paperback release of Huck

Janet Elder's 5 Loves and a Dud

We're suckers for a cute dog almost as much as we're suckers for a good book. Combine the two and you've got Huck:The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family--and a Whole Town--About Hope and Happy Endings, the fantastic New York Times bestseller by Janet Elder. We couldn't be more thrilled to have Janet as our guest today sharing her 5 Loves and a Dud and celebrating the paperback release of Huck (out today). But before we get into all that, can we just stop for a second and talk about this picture of Huck ?  


Could he be any freakin' cuter? Just wook at that wittle face. Aww...

We know. We know. We're a little crazy for Huck over here. But you'll get it as soon as you read this amazing story that's about so much more than a dog that runs away. It's about love, hope and the kindness of strangers. Be prepared. This book will make you laugh, cry and want a dog just like Huck! (Who even has his own Twitter account. Follow him here.)

Here's the skinny on Huck:  Huck is the true story of a family’s desperate search for their eight month old, nine pound puppy lost in the wild. It is a harrowing adventure story. It is a love story. Michael was four when his relentless campaign for a dog began. At seven he made a PowerPoint presentation, “My Dog,” with headings like “A Childhood Without a Dog is a Sad Thing.” His parents, Janet and Rich, were steadfast; bringing a dog into their fast-paced New York City lives was utterly impractical.

On a trip to Italy, however, a chance happening leads Janet to reconsider, a decision then hastened by a diagnosis of breast cancer. Janet decides the excitement of a new puppy will be the perfect antidote to the strain on the family of months of arduous treatments for her illness. The prospect of a new puppy will be an affirmation of life, a powerful talisman for them all. On Thanksgiving weekend, soon after the grueling months of treatments are over, Huck, a sweet, mischievous, red-haired, toy poodle joins the family and wins everyone’s heart.

A few months later the family ventures to baseball’s spring training, leaving Huck with Janet’s sister in Ramsey, New Jersey. Barely twenty-four hours into the trip, Janet receives the dreaded phone call: Huck has slipped through the backyard fence and run away.

Brokenhearted and frantic, the family catches the first plane to New Jersey to begin a search for their lost puppy. It is a race against time, for little Huck is now lost in an area entirely unfamiliar to him, facing the threat of bears and coyotes, swamps and freezing temperatures, rain and fast cars.

Moved by the family’s plight, strangers – from school children to townspeople to the police lieutenant – join the search, one that proves to be an unyielding test of determination and faith...

Sound like your kind of story? If you leave a comment, you can win one of five copies of Huck. We'll randomly select the winners on Sunday, October 8th after 6PM EST.



1. I love to ride my bike in Central Park. The loop around the park is roughly 6 miles. It’s a modest workout unless you go around the loop two or three times which I often do. Pedaling through the rolling hills and gentle valleys of the park I am able to escape the confines of life lived in an apartment in the concrete canyons of the city.  A good ride frees both body and soul.

2. I love to read on the subway. When I first moved to New York and started taking the subway every day, I was struck by how many people were reading. Step onto any subway car at any time of the day or night and you are likely to see people reading newspapers in many different languages, you’ll see kids reading comics and adults glued to the latest thriller. I often catch up on my periodical reading, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Economist as well as the guilty pleasures of Vogue, In Style and People.

3. I love Spring flowers -- all of them — tulips, daffodils, cherry blossoms, lilacs, azaleas. If I had a yard, I’d plant them. The winters are too long and too dark. The first crocus always feels like a gift, a reminder that light is on its way.

 4. I love to watch The Office with my son. We’ve been watching it together for years and years. All through his high school years it was a chance to do something together that had no relevance to what either of us was doing the rest of the day or the rest of the week. It was a time out for something silly which often is just what is needed.

5. I love chocolate chip cookies. Who doesn’t? Best warm with milk. I don’t like them too loaded up with chips or butter though. It has to be the right balance. I know I sound pretty finicky, but they have to be home made or why waste the calories?


I can’t stand waiting of any kind. I always stand on the wrong line in the supermarket. I hate waiting for a table in a restaurant, or the bus or an elevator.

Thanks, Janet! (And Huck!)


Liz & Lisa

To find out more about the lovely and talented Janet Elder (who also happens to be a senior editor at the New York Times!) check out her website and follow her on Facebook.