A marvellously entertaining chronicle of a puppy’s first year by the executive editor of the New York Times.
One sparkling summer day, Jill Abramson brought home a nine-week-old Golden Retriever named Scout.
Over the following year, as she and her husband raised their adorable new puppy, Abramson wrote “The Puppy Diaries”, a hugely popular column for the New York Times website about the joys and challenges of training this rambunctious addition to their family.
Dog-lovers from across the country inundated her with emails and letters, and the photos they sent in of their own dogs became the most visited photo album on the Times site in 2009.
Now Abramson has gone far beyond the material in her column and written a detailed and deeply personal account of Scout’s first year. Part memoir, part manual, part investigative report on the puppy ‘industry’, The Puppy Diaries continues Abramson’s intrepid reporting on all things canine.
‘The truth about getting a new dog is that it makes you miss the old one. This reality hit me hard one spring day in 2009 when we arrived at Thistledown Kennels, I was expecting the place to look like a country manor. Instead, we parked in front of a plain suburban ranch and the only hint of the litter of the seven-week-old puppies we had been invited to inspect – though we knew it was really us who had to pass muster with the breeder – was a sign on the front door that showed two golden retrievers and said ‘wipe your paws’. Why did I suddenly feel like wiping my eyes?
My heart was still hurting over the loss of Buddy, our stone-deaf, feisty-to-the-end West Highland white terrier. Buddy, like me, was a self-sufficient type, and despite his small size, he was no lap dog. Like many Westies he was woefully stubborn and never came when called. He could be a unpredictable grouch around small children. He wasn’t great with old people either. Nonetheless , I was madly in love and forgave him all his sins…
Jill Abramson, a bestselling and award-winning author, has just been appointed Executive Editor of the New York Times, the first woman to lead the paper in its history. An unabashed dog-lover, she has long been fascinated by the complex relationship between dogs and their owners. She, her husband, and Scout live in New York City and Connecticut.
The Puppy Diaries in New York Times: see Jill’s original articles which inspired the book
The Puppy Diaries on Flickr: more than 30 pictures of Scout
Observations from The Puppy Diaries: as noted by WWD.com