I am writing an article about an amazing dog breed, the Basenji. Basenjis don’t bark. They have a physical structure in the voice box which is different from other dogs. But Basenjis can growl, whine, whimper, and yodel—sort of a warbling effect.
|Basenji puppy photo by Cooperfeesh|
After completing my research, I landed an interview with the president of the American Kennel Club! Then, the personal relations director connected with me an AKC judge. She firmly suggested that I focus on Junior Showmanship since I was writing for children. I listened and thanked her for her suggestion. Then I discussed why I wanted to write this story—I had met Sami’s great, great, grandmother. I had a personal connection. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t convince her of my story. Nonetheless, she begrudgingly agreed to answer my questions for the piece.
When I hung up the phone, I felt that I was making a big mistake. I was full of self-doubt. Was she correct? Was I taking the wrong angle for kids? I considered re-writing a completely different story.
In the meantime, I stayed in touch with Carole. Her puppy was about to enter her first show. And then I realized that I cared about Carole and her dog. I was rooting for Sami. I wanted her to do well in the ring. In the end, I silenced my self-doubt and listened to my heart, to my passion. As it turned out, the AKC judge never answered my questionnaire. Yet, I had the opportunity to interview a judge in person at a local dog show. I had great research, great quotes, and more, I had a great story. Regardless of what had been suggested to me, I stood my ground. And I’m glad that I did. I will have an amazing story to share with kids.