Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Beautiful Beginning

If you're here for GUTGAA, that post is HERE. If you're here because I no longer live with wifi and have to mosey down to the Young Adult section of the local library and schedule posts, well, welcome. You've found me (and I have a day off).

Last night, I was laying in bed with this monster:

Best. Cuddle-Buddy. Ever.
And I got to thinking. I blog about Baxter a lot. He even has his own page. But I've never told you guys our story. So, that's what this post is about. The magical day I met my best friend, who would save my life five years later...

Just Starting Out
When I met him, I didn’t mean to fall in love. I didn’t mean to take him home. My mom had driven me to Wal Mart to buy last minute stuff for my travels to Las Vegas. The following day, at the age of 18, I would board my first plane and travel across the country. I would be there, with my sisters, waiting the eldest’s wedding.
As we pulled in, I saw the sign that screamed Puppies and begged her to stop. "Mom! Mom! Can we play with the puppies?!"
“When we’re done shopping,” she said, probably rolling her eyes.
I nodded my head; we were here on a mission.
We shopped quickly, buying new socks, and random crap I probably didn’t actually need. When we were finished, as promised, she drove the car over to the small island with a minimal amount of grass and single tree then cement all around.
“You can’t take one home with you,” she warned.
I looked at her, appalled by her thought. “Dude, I know. I’m leaving for Vegas tomorrow.”
When we got out of the car, I took in the fence in the grass and the adorable swarm of brown puppies inside the barricade. I needed to be in there, to have them chewing on me, rather than on each other.
Close to six years later.
Some things don't change...
Skipping over to them, I found the owner of the balls of fluff. “Can I play with them?”
She let me into the fence, and I promptly plopped myself down, yelling out, “Puppies, come to me!”
Rather than coming to me, they ran the opposite direction, afraid of the 5’2” blond girl yelling at them with her arms outstretched.
They all ran, and my heart sunk. They all ran, that is, except for one who was bumped backward as his brothers and sisters fled.
His paws were bigger than his body, just like his siblings, and as he made his way to me, he stumbled a bit more before promptly crawling into my lap, making himself comfortable, and falling asleep as I stroked the fur on his small body.
The Twilight books call it imprinting, that moment where you see something/someone you love, and your heart swells and you know if you don't somehow meld your life with theirs, there's no point for you to even exist anymore. Dog usually do this, wolves especially. Not humans. But that's what that moment was like for me. I didn't want a puppy; I had anger problems, grew up in an abusive household, watched my mother beat her dog(s). Would I do the same thing?
“Mom?” I asked in an almost desperate voice as the all of ten pound puppy lay sleeping on me.
“Stephanie,” (real name, family members refuse to call me Lynn(e)) she scolded, well aware of what was happening.
“How much do you want for them?” I asked the owner, unable to tear my eyes away from the fuzzy mass on me.
“We’re asking $20,” the owner said.
I did the math and figured out that I was broke. As was is, Jacci, the sister who was getting married, paid for half of my plane ticket to get me to Vegas. “Would you be willing to take $15? I’m leaving for Vegas tomorrow...” 
Within a minute, the money was in her hand, and the puppy was in the car. Mom and I made our way back into the Wal Mart to buy the essentials; puppy food, a leash, and a collar, which was neon orange.

I left the unnamed puppy with my mother when I left for Vegas. I was terrified that he’d be dead by the time I got home. She didn’t have the best track record care taking anything; animals, plants, children. I moved out when I was sixteen or so. It took her three days before she started calling around to figure out where I was. Her recent dog winced at any hint of movement that was a bit too fast.
In Vegas
Laura is hugging the bear, then Jacci (the bride) and Tammy are
at the bottom, I'm on the other side, and Justin (the groom)
is standing.
“You did what?” my sister, Laura, yelled when I'd arrived in Vegas.
“I got a puppy!” I told her. 
“Steph, (see family note again) that is the worst decision, ever! You’re leaving for college, in what? Four months? What are you going to do with him then?”
She was always the voice of reason. Where was she at the Wal Mart parking lot?
I responded the way I usually respond to her when I fail to think things through, “I’ll figure it out when the time comes.”
But after the wedding, and an extra day stranding in Atlanta, Georgia, I forgot such worries. I had a puppy to play with!
Upon my return home, I was pissed to find that my small puppy, was somehow smaller. His stomach, plump less than a week ago, now looked emaciated. I knew it, my mother had forgotten to feed him.
Immediately I took him to the veterinarian’s, where I was told he’d gotten worms. Still, it was my mother’s fault, because everything that goes wrong is always her fault.

The first night, I used a small cat carrier to try to kennel train him. Instead, after an hour of howling, I opened the gate that had been keeping him inside. Afraid to step in poo in the morning, I closed the door to my mother’s bedroom. (The room she hadn’t slept in in close to a month now.)
Just as quickly as the howling had stopped, it started again. I let the annoying little ball of fluff into the bedroom, assuming that at least here, the poo and pee spots would be contained. The whining momentarily stopped, only to start once more.
“What do you want?” I screamed at the terrified little guy.
He looked at me and whined again. 
With nothing else to do, I scooped him up and placed him on the bed with me. The whining stopped for the night as he snuggled next to me and fell asleep.
In the morning, I woke up to several pee spots on the bed.
“This is not going to work,” I scolded him.
He looked at me before trying to bound over, large paws causing him to topple over. I laughed, and we started our life together. 

We three Schmidt's
Getting published is a lot like getting a puppy. You go into the fenced in area, and throw out your arms saying, "Agents! Come to me!" and 90% of them flee. A few will approach hesitantly before running, but the one that crawls into your lap and falls asleep, that may be the best agent for you. (Okay, but if he/she really crawls in your lap and falls asleep, there may be an issue. Hopefully you get what I'm trying to say here.) There may be some peeing on the bed, some howling (you know, editorial stuff) but in the end, they may be the best friend you'll have for years to come.

Happy Puppy Picking :)


  1. That is an adorable post!! :) I love the little ending about how 90% of agents will run from us, so very true. :)

    I've tagged in you a little award over at my blog. :)

    1. Ohh! I love blog awards! I will check it out (probably Saturday, I'm only online for like two seconds right now!)

      And it is sad but true, many do run :( But I'd rather have agents run than puppies. Puppies are so much cuter!

  2. Love the ending. And that Baxter's still a big part of your life. I hope he still doesn't pee in your bed.

    1. He doesn't pee in the bed anymore, though he has thrown up on it a couple of times. Thankfully, he's figure out puking on the floor gets a back rub.

  3. Agents! Come to me! LOVE IT! Great story. and Baxter is adorable!

    1. That "agents come to me" is kind of how I feel right before I go to a writing conference :)


Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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