Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Dog is my Hero

Three years after I received an acceptance letter from a little publishing agency, the anthology My Dog is my Hero has just been released. My story, "Our First Child," is on page 147. Most of my earliest attempts at writing now make my stomach churn, so I give props to the editors for making the article as good as it is - and it's really not bad. Here's a sample:

Shortly after Lucy came home, a debate arose between my wife and me over how she would refer to us. While Laurie already saw herself as the matriarch of the household, I had always felt weird about people who didn’t have children but referred to themselves as "mom" and "dad" to their pets. We mulled it over for several days until she finally said, “What about when we have kids? We can’t have the kids call us mom and dad and the dog call us by our first name.” Although, I couldn’t imagine the dog ‘calling’ us anything, eventually I gave in. So we became Mom and Dad.

Lucy was the first child Laurie would play dress up with on holidays. For her first Halloween, she bought Lucy’s costume in the middle of September. By October, Lucy had outgrown it. Laurie shopped unsuccessfully at multiple stores looking for a bigger size. When she couldn’t find it, she switched costumes. I’d come home from work to the dog in a loose-fitting pirate costume one day and a tight Superwoman costume the next. By the 31st, my wife had purchased and returned four costumes.

She repeated the same process the following month as the weather got colder and Lucy “needed” a winter coat and Santa hat for the Christmas family portrait. “Look at your daughter, Honey,” Laurie said as she attempted to position the dog in front of the fireplace. “Isn’t she adorable next to her stocking? Is Santa going to bring Mommy’s little doggie a present?” Lucy gave me my first Father’s Day as a Dad. Laurie woke me up that morning with breakfast in bed, a present, and two cards – one from her and one from the dog.

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