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The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  772 ratings  ·  163 reviews
An instructive and marvelously entertaining chronicle of a puppy's first year, by the executive editor of The New York Times

One sparkling summer day, Jill Abramson brought home a nine-week-old golden retriever named Scout. Over the following year, as she and her husband raised their adorable new puppy, Abramson wrote a hugely popular column for The New York Times's websit
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Times Books (first published September 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.40  · 
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 ·  772 ratings  ·  163 reviews

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Oct 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dreck, how-to, dogs
Okay, my first posting was essentially a love letter to a golden I lost almost 2 years ago that still has me fully wrapped around the axle. Here's the real review: if the object of the writer is to inform or entertain and preferably both Abramson has come up woefully short. Jill, if you're listening you need to do more than put a cute photo on the dustjacket. Endless pages about the price of Purina Pro chow do not a book make. Most grating were her opinions on special services such as canine aqu ...more
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
The Puppy Diaries by 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 sam
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Naw! Puppy on the cover! Of course I was going to read this book. My love for animal biography/memoirs is insatiable. I haven't been able to walk past one in a store without buying it since Marley and Me. I'm not 100% sure, but I think I picked this one up second hand in Canberra a few weeks ago. I love that this is the story of Scout's first year. There is no graceful, aging pooch on its deathbed here. I love the truly puppy antics, the chewed shoes, the leash pulling, the love. I read animal s ...more
Deirdre Keating
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, dogs
What a curious book. I enjoyed it, but I'm in that state just before getting a dog where you soak up everything you can find to prepare in someway. I can't imagine recommending it to anyone else or referring back to it. It seems Abramson wrote a blog for the NYT (where she is the executive editor) on her puppy's first year, and naturally, was able to get it published as a book.

There's lots of jaw-dropping anecdotes about rich Manhattan dog owners (doggie hospice?! Indoor Swimming pools for dogs.
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Given my love of dogs (and dog stories that end with the dog still alive), I would have thought I would have loved this book. Alas, it was not to be. What I didn't like about it boiled down to one thing: Please don't act like you're "jes' folks" when you're really extraordinarily privileged. The gesture may be well-meaning, but it's condescending. Given the author's and her husband's careers, their multiple homes in pricey locales, and their ability for one of them to jet clear across the countr ...more
Megan Burback
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, 2-stars
When I first read the description of The Puppy Diaries I thought, hey this could be an interesting read. Maybe somewhat like Marley & Me. I thought the stories would be heartwarming and the dog’s personality would just jump out at you. But about thirty pages into the book I realized it wasn’t going to be that way.

To put it simply, it was boring. It came to a point where I had to force myself to continue to read it. Since the whole book is about the puppy, Scout, the reader has to feel connected
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a former (and future, again?) Puppy/Dog owner and lover, I could easily identify with many of the situations encountered by the author in The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout by Jill Abramson. It was a really nice break from the usual genres I read and brought back memories about our canine family members. While not intended to be any form of a how-to book on raising and training a pet, the author shares her personal experiences including successes and failures, the joy of bringing a ...more
Kay Cugini
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this book, golden retriever puppy, positive reinforcement training, ticks my boxes
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
When Jill Abramson introduced her new nine-week-old puppy to the followers of her blog on the New York Times's website, she was unprepared for the overwhelming response. Within an hour of being posted, the first puppy blog was the number one most e-mailed story on the Times's website. The Puppy Diaries is an outgrowth of those blog posts. This is the story of how Abramson and her husband adopted and raised the British Standard Golden Retriever which they named Scout after the character in To Kil ...more
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animal-rescue, dogs
Jill Abramson's chronicle of the first year living with her Golden Retriever, Scout, is not just another dog book. It's a story of grieving, and joy, humans and animals, and overcoming unexpected challenges.

Abramson tells a moving tale, from losing her beloved West Highland terrier, Buddy, to bringing home tiny puppy Scout, to all of the challenges of seeing Scout grow through illnesses to *very large* adulthood. Anecdotes abound throughout the book as Abramson and her husband examine the most p
Monika Kelemen
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club-a2a
I'm admittedly more of a cat person, but when my book club picked this title, I figured I was in for an entertaining read. My friend constantly entertains me with her puppy's mischievous shenanigans, so I was expecting a lot of sticky situations and embarrassing moments. Somehow though, the author manages to make this a mindnumbingly dull read and is herself an utterly unrelatable narrator. She tries to poke fun at the ridiculous expense some people incur to cater to their dogs, then does it her ...more
Doriana Bisegna
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
How could I possibly give Scout less than 4 stars...look at him!!! It would have been 5 but no one is more perfect tham my Sam and Giggio! This was a good book on a year well spent raising a pup!! Scout wasn's as humourous as John Grogan's Marley but a close second!! Scout is one lucky guy to have such great doggie parents and a book to boot....this is a fun read for anyone who loves and/or owns dogs...all the trials and tribulations...all the heartache and worry...all the joy and unconditional ...more
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
2.5 stars
The summary of the book called it "instructive and marvelously entertaining" and I'm not sure I would call it either. While raising Scout in the first year, they reached out to several puppy trainers to help deal with some of Scout's challenging behaviors. The author reiterates some of their learning, and you may pick up a tidbit or two, but there isn't enough instruction to use to train your dog. When I read "entertaining" I expected funny, amusing stories. Most of the stories and exam
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a great big sucker for a warm and tender animal story. This is no exception. The story of a lovely blonde golden retriever dog from meeting with the breeders and over one year old. What a cute little spirit of a dog. I laughed and laughed, and wanted to hug and pet him so much I could hardly stand it. His name is Scout and a precious dog he is. Not to say he was perfect, cause he wasn't. They had to work with him in training a lot, but he worked through some good trials that helped to make h ...more
Teresa Biggie
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was such a quick read... and who doesnt like a puppy book... especially when it is honest. She talks about all the trials and tribulations of that first year.. and any dog owner knows it but we do it anyway. I like how she was brutally honest about loving her first dog and wondering is she will ever bond to the new dog. Each dog is so special and different and our hearts have enough love in them for them all. And I love that she didn't know how to train her..... no one method is correct for a ...more
Jill Diamond
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to
The problem with many dog memoirs is that they like include a research paper mixed into the story. I’m not reading the book to learn facts, I’m reading it for your dog’s story. At least in this case the author is a reporter so providing extra researched info is what she does. I tried to be less judgy of her because of that. Also on the plus side is that I didn’t hate any of the people in the story. And Scout and her friends are dogs, so of course I liked them.
Mar 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting memoir of the challenges involved in the first year of a new puppies life. You definitely feel the discouragements and triumphs along the way. A new dog owner will find it fun to follow the narrative as Scout goes back and forth from country life to city life and must adjust to both.The author definitely attempts to be fair in her comments about different foods and training methods, almost too much so.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I listened to this while exercising. It was light and cute. I could relate to the chewing and pulling. The author certainly had more resources than the average person. The story was also about her grieving for her previous dog and how it takes time for the new dog fill the void in their own unique way.
Scout's story.

As a dog lover myself, I really enjoyed this book. I could relate to many of Scout's escapades and trials as the owner of prior dogs myself. In my case they were great dogs! The book was well written and fun to read. Would highly recommend it to anyone who loves dogs.
Missy Miedema
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably only entertaining for current or former dog owners. This book caused me to reflect on my own dogs, my relationship with my dogs, and our family's training methods (and consistency). Overall, this was an enjoyable, and, at times, educational book. ...more
Arjuna Murthy
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book was very heartwarming and does include tips on how to handle dogs. However, the story does not have a climax or a peak of the story so I find the book a bit draggy at times. However, it's a rather heartwarming book. ...more
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
There’s a ton of obnoxious name dropping in this book, and ‘look how important I am!” dripping off the pages, a few bits of helpful or interesting information, and definitely (the reason I read the book) the sense that I am not alone in the tumultuous land of raising a puppy.
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
4.5 Stars. I listened to this book while driving. It was exactly what I expected from a book called the puppy diaries: cute, insightful, and touching.
Hope Irvin Marston
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A delightful dog biography with lots of information on raising a puppy when you consider it as an integral part of your life.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dogs
Another wonderful dog!
Katie Avagliano
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very readable book about the first year of a pup's life and the trials of training. Don't worry: the dog doesn't die in this one. ...more
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rounded up from about 3.5 stars. Enjoyable nonfiction book about a wonderful pup & her peeps. Scout has a good life!
Bob Blanchard
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who can resist a good story about raising a puppy . . . especially from an author as skilled as Jill Abramson of NY Times fame.
Oct 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, dogs
Ever since my husband and I adopted our now 10 year old border collie Maverick from the Humane Society I have had a special place in my heart for stories about dogs, memoirs about the ways that dogs have changed people’s lives… pretty anything having to do with dogs, any type of dog. This year alone I have read a few dog memoirs and thoroughly enjoyed the stories shared by my fellow dog parents out there. When I given the book The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout for review I was thrille ...more
Orbs n Rings
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
An enchanting tale of the trials, tribulations and joys of raising a puppy.

In The Puppy Diaries you meet and get to tag along with the author Jill and her husband Henry as they raise their beautiful dog named Scout from puppy through early adulthood. Their story begins with their introduction of Buddy a feisty Westie, Jill's first dog. Scout however joined the Abramson's later in their life after they had raised their children and became empty-nesters. The story of Buddy left me teary eyed, as
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Jill Abramson is a senior lecturer at Harvard University. She also writes a bi-weekly column for The Guardian about US politics. She spent seventeen years in the most senior editorial positions at The New York Times, where she was the first woman to serve as Washington bureau chief, managing editor, and executive editor. Before joining the Times, she spent nine years at The Wall Street Journal.

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