I recently finished rereading Clara, the Early Years: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life by Margo Kaufman. On the first go-around, I chuckled or laughed aloud on almost page, and this time was no different. There is something about Kaufman’s droll, deadpan style that I find enormously funny.
A longtime pug owner, Kaufman well knew how a pug could effortlessly worm its way into your heart. And Clara, a petite black pug, was craftier than the rest of her breed. She writes that before Clara, “I was not a Pet Parent. The 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.”
Tucked into by her Sherpa Bag, Clara accompanies Kaufman, a columnist, on airplane journeys, to book signings, to TV and radio stations, and even to Saks. She leads a charmed life until the dreaded day when Kaufman and her husband return from Russia bearing their newly adopted infant son. Happily, Clara adapts to life with baby and so does Kaufman, who writes, “I had spent 20 years caring for small creatures, nurturing them, attending to their every need. And in exchange, they prepared me well.”