Courtesy of Beaverdale Books
by Harriet Leitch
By Jill Abramson
Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New
York Times, decided to chronicle the first year
in the life of Scout, her Golden Retriever puppy.
Abramson and her husband had become empty-nesters
and were urged to get a puppy. As many baby
boomers have found out, a puppy can become a
“fur” child and their demands can often echo
prior experiences in dealing with children.
The book follows the trial and tribulations
of raising a puppy as Abramson and her husband
eagerly learn how to train their platinum-blond
ball of energy, seeking assistance from friends
and experts. They were introduced to the clicker
method, a positive reinforcement approach that
helped them deal with many early issues. However,
pulling on the leash while on walks proved to
be a persistent problem, exacerbated by Scout’s
entry into adolescence. Abramson and her husband
deal admirably with this stage, demonstrating
patience, persistence and using as much praise
as possible. However, the couple also realizes
when additional expert assistance is needed.
An interesting part deals with methods to ensure
they were able to handle Scout in the often-dangerous
New York traffic.
“The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout”
is an excellent book for new puppy owners to
get grounded in current methods of training.
A favorite quote from the book describes raising
a puppy best, “no matter who you are or what
you do for a living, it is invariably humbling
to try to persuade a puppy to do your bidding.”