Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout - Abramson

Jill Abramson is known for her work as the executive editor of The New York Times and as a "hard-nosed" investigative reporter. In her book, The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout she steps out of these roles just a bit and writes a memoir.

After the difficult loss of her West Highland terrier, Buddy, Abramson is not sure she can open her heart to another dog.  As she watches her children leave the nest for lives and careers of their own, she and her husband Henry decide that another pet is just the thing they need.

They embark on the journey of raising Scout, a golden retriever puppy, whom they purchase from a Boston-area dog breeder. The Puppy Diaries chronicles their first year with Scout. True to her investigative background Abramson delves into such issues as breeders vs. shelters, pack-leader vs. positive-reinforcement training, and types of dog food. Throughout the journey, she discovers that even in middle age you continue to learn, and you continue to open your heart to love.

This book was interesting. It was neither the how-to book of Cesar Millan or the pet humor of John Grogan. Nor was it completely a memoir either. Abramsom tells us of her experiences, while retaining an investigative outlook on the learning process. When she is unsure of the right pet-parenting move, she interviews experts to gather their thoughts, but then doesn't bore her reading audience with the details.  And though the subject lends itself to humor-filled moments, she pretty much avoids them and gives the straight facts. Despite that, the book was quite entertaining.

I enjoyed reading about Scout's first year and could clearly imagine his hi-jinx. I learned a bit about raising a puppy, particularly one of such a size as a golden retriever, and got a small peek into the life of a high-powered newspaper editor, while also envisioning the life of a fifty-something empty-nester. All very interesting subjects, skillfully melded into one brief book.

Overall, it was a good read for pet lovers.  However if you are looking for a laugh-out-loud puppy story or a self-help pet-parenting book, this is just not the one to choose. If you are looking for a quick read, with not too much emotional tugging (which I was), this is a great read.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

More opinions at:
The New York Times (John Grogan) 



lancy said...

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