In Her Memoir, Martha Teichner Turned the Lens on Her Own Life
WOMAN’S BEST FRIENDS As a longtime correspondent for CBS, Martha Teichner has covered some of the world’s biggest news events, including the Persian Gulf war, the election of Nelson Mandela and the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In her first book, “When Harry Met Minnie,” she tells a story that happened closer to home.
On July 23, 2016, Teichner and her bull terrier, Minnie, were at the farmer’s market in Manhattan’s Union Square when she ran into a friend who told her about another bull terrier, Harry, who was in need of a new home; his owner was dying of cancer and desperate to secure a stable future for her pup. Teichner agreed to meet the pair, setting into motion the unexpected friendship and canine romance she chronicles in her memoir, which recently appeared on the hardcover nonfiction list.
“It’s a little story in a big city,” Teichner said in a phone interview while cuddling with Girly, her latest in a long line of occasionally problematic, deeply beloved bull terriers. “So often people think of New York as an anonymous place. But being willing to look around and see the possibility of reaching across the divide between yourself and other people is a wonderful thing. It can happen anywhere, not just this city.”
In their early meetings, Teichner recalled, Minnie completely ignored Harry and he was only interested in the treats in Teichner’s pocket. But by the third or fourth time Harry came to visit, the pair had warmed up to each other. Teichner said, “To see the dogs start to play, to see them lying on the floor side by side, with their paws intertwined, the physical comfort between them — that’s when I realized this was a love story. They adored each other. They spoke telepathic dog language.”
Although the connection led to the pain of losing a friend — and later, a dog — Teichner has never regretted saying yes that day at the greenmarket. “It’s not always something people do. You get mired in your routine, your obligations, your rut if you will,” she explained. “But the minute I opened up that door, I knew something special and important and intense was about to happen. Happy endings come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. I consider what happened to me a happy experience even though there was death involved.”
Teichner wrote “When Harry Met Minnie” while drinking ginger tea and consulting her old diaries for detail. She said, “I wrote the book to keep living the story. I was retelling it to myself.”
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