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Book Review

‘Saving Simon: How a Rescue Donkey Taught Me the Meaning of Compassion’


bookCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Harriet Leitch

Ballentine Books

Oct. 7, 2014

Hardcover $25


209 Pages

Jon Katz, author of “The Dogs of Bedlam Farm,” also an autobiographical book, has extended his writings on animals in our lives by writing of his recent experience with Simon, an abused and rescued donkey. It is as much a study on the meaning of compassion as a rescue story, and it is an intriguing read.

Since Katz was known as a donkey owner, he was contacted about the rescue of Simon. Simon had come to a New England farm as part of a deal for several horses. The farmer did not really want a donkey. Of extremely limited means, the farmer put him in an unused pig pen and ignored his needs. The farmer did not feed him regularly, so Simon only had the hay the farmer’s son would occasionally get to him. Finally, the son anonymously informed the authorities of Simon’s condition. The authorities found Simon on the ground in the pen, covered in mud and barely alive. Katz agreed to bring Simon to live at Bedlam Farm, his 60+ acre farm. In the new environment, Simon regained much of his health. More importantly, Simon taught Katz the true meaning of compassion — to animals and human beings.

Although this is an amazing rescue story, the development of the relationship between one man and a donkey is the central lesson of the book. It was a hopeful book to read. CV

Harriet Leitch retired to enjoy her grandchildren, garden, dogs, flute and to return to her love of books.

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