The Puppy Diaries by Jill Abramson

The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout - Jill Abramson

Narrated by Beth MacDonald
Length: Unabridged 5 hours on 4 CD’s
Published by Macmillan Audio, 2011

When NY Times editor Jill Abramson lost her beloved westie Buddy to illness she didn’t want to take the advice of her friends and family to “get a new dog”. She was still grieving and secretly unsure if she could ever love another dog as much as she had loved her beloved Buddy. I think anyone who has ever bonded with a dog, only to lose them, has experienced these same painful feelings. But before long her husband gets it in his head to purchase a purebred golden retriever pup and it seems he wears her down because she eventually agrees and these two 50-something empty nesters suddenly find themselves with a new white-gold bundle of furry joy whom they name Scout.

This memoir all about new puppyhood is read capably by Beth MacDonald who has a pleasant voice and kept me engaged. Author Abramson goes on to tell us all about her new life with Scout, a life she wasn’t quite prepared for, which she readily admits. She details Scout’s first friends, her socialization, food choices, vet trips, doggie daycare, etc. There isn’t a whole lot of new information here and if that’s what you are looking for you may be disappointed. This book is exactly what the title says it is “a diary of a dog named Scout”.

Abramson and her hubby are well off but she is down to earth and a little clueless at times which I enjoyed. She does drop a few famous names but if I knew those people I might be tempted to do the same. Hubby is the one who wanted the dog so desperately but as it often goes he seems to drop all of the responsibility and hard stuff on his wife’s shoulders and she is recovering from a car accident! That was not cool and his attitude bugged me.

Scout has boundless energy and gets into all sorts of minor mishaps like any normal puppy and though each little story is interesting enough there was really nothing new here and the author has a tendency to repeat her information. Later I realized this book was put together from a popular column the author wrote for the NY Times which makes a lot of sense. It isn’t always cohesive and is more down of a recounting of the facts than an emotion filled memoir. This book would’ve been a keeper if the author had let more emotion seep into in her writing and spent more time helping us get to know sweet but naughty Scout in a more intimate way. It was a cute enough read but it won’t stick with me.

On the plus side it is never saccharinely sweet and it ends with the puppy alive and well. Whew! So many of these dog books end with death and I just can’t deal with that right now. This one started with the aftermath of Buddy’s loss but ended with a bright new beginning. Read it for the joy of experiencing a new pup through someone else’s eyes without having to buy new furniture or pick up the poop :)