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

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

by Tom Ryan


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After a close friend died of cancer, middle-aged, overweight, acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan decided to pay tribute to her in a most unorthodox manner. Ryan and his friend, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch, would attempt to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. It was an adventure of a lifetime, leading them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. At the heart of the amazing journey was the extraordinary relationship they shared, one that blurred the line between man and dog.

Following Atticus is an unforgettable true saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family, as one remarkable animal opens the eyes and heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman to the world’s beauty and its possibilities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061997112
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/07/2012
Series: P.S.
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 54,434
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

Tom Ryan served as publisher and editor of the Newburyport, Massachusetts, newspaper The Undertoad for more than a decade. In 2007 he sold the newspaper and 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.

Table of Contents

Prologue x

Part I Innocence Lost, Innocence Found

1 A Door Opens 3

2 "Carry Him Everywhere You Go" 24

3 Big Changes 38

4 A Gift 53

5 "People Die Up There in the Winter" 65

6 For The Kids 84

7 The Greatest Quest 93

8 The Little Giant 99

9 Stars to Light the Way 108

10 The M. Is Important 115

11 "Our Faith Comes in Moments …" 121

12 Atticus in Disguise 127

13 The Spell of Agiocochook 131

14 Five Astounding Days 142

15 "Thank You, Friend" 147

Part III Light over Dark

16 A Heartrending Turn of Events 155

17 "I'm Not Leaving Him Alone" 165

18 The Friends of Atticus 169

19 Soul Work 175

20 Bread Crumbs 183

21 Dinner with Frank Capra 189

22 The Promise 194

Part III Full Circle

23 A New Quest 203

24 The Witch 207

25 Magic Is Where You Find It 214

26 Death on Franconia Ridge 219

27 My Last Letter Home 228

28 Those Eyes, Those Beautiful Eyes 235

29 Mount Washington 243

30 Good-bye 247

31 Heartache 253

32 The Great Art of Sauntering 261

33 Paige 266

34 Home 271

Acknowledgments 274

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