There are moments in your life where time stops and you remember every single detail.
I can remember with vivid clarity the morning the Challenger exploded and the details of 9/11 are seared on my brain.
The first time Hubby kissed me.
We all have those times where events transpire in a way that almost guarantee you will never forget where you were when you heard the news. It’s like The Universe is afraid you won’t attach enough relevance to the information you receive so she says, “Imma make sure she doesn’t forget this shit.” And then The Universe has a big old laugh at your expense. But, it works, and, thanks to The Universe and her sly ways, I will always remember the day a literary agent contacted me about my memoir.
Because it’s the day I also realized that Daisy The Shih Tzu is a murderer.
A little back story, if you’ll indulge me.
I have been toying with writing a book for years and though I’ve had success with my freelancing career, writing a whole book felt daunting. But, I have a story to tell and, after some soul searching and armed with a little nudging from another writer friend, I put feelers out to a few agents about a year ago.
And I was immediately shot down. I was told I wasn’t a strong enough writer and that my voice “wasn’t loud enough to jump off the crowded mom blog shelves.” Clearly, that agent had no idea who I am: we all know I have a bigger mouth than pretty much anyone on the internet. Not going to lie, though: I was hurt and stung.
I swallowed my humiliation and limped to the corner after such a harsh assessment of my words. And pretty much gave up on the idea of writing a book.
But, The Universe works in mysterious ways. Oh, yes, she does.
It simply wasn’t my time. Yet.
Enter Daisy The Shih Tzu. She bounded into our lives shortly after my ill fated book proposal nightmare and is the member of the family who cares the least about my writing. She is more concerned with her collection of single socks and whether she’ll get away with pooping in the dining room. She doesn’t care about my deadlines when she’s demanding belly rubs and thinks nothing of knocking my laptop off my lap so she can get comfortable.
She is also, it would seem, a murderer.
And, she certainly didn’t consider my feelings the day she decided she was going to
make friends murder a baby bunny in our yard.
Take a good look and memorize her face. She’s ferocious.
The day before I found out Daisy has a murderous streak, I had gathered the courage to query a few more agents about my book, a full year after the blow to my confidence. As I hit send, I said a prayer to The Universe and looked over at Daisy, who was snoozing on the floor of my office. Her big brown eyes and funny underbite seemed to say, “You done now? Can I go to the out now?” With one more prayer to The Universe, I acquiesced to Daisy’s request for a walk.
On the fateful day, I let Daisy out in the same manner I do every morning. As I followed her, coffee mug in hand, I noted the crisp morning air and the smell of spring flowers. As I watched her sniff around our deck, the hair on my neck stood up as her sniffing seemed more intentional than usual.
And then I saw the object of her attention.
A baby bunny.
It all happened so fast.
Daisy scooped up the bunny and trotted around the yard, excited to have found a chew toy with moving parts. Her tail wagging, she darted away from me every time I tried to approach and save Baby Thumper.
I didn’t realize how loudly I was screaming until two gardeners from across the street came running to my backyard, both holding shovels.
A standoff ensued: Daisy The Shih Tzu vs three grown adults and Daisy was winning. She calmly looked at us as if to say, “Go gets your own chew toy, stupid. I gots mine.”
After an intense round of negotiations (read: bribery with treats, begging and hysterical crying), Daisy dropped the bunny but it was too late.
I was devastated and could hardly look at our dog who was now a murderess. It was just too much.
As I tried to calm down, and wipe the image of my cute puppy prancing around with a bunny in her mouth from my head, I checked my email.
An agent was interested in my book.
She wanted to discuss my book proposal and used words like “representation” and “I love your writing.”
My big break was happening.
On the day I found out my dog deserves to go to doggie prison.
I could hear The Universe laughing her big old belly laugh, that bitch.
But I started to laugh right along with her because I realized immediately that my roller coaster emotional day day was a gift.
I would never, ever forget the day a literary agent decided to take a chance on me, thanks to a little shih tzu and her desire to make friends with woodland creatures.
And it’s going to make a great chapter in my book.
The book that is no longer just in my dreams.
On the day the book gets published, though, I hope The Universe will be kind enough to make sure baby bunnies are nowhere near my deck.
Because I so completely can’t even with that nonsense.
Special thanks to Jill Marr at The Sandra Dijkstra Agency for her unending patience and her desire to work with a writer who lives with a shih tzu bunny murderer