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"The Puppy Diaries": Learning to Raise a Dog

New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson shares the story of the first year with her dog, Scout

“It is simply breathtaking how much a puppy learns and changes in the first year,” Jill Abramson observes towards the end of “The Puppy Diaries.” She then reflects on how much she and her husband, Henry, learned and changed along with that puppy, a golden retriever they named Scout.

Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times and an award-winning author, says the book grew out of the series of columns she started when she and her husband welcomed a 9-week-old golden retriever into their family. The columns struck a chord: Dog lovers from coast to coast responded with emails, letters, and pictures of their own dogs.

Meet Jill Abramson and Wayne Pacelle in New York City on October 11 »

A new pack of friends

“When we encountered strangers on the street or in a park who also had dogs," Abramson noticed, "we often struck up animated conversations about issues small and large that we invariably had in common.”

You can teach a young dog (and older humans) new tricks

What Abramson learned—and shares with her readers in "The Puppy Diaries"—is how much richer her family would be when it included a dog. She writes that she and her husband “Came to understand that everything we do is more fun and interesting when Scout is by our side.”

Abramson also received a tutorial in the shared rewards of opening your heart to a canine. By the end of the year, she finds that “Just as our love for [Scout] grew to be almost boundless, she became unfailingly loyal and perceptive about our needs and desires.”

And finally, Abramson realized the commitment of time, energy, and emotions that is essential to learning how to train a dog. For a powerful editor, it was humbling to face how much she needed to change her own behavior if she wanted to change her puppy’s behavior.

A story of love and work

“The Puppy Diaries” is a loving tribute to Scout (and Abramson’s deeply mourned first dog, Buddy), but it’s also a serious examination of the effort required to get the most out of sharing your home and heart with a dog. Abramson makes you believe that the rewards are well worth that effort.

Meet Abramson and Wayne Pacelle

HSUS President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle, will interview Abramson, followed by questions from the audience and a book signing.

When: October 11, 2011, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: McNally Jackson Booksellers, 52 Prince St., New York, N.Y. 10012

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