By Jill Abramson
St. Martin’s Griffin, $14.99, 242 pages
Hardly a day goes by without the publication of yet another book describing our infatuation with dogs. Will we ever tire of hearing how a furry ball of goodness can change our lives, make us less lonely, more fulfilled? No, in my mind, there’s always room for another tale/tail. In The Puppy Diaries New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson writes a lighthearted account of the first year in the life of her Golden Retriever she named Scout, in a nod to Harper Lee. This is not just any retriever, but an 85-pound English Golden Retriever who is the color of platinum and possesses just the right stuff to pull Abramson out of a funk. She’s in the dumps because she lost Buddy, her faithful canine companion of 14 years, and because Abramson was hit by a truck. The book is based on a popular column Abramson wrote for the NYT in 2009 about the “joys and challenges” of raising Scout.
“Although some people understand immediately how involved a person can be in caring for a dog, a lot of people just don’t get it.”
During her year of training Scout to be a good citizen, Abramson consults with experts in the field including the dog whisperer himself, Cesar Millan. The narrative is personal, but The Puppy Diaries is also a useful how-to manual for turning a rambunctious pup into a well-behaved bundle of joy.
Reviewed by Diane Prokop