Following Atticus

Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship

By Tom Ryan
(William Morrow & Company, Hardcover, 9780061997105, 288pp.)

Publication Date: September 2011

List Price: $25.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the October 2011 Indie Next List
“Reader, beware! This is not just another dog book! When Tom Ryan welcomed Atticus M. Finch, a miniature schnauzer, into his life, little did he know what courage, pluck, and unwavering love he would get in the bargain. This is a beautifully written book about the very special bond between a man and his dog, an amazing quest, and the mountains that healed them.”
-- Barbara Drake, White Birch Books, North Conway, NH


Description

In the mountains Atticus became more of what he d always been, and I became less less frantic, less stressed, less worried, and less harried. I felt comfortable letting him lead, and he seemed to know what I needed. He always chose the best route, if ever there was a question, and my only job was to follow.

Middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan and miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire's four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. In a rare test of endurance, Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home. . . .

At the heart of this remarkable journey is an extraordinary relationship that blurs the line between man and dog, an indelible bond that began when Tom, following the advice of Atticus's breeder, carried the pup wherever he went for the first month of their life together. Following Atticus is ultimately a story of transformation: how a five-pound puppy pierced the heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman, opening his eyes to the world's beauty and its possibilities. It was a change that led to a new life among the mountains; an unforgettable saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family; and an inspiring tale of finding love and discovering your true self.




About the Author
Tom Ryan is the founder of the Newburyport, Massachusetts, newspaper the Undertoad and served as its publisher and editor for more than a decade. In 2007 he moved to the White Mountains of New Hampshire with miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch. Over the last five years, Tom and Atticus have climbed more than 450 four-thousand-foot peaks. After raising thousands of dollars for Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, the pair was inducted into the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Hall of Fame. Tom currently writes the popular The Adventures of Tom & Atticus column in the Northcountry News and Mountainside Guide, and the blog The Adventures of Tom & Atticus. Tom and Atticus live in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
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