A DOG HAS ITS DAY: New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson’s new book, “The Puppy Diaries,” will be released in two weeks. The book is about Abramson’s obsession with dogs and the challenges in raising her young golden retriever named Scout. The following are some observations:
• Abramson’s descriptions of New Yorker writer Jane Mayer: “Best friend”; “Dog nut”
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• Number of Westie-emblazoned socks that Times book critic Michiko Kakutani gave Abramson: dozens
• Number of golden-retriever ceramic plates the columnist Maureen Dowd gave Abramson: one
• Most satisfying score-settling moment: “Jill you handled Howell Raines. You can handle a puppy.” — Jane Mayer
• Abramson’s greatest purple-prose moment: “The soulful brown eyes that greeted me had long lashes that gave Scout a sultry, flirtatious look; she was a canine version of Veronica Lake, down to her blonde, silky fur.”
• Name that Times national editor Sam Sifton refers to Abramson as in book: “Pal”
• Restaurant that Sifton took Abramson to when he was food critic: Maialino
• Number of stars Sifton gave Maialino: two
• People whom Abramson credits for inspiring her to write “The Puppy Diaries”: op-ed editor Trish Hall, reporter Erica Goode and Bill Keller’s wife, Emma Keller, who “encouraged me to turn the [nytimes.com] columns into a book.”
• Total number of mentions for Arthur Sulzberger Jr.: 0
• Non-Times media people mentioned in book: BusinessWeek editor Ellen Pollack (“my pal and neighbor”); New York Magazine editor John Homans (for his “perceptive” story on dog ownership); Wall Street Journal editor Alan Murray (for an anecdote from 1995 when he was “my then boss in the Washington bureau” at the Journal); Wendy Wasserstein biographer Julie Salamon (a former colleague and friend at a dog run).
• Abramson on how being gaga for puppies interfered with work: “Bill Keller, my boss and the paper’s executive editor, told me that he noticed a sudden rise in the number of dog stories being pitched for the front page. To curb the trend, he urged me to recuse myself from any discussion about a proposed dog story.”
• Scout’s home base: apartment in TriBeCa; farmhouse in Connecticut.
• Type of mattress Scout urinates on: Abramson’s Swedish Duxiana.