Here is a scene from the novel I am working on. It’s one of the most fun things I’ve written. Here, our protagonist paralegal Christy is walking into the conference room to interview a potential client:
When I walked in, I saw a professionally dressed lady sitting on the floor and looking into a dog carrier. Eleanor didn’t want the dog barking in the front office! The message made sense already! Plus, it looked like I would get to pet a dog in the office today, which made me really happy. When the lady heard me enter, she got up and greeted me with a bright smile and outstretched hand.
“Hello and thank you for meeting with me on short notice. I’m Josephine Reid. Please call me Jo.”
“Hi Jo, I’m Christy Davis. I’m a paralegal here so I take all the initial meetings before you meet with an attorney. I will help determine if and to what extent we can help you with your situation. So, let’s have a seat and you can tell me what I can help you with today.”
“Well, it’s a bit of a long story, but it happened last weekend when my boyfriend was over at my apartment. I guess I should say he’s now my EX-boyfriend! Anyway, he wasn’t always the nicest guy to me, especially when he had a few drinks. I stayed with him because he overlooked my……quirks.”
She paused and looked at me anticipating that I would ask what her quirks were, but I wasn’t interested in interrupting her story for personal anecdotes. “Please go on.”
“Ok, well, he was drunk and making fun of me, again, and I started crying. I sat down on the couch near Buddy, and I didn’t see what happened, but Jasper started screaming, so I got up to run to him, and then he bit, and it left bruises, and now I’ve been charged with violating the dangerous dog law.” The longer she spoke the faster her words came and I quickly got confused.
“And so Jasper is your boyfriend…er…ex-boyfriend?”
“No, Buddy is my ex.”
“OH Sorry! Then Jasper is your dog? What kind of dog is he?”
“No, Jasper is my therapy pig.”
I had been taking careful notes because the story was coming so fast, but now I had to pause because I was certain I misunderstood her. I thought this case was about a dangerous dog. Did she say PIG?
“I’m sorry, I didn’t get that?”
“Jasper is my therapy pig. I have a diagnosed anxiety disorder and I take Jasper everywhere to keep me calm and help me function in society. That would be the quirks I mentioned earlier. Because of my quirks I’ve never had many people in my life, and Jasper keeps me from feeling lonely so I can work on my other issues. Buddy always thought I just needed medication for my problems and he wanted me to get rid of Jasper. He’s helped me so much, you wouldn’t believe! Would you like to meet him?”
She knelt down to the front of the case and carefully unlatched the opening. She pulled out this small ugly hairy animal and started cooing to it like a baby. She cradled it in her arms and sat back down at the conference table once again facing me.
“Jasper is a two year old miniature potbellied pig. Without him I would never have overcome my anxiety and loneliness issues. Like coming to an attorney’s office! I never would have been able to do that before I got Jasper, and I couldn’t be here now without him. Want to hold him?”
“I’ve always heard you weren’t supposed to pet or interact with therapy animals.” Plus, I could smell Jasper from across the table and he wasn’t exactly daisy-fresh.
“That is mainly for dogs helping soldiers with PTSD. Jasper is friendly, and I promise he isn’t a biter. He isn’t vicious. Will you represent us against this charge? It was all Buddy’s fault! He was upsetting me! Jasper was just trying to help!”
She looked down lovingly at the strange creature in her arms then back at me.
“Please? I’ve never been in trouble with the law before. Right now it’s just a citation, but I don’t want them to take Jasper away from me. Buddy said he was going to make sure I lose him. I know it sounds dramatic, but I really couldn’t manage life without him.”
“He’s never bitten before? Even playfully?”
“Nope. Never. But he knows Buddy didn’t like him. Pigs are very smart creatures, did you know that? They can be taught tricks and can assist in household tasks. Jasper is even house broken.”
“No, I didn’t know that. Very interesting.”
I wasn’t sure Jasper was smart, but he didn’t look vicious to me. Dirty and smelly, yes, but not vicious or dangerous. Plus, I have a soft spot for people who really need our help, and Jo certainly fit into that category.
“Ok, Jo. I think we can work something out as far as representing you. I still need to speak to my boss, Mr. Davis, but it shouldn’t be a problem to look into this citation and see what we can work out.”
At the news that we were going to help her, Jo let out a celebratory “YEAAAAAA!”
Hearing her excited yell, Jasper jumped out of Jo’s arms and started squealing and running around the conference room. As I wasn’t sure if Jasper just needed to tinkle or thought I was harming his mommy, I jumped into my chair on his first run past me and let out a squeal myself. The chair immediately started to roll away from the table with the change in weight. Jo was busy chasing Jasper, so she wouldn’t be able to assist me if I fell. I made the snap decision to jump onto the table, which wasn’t on casters, and secure myself there until Jasper was back in his carrier.
Eleanor and Uncle Doug burst through the door with panicked looks on their faces. Apparently, Jasper’s squeals and my squeals and Jo yelling for Jasper to come back to her had gotten their attention. Thankfully, Jo finally caught her piggy before the door was opened and was calming him down by rocking him in her arms and humming Amazing Grace. Eleanor and Uncle Doug stood still looking at the destruction of the room, then turned their gaze to me. I was standing on the table, out of breath from fright, and I had somehow lost a high heel shoe on the way up the table.
“Mr. Davis, meet our new client, Josephine Reid, and her therapy pig, Jasper.”