love after reading this endearing animal story. I also enjoyed learning about the donkeys and their characteristics because Mr. Katz narrated it on such an easy-to-learn level, that any reader of any age will come away with more knowledge than they started out with. If you love animal themed books, this is one you shouldn’t pass up. I highly recommend it!
In this heartfelt, thoughtful, and inspiring memoir, New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his beloved rescue donkey, Simon, and the wondrous ways that animals make us wiser and kinder people.
In the spring of 2011, Jon Katz received a phone call that would challenge every idea he ever had about mercy and compassion. An animal control officer had found a neglected donkey on a farm in upstate New York, and she hoped that Jon and his wife, Maria, would be willing to adopt him. Jon wasn’t planning to add another animal to his home on Bedlam Farm, certainly not a very sick donkey. But the moment he saw the wrenching sight of Simon, he felt a powerful connection. Simon touched something very deep inside of him. Jon and Maria decided to take him in.
Simon’s recovery was far from easy. Weak and malnourished, he needed near constant care, but Jon was determined to help him heal. As Simon’s health improved, Jon would feed him by hand, read to him, take him on walks, even confide in him like an old and trusted friend. Then, miraculously, as if in reciprocation, Simon began to reveal to Jon the true meaning of compassion, the ways in which it can transform our lives and inspire us to take great risks.
This radically different perspective on kindness and empathy led Jon to a troubled border collie from Ireland in need of a home, a blind pony who had lived outside in a pasture for fifteen years, and a new farm for him and Maria. In the great tradition of heroes—from Don Quixote to Shrek—who faced the world in the company of their donkeys, Jon came to understand compassion and mercy in a new light, learning to open up “not just to Simon, not just to animals, but to the human experience. To love, to risk, to friendship.”
With grace, warmth, and keen emotional insight, Saving Simon plumbs the depths of the bonds we form with our animals, and the rewards of “living a more compassionate, considered, and meaningful life.”