Clara: The Early Years: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life

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9780679452614: Clara: The Early Years: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life

Pugs were dogs. Cute dogs, willful dogs, lovable to be sure, but I was a Human. I was in charge.
        Then along came Clara, and all bets were off.
        Once a pug owner, always a pug owner--or so thought Margo Kaufman, having shared her home with the lovable snub-faced imps since her college days. But it was not until the 1992 arrival of Clara--petite, imperious, whip-smart, and seductive--that Margo found what it meant to be a pug parent: that a pug could rule her life, and perhaps the world as well.
        Clara, the Early Years is the hilarious story of how a glossy-black, twelve-pound package of canine energy took over Margo's heart and home while charming the pants off the rest of the world. From commandeering the dressing rooms at Saks (where a personal shopper offers Clara Evian in a cut-crystal bowl), to accompanying Margo on her first book tour, to an appearance on PrimeTime Live (where Margo plays a supporting role), the indomitable Clara establishes herself as a world-class personality, a star of the first order. But there is one event Clara cannot upstage, as Margo and her husband, Duke, travel to Russia to adopt an infant boy, and all of them learn new meanings for parent, family, and home.
        Full of the kind of uproarious observations and brilliant insights that have won Margo Kaufman's books and commentary legions of loyal followers, Clara, the Early Years is a laugh-filled portrait of a singularly memorable pet.

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Review:

You would think that a 12-pound dog would know her place in the world. Well, you obviously haven't met Clara, the pug that rules writer Margo Kaufman's life and the topic of discussion in Clara: The Early Years, Kaufman's hilarious account of living with the imperious pug. Kaufman, author of This Damn House! and the Hollywood correspondent for Pug Talk magazine, admits to being the "Official Pug Lollipop," a fact that Clara takes full advantage of. From their first meeting in a New York hotel room, Kaufman knows that Clara is "different": "Five minutes after her arrival, she inspected our junior suite like Leona Helmsley checking to see if the chocolate mints on the pillows were lined up at the right angles. Clara noticed the spacious queen-sized bed, the plush carpet, and the cozy loveseat in my sitting room. She beheld the cold hard floor--tile, not even marble--in her tiny bathroom. And she realized that the Human had put her own comfort over the pug's--a serious error that must be corrected at once so the Human would not make this mistake again." Sure, most people would have run screaming from the little Hitler, but not Kaufman. She's instantly smitten with the tiny, "bat-eared," "jack-o'-lantern"-toothed puppy, as the whole world soon would be. Joining Kaufman on book tours, stealing the show with her designer doggy cap and natural on-air charm, posing for photographs (to be used in dog-food endorsements, no less), and generally hamming it up and handing out orders, Clara comfortably stakes her claim to the Kaufman clan--including fellow pug Sophie. But when Kaufman and her husband decide to adopt Nicholas, a Siberian orphan, Clara feels the limelight slipping away. Wrapped in bureaucratic red tape, the adoption process involves not only months of paper pushing but a trip to Siberia that just about puts Clara over the top. Luckily, the persnickety pug accepts Nicholas into the fold and all is well in Clara's universe. As for the Kaufmans, well, indentured servitude to a pug isn't so bad. Kaufman's witty observations--combined with Clara's unforgettable antics--make for a memorable read. --Stefanie Hargreaves

From the Back Cover:

Praise for Margo Kaufman

1-800-Am-I-Nuts?

"Lovers of sophisticated humor who haven't yet made Kaufman's acquaintance have a treat in store."--Publishers Weekly

This Damn House!

"Ms. Kaufman's story is harrowing but full of laughs." --The New York Times Book Review

"Kaufman [is] a wickedly funny woman." --Newsday

"Kaufman's close encounters with surveyors, carpenters, contractors, bankers and architects . . . are often hilarious." --People

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