In her storied journalism career, Jill Abramson has been an investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times and, as of this year, the first woman in the 160-year history of the Times to become promoted to executive editor.
But sometimes the most dogged of editors and reporters just needs, well, a dog.
Abramson’s version came in the form of a fuzzy, charismatic Golden Retriever puppy named Scout. It was this softer side of herself she chronicled in a yearlong weekly online column for the Times entitled “The Puppy Diaries.”
“I wouldn’t say it was a refuge from hard news, because I love hard news and thrive on it. But it was about a part of me that is very different from the hard-nosed, confident news editor,” says Abramson on the columns, which are the basis for her new book, “The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout,” out today.
Abramson sees “The Puppy Diaries” as a cross between a memoir and a manual. “I certainly hope it gives new dog parents — or owners, however they classify themselves — some practical guidance, but also helps them relax a little bit. They’ll read specifics [about Scout’s training] but they will also go through the voyage of someone who is a very, very busy person and a fellow ABBD — aging baby boomer with a dog — and I hope people will be able to relate to it.”
And as for the star canine herself, Abramson says Scout is “very into” all of the attention. “From the online column, she is used to people taking her photo and video and coming up to her,” she says. “But now, she’s ready for her close-up.”