Tom Ryan is the founder of the Newburyport Massachusetts newspaper The Undertoad and served as its publisher and editor for over a decade. In 2007 he sold the newspaper and moved to the White Mountains of New Hampshire with his dog, Atticus M. Finch. Over the last five years, Tom and Atticus have climbed more than 450 4,000-foot peaks.
After raising thousands of dollars for Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, the pair was inducted into the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) Hall of Fame as corecipients of the “Human Hero of the Year Award.” Tom currently writes the popular “The Adventures of Tom & Atticus” column in the NorthCountry News and Mountainside Guide and the blog “The Adventures of Tom and Atticus.” He and Atticus live in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Following Atticus is the real life tale of middle-aged newspaper editor Tom Ryan and an extraordinary and lovable miniature schnauzer named Atticus M. Finch. Facing questions about his life and following the death of a beloved friend, Ryan and Atticus set out to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s 4,000 foot peaks, twice, in the winter, to raise money for cancer. Can an overweight, tough-as-nails reporter and his twenty-five pound companion accomplish what most think to be an impossible quest? What follows is a series of remarkable adventures, covering the cannibalistic, mean streets of small-town politics to the treacherous, icy conditions of wintry mountain top terrain, which will test not only Tom and Atticus’s endurance but the bonds that tie them together.
The adventures that Ryan and Atticus share together will delight, entertain, and inspire. Ryan writes with such passion and enthusiasm about his love for the mountains, the relationships between fathers and sons, the inner workings of small-town politics, the loyalty of friendships, and one man’s unique relationship with a dog known as "the Little Giant". Rising above the plethora of dog books on the market, the story told is ultimately about one man’s transformation as he seeks to understand his place in the world and the little dog who guides him on that journey. After getting to know Atticus, the reader will want to follow him as well. -Bob