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Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Puppy Diaries: Review And Giveaway!

** See instructions at the bottom of this post to enter to win a copy of "The Puppy Diaries" **

Doesn't everyone wish they had made the time to chronicle their puppy's first year in photos and in writing? Well, Jill Abramson, an award-winning investigative reporter, author of several best-selling books, and now executive editor of The New York Times did just that-and more.

Ms. Abramson, and Scout (all grown up). Photo by James Estrin courtesy of The New York Times

When Abramson and her husband, Henry, picked up their new English Golden Retriever pup, Scout, in June of 2009, she already was the managing editor of The Times and had the luxury and pleasure of putting Scout's puppy antics before a world-wide audience - within a month of Scout's arrival, Abramson started  the soon-to-be wildly popular online Times column called "The Puppy Diaries". In fact, it became so popular that when Abramson invited it's avid readers to share their puppy photos and stories, their enthusiasm crashed the site -so we're guessing that it was the natural next step to expand this column into a book.

What we appreciate about "The Puppy Diaries" is the candor with which Abramson writes - she lets us into her life to such an extent that by books end, we feel that if we saw her and Scout on the street, she'd be happy to stop and continue filling us in on their lives. She considers the book "a mixture of manual and memoir" and indeed, Abramson masterfully weaves together both-the result is a charming, first person account of the frustrations and delight of raising a puppy to adulthood.

Right from the beginning, we learn that Abramson and her husband are empty-nesters and that she also recently lost her long-time canine companion, Buddy, a feisty West Highland terrier, to old age. And only two months after Buddy's death, Abramson was hit by a truck near Times Square and nearly died, her recovery requiring months of rehabilitation. Enter the perfect antidote: a bouncing blond ball of lovable fur, otherwise known as a Golden Retriever puppy.

While "The Puppy Diaries" isn't exactly a knee-slapper, we loved Abramson's brand of dry, often self-deprecating humor, like when she admits to feeling a bit intimidated when filling out the required papers to purchase Scout, and especially when they arrived for the in-person interview, clinging to any sign that they had passed inspection, like when the breeder asked whether they had picked out a name: ("Clearly a hopeful sign!").

And you can't help but commune with a couple who try so hard to do the right things for their dog, researching everything from pet nutrition to socialization techniques with the bevy of experts that Abramson had the opportunity to interview-and letting us in on the answers. We only wish that it hadn't taken her husband and her so long to realize that they had a big, strong dog on their hands, whose boisterous, lovable personality could still cause the occasional catastrophe with just a yank of her leash. We were reminded of the opening of every "B movie thriller", when the young, carefree couple insists on moving into the house on Elm Street where the double murder-suicide took place-everyone but them seems to know what will happen...

Actually, we loved every minute of reading this warm and informative book, and if you're a dog-lover willing to learn and grow, you'll succeed right along with the three of them. For more information, check out one of the reviews of "The Puppy Diaries" in The New York Times, written by John Grogan, author of "Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog", right here: www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/books/the-puppy-diaries-by-jill-abramson-review.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=John%20Grogan&st=cse

Now we're ready for the giveaway of one copy of: "The Puppy Diaries: Raising A Dog Named Scout"!

And as usual, we here at Bocci's Beefs make it easy to enter-we don't want you to spend all day filling out forms galore just to enter our giveaway. We do have a few simple requirements to enter, however, that should take you no more than two minutes. This giveaway will run from tonight, Saturday November 5, through Tuesday evening November 15 at 7:00 pm EST, so you and all of your friends will have plenty of time to enter. The winner will be chosen by computerized random drawing and announced within 24 hours of the evening of November 15. How's that?!

Here are the few simple requirements to enter: Just complete ALL of the sign-ups listed below and then leave ONE COMMENT per person.
1. Sign up for our new e-mail/newsletters-see top of left sidebar for form.
2.  "Follow" Bocci's Beefs on both GFC and Networked Blogs.
3. "Like" Bocci's Beefs Facebook Page-see top of right sidebar.
4. "Follow" us on Twitter-see top of right sidebar directly under Facebook sign-up.
5. Comment on this post, indicating you'd like to enter.

That's it! Good luck to all of you!


Molly the Airedale said...

It sounds like a wonderful book!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Unknown said...

Love the cover of the book!

Sagira said...

We would like to enter but are not sure what some of the things are that you request people follow you under. But hope whoever wins enjoys the book, sounds like a fun one to read. :)

Mandy said...

I would love to enter! I love reading especially books about dogs :)

mrsvanwhowho at gmail dot com

Jill Watkins said...

This book sounds great- I wish I was smart enough to have taken pics of all my dogs as they grew up!


Sunnymay said...

I have a soft spot for dog stories every since the age of reading. All the dog books by Alfred Lord Tennyson were part of my youth and I dearly loved the story, Lad a Dog. A blue tick hound was my first dog followed by a very smart border collie who ended up herding the cat. James Herriot: The Life of a Country Vet is very sweet along with Only One Woof by James Herriot.

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