Today, the pages of the Gray Lady feature two hard-hitting stories on the canine companions of some very important people: Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who doesn’t seem to like his dogs much at all, and Jill Abramson, who loves her dog enough to write a book about him. Abramson also happens to be the executive editor of the New York Times, the very newspaper that gave her pet memoir, Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout, a completely uncritical rave review today. (Update: Make that two!)
Bonnie and Clyde are the mayor’s dogs, given to him as a Christmas present four years ago by his girlfriend Diana Taylor. “Diana’s dogs,” the old grouch has been known to assert. A Bloomberg spokesperson told the Times gruffly, “Ms. Taylor’s dogs have nothing to do with the mayor’s public life.” Bloomberg merely tolerates them, the paper reports.
Abramson, meanwhile, is a doter, and apparently an expert chronicler of a dog owner’s life, at least according to Marley & Me author John Grogan, who wrote today’s review. He proclaims her Diaries are “a worthy addition the crowded so-called dogoir genre, primarily for the candid glimpse it offers into the softer, personal — yes, even cuddly — side of one of the world’s most influential opinion shapers.” The book is “amply researched and written with informed confidence,” and was written “with intelligence and grace … steering clear of sappy land mines.”
Abramson, who once proclaimed, “Times blogs are never personal diaries,” based the book on what the reviewer calls her “popular online column,” also known as a blog, which ran on the Times website under the same name.
Update: One review of Abramson’s Puppy Diaries in the newspaper she runs just was not sufficient, so here’s another, from this weekend’s Sunday Book Review. This time, writing about dogs is compared to writing about sex: “The opportunity to humiliate oneself lurks around every paragraph.” But Abramson is “confident of her congenial audience” and comes across “[u]naffected, unironic and lovingly goofy.” This book sounds so good.