Tag Archive for Daisy writes letter to President

Fan Mail Wednesday #93 (blog post #500!)

There are days when I question this blog — why I do it, if it’s worth the time and energy — and, with less frequency but much more sting, I question if what I do for a living has been a colossal mistake. I struggle to pay bills, struggle to create something lasting and worthwhile, and I wonder if trying to make it as a writer was just delusion. Maybe I should have sold insurance with my father after all.

That old punchline applies, “Don’t quit your day job.”

I suspect other writers have felt this same way.

I don’t know if there’s an easy cure for it, but I do know that the absolute heart of the writing life is what happens when a book miraculously reaches a reader — a young person — and that reader is moved in some way, inspired to think new thoughts, feel things, see the world from a fresh perspective. Maybe laugh a little, too. It doesn’t pay the mortgage, but it helps me get through those times of doubt and worry.

Kids always ask, “Is it fun being a writer?’

It’s a lot of things. The rewards are immense. But I’m not always sure I’d recommend it.

DearĀ  Mr. James Preller,

My name is Vassiliya. This is my 1st time writing to you. I should tell you about myself. Well, my favorite color is blue. My favorite animal is a dog. My favorite food is chicken with rice. I am 9 and I have no brothers and sisters. Now I think I should tell you how I look like. Well, I have light brown long hair, brown eyes, and white skin [In the summer it’s tan]. I read your book Justin Fisher Declares War. I liked it a lot. I wrote a book this year. It’s called The Day We Ran Away. It’s funny. I might publish it but, I’m not sure yet.

P.S. Please, write back.

Your New Fan,

I replied:

Dear Vassiliya:

Thank you for your email. As you can tell from my preamble above, I’m having one of those no good, horrible, terrible, not very good days. I also know what helps: rereading your note, which you sent a few weeks back, to help me remember why I write in the first place.

You see, there are days when I almost forget.

Yes, I am more of a dog person than a cat person. My dog, Daisy, is Not Too Smart. Don’t get me wrong. She’s sweet and loving and as good as can be. But if a bedroom door is halfway open, she has no idea how to get out of the room. Not a clue. My cats — we have two of them — watch Daisy with amusement. They roll their eyes, lick their paws, and purr with feline superiority.

I’m glad you liked Justin Fisher Declares War! I hoped it would be a light, fast, funny book for kids in 3rd, 4th, 5th grade.

I’d be happy to hear more about your story, The Day We Ran Away. Is it based on a true story? Are you funny in school, or just on paper?

Seriously: Thanks for writing. It means a lot. This job can be tough sometimes, a little lonely, and with a share of disappointment. Hearing back from a reader like you, and a fellow writer like yourself, well, it just makes me glad.


PS. My dog writes letters to camp. When my daughter, Maggie — she’s 9, like you, Vassiliya — went to sleepaway camp for a second week this summer, she asked for one thing: “I want another letter from Daisy. A long one.” I don’t know when Daisy finds the time to sneak into my office to type those letters. Or how, come to think of it, she even learned to type. I guess she’s not so dumb after all. Hey, she’s even written to President Obama. And just look at that face. Soooo cute!

White House Dog: Obama Narrows Choice

NOTE: Since I began this blog in May of 2008, one post has driven the highest readership by far: “An Open Letter to President-elect Obama.” Unfortunately, it was written by my dog, a precocious Goldendoodle. As a professional writer, fully licensed by New York State, you can’t imagine how this humiliates me. I am a trained writer. Daisy is barely trained to stay off the couch. Something’s amiss.

Nonetheless, in appreciation to all those visitors who have stopped by to read Daisy’s letter — and there have been nearly three thousand directed by goldendoodles.com alone — Daisy has agreed to send another missive to President-elect Obama. Goldendoodle fanatics, this one’s for you!

– – – – –

Dear President-Elect Obama:

This is Daisy again. Maybe you remember me.

I’m the dog who can type. Actually, typing isn’t the hard part — it’s sitting in this crazy, spinning swivel chair. Yipes. My stomach feels funny. I’m worried I might hurl on the desk. I keep telling myself, “Good doggie, good doggie, don’t upchuck on Mr. Preller’s keyboard.

Oops. Oh well. It doesn’t smell that bad. But come to think of it, what does? To dogs like me, smells are purely quantitative. Things either smell a LOT or a LITTLE. And I say, Mr. President-elect Obama, the more something smells, the better I like it! And right now, this desk is pretty righteous.

I read with interest that your choice for First Dog has been narrowed down to two contenders: A Labradoodle and a Portuguese Water Dog. Just the other day I was barking at absolutely nothing. It’s a blast, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried it. Just go outside and barkbarkBARKbabarkybarkBARK into the velvet sky — it doesn’t have to mean anything. Insider info tells me that President Bush used to do it all the time; he growled a lot, too. Anyway, around that time, I noticed your face on television. You said:

“We’re now going to start looking at shelters to see when one of those dogs might come up. This has been tougher than finding a commerce secretary.”

Maybe there’s been some confusion. I specifically suggested that if you loved your daughters, you’d get a Goldendoodle. Not a Maltipoo . . .

not a Cockapoo . . .

and certainly not a Labradoodle . . . .

Sure, they all have Poodle in them, but, come on, just look at Goldendoodles: We’re smart and loyal and won’t bite (unlike that scary Rahm Emanuel, whom I’m pretty sure is part Pit Bull). A Goldendoodle could be First Dog . . . and Commerce Secretary!

I should add that though I personally would never bite, if I ever meet that Blagojevich guy, I might have to pee on his leg. Not for any political reasons. But his hair frightens me.

Who grooms that guy? He should try my lady, Irma, at Pearl’s Groomin’ Room. She’s expensive, but worth it. I don’t know why more people don’t wear a shag like me.

As for this business with the Portuguese Water Dog . . . are you pulling my tail? Sure, sweet looking dog. Smells great . . .

. . . but just two words of advice: Buy American.

Don’t blow the first important decision of your presidency. Throw us a bone. Rescue a Goldendoodle today!

Yes! We! Can!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to step outside. Don’t you just love going in . . . and out . . . and in . . . and out . . . and in . . . ? I could do it all day long!

Loyally yours,


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BLOGGER’S POSTSCRIPT: Young dog lovers might enjoy a book from my Jigsaw Jones mystery series, The Case of the Runaway Dog, for readers ages 5-9. It’s a light-hearted mystery, but it does deal with some of the issues in the search for a missing dog. And haven’t we all been there?