There are true fairy tales. Stories that exist because impossible-to-explain coincidences change everything. Except in real life, not all of them have conventional, happily-ever-after endings. When Harry Met Minnie is that kind of fairy tale, with the vibrant, romantic New York City backdrop of its namesake, the movie When Harry Met Sally, and the bittersweet wisdom of Tuesdays with Morrie. There's a special camaraderie among early-morning dog walkers. Gathering at dog runs in the park, or strolling through the farmer's market at Union Square before the bustling crowd appears, fellow pet owners become familiar-as do the personalities of their beloved animals. In this special space and time, a chance encounter with an old acquaintance changed Martha Teichner's world. As fate would have it, her friend knew someone who was dying of cancer, from exposure to toxins after 9/11, and desperate to find a home for her dog, Harry. He was a Bull Terrier--the same breed as Martha's dear Minnie. Would Martha consider giving Harry a safe, loving new home? In short order, boy dog meets girl dog, the fairy tale part of this story. But there is so much more to this book. After Martha agrees to meet Harry and his owner Carol, what begins as a transaction involving a dog becomes a deep and meaningful friendship between two women with complicated lives and a love of Bull Terriers in common. Through the heartbreak and grief of Carol's illness, the bond that develops changed Martha's life, Carol's life, Minnie's life, Harry's life. As it changed Carol's death as well. In this rich and touching narrative, Martha considers the ways our stories are shaped by the people we meet, and the profound love we can find by opening our hearts to unexpected encounters.
In the midstof a global pandemic and social unrest, cities suddenly seem out of fashion. Stories abound of urban dwellers chucking it all and heading to the country, seeking a safer remove from contagions and other complications of crowded society. That’s why Martha Teichner’s When Harry Met Minnie is such a breath of fresh air. Short and sweet, it’s ostensibly a memoir about an oddball canine romance. Its deeper subject, though, is the romance of cities, particularly New York, where the author has lived for decades ... Does one have to be a dog lover to appreciate When Harry Met Minnie? It might help, but Ms. Teichner’s book is also—perhaps even largely—about other things. It’s a valentine to New York and a meditation on human friendship. Without a traditional family, Fertig, ever the resourceful designer, fashions one from her Gotham social circle, and these tender souls faithfully nurse her in her final days. As the world slowly emerges from the imposed isolations of Covid-19, When Harry Met Minnie is a timely refresher course in the power of community.
Teichner’s main themes are sure to warm readers ... Adding to the book’s allure is the nostalgia of its pre-pandemic setting, the story unfolding in a Manhattan still bustling at full speed ... Teichner brings an enjoyably light (though sometimes too cutesy) touch ... From Carol and Harry, Teichner has learned that we all have the capacity to create and build new friendships and attachments at any age or stage of life. That such rewards are possible is the inspirational lesson for all the characters in — and readers of — this touching saga.
One of the delights of life in a big city is the chance encounter. For Martha Teichner, one such interaction changed her life, and When Harry Met Minnie: A True Story of Love and Friendship is her heartfelt tribute to that singular experience ... When Harry Met Minnie is often a heart-rending read—humans and animals suffer, die and grieve. It’s also studded with wry wit, meaningful musings on friendship and fascinating insights into the author’s and Carol’s lives and work. Teichner already has fans from her decades at CBS, but she’s sure to gain even more with this lovely, moving ode to the beauty and pain of loving our fellow creatures, whether human, canine or otherwise.