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Please Publish This Unsolicited Exposé on Dogs or I Won’t Eat This Week

three dogs
Who are they? What are they up to?

By a freelance investigative journalist

You’ve seen them. They’re everywhere. When you go outside, they’re walking around. When you come back inside, they’re walking around. They make all sorts of noises, too. All of this led this intrepid reporter to ask: What are these four-legged creatures that follow people around, and what are they up to? 

Does this sound like a compelling introduction? I hope to God it does because freelance investigative reporting is not a very stable job and I am all out of ideas. Please publish this unsolicited exposé on dogs. If you don’t, I won’t eat this week.

What exactly are dogs? I’m sure there have got to be some people who don’t know and would appreciate this lengthy explainer piece. The journey to an answer led me to a local park next to my apartment building, where dogs roam freely. And boy, were they everywhere.

If you pay at least 50 cents per word, I can go into much more detail. But for the purposes of this pitch, let’s just say that I encountered a few dogs. Although they refused to comment on the record, one dog, who requested anonymity, barked softly. Hey, most investigative pieces have background quotes. This exposé on dogs is no different.  

These kinds of pieces often start out with one puzzle in mind but wind up investigating a new one altogether. Sure enough, when I heard one person call his dog “Rocky,” it led me to ask a different question: Who exactly are dogs? This reporter would not rest until the case was closed. If you fancy wit interspersed throughout an otherwise serious piece, you could say it was a dogged pursuit. If the editor of your publication is humorless and dead inside, you could say nothing at all.

Anyway, like people, dogs are given names. However, unlike people (except for the worst ones), dogs wear necklaces bearing their names. This led me to ask yet another question: Do dogs know their names? The answer seems to be yes. As a well-connected freelance investigative reporter, I maintain a list of expert sources I can trust and who trust me. My friend Pat, a veterinarian, confirmed that dogs do know their names, other than the stupid ones.

It seemed to this reporter like this dog just wasn’t going to bark—that is, if the editor of the publication receiving this submission enjoys humorous transitions. All my questions were answered, and they were rather dull, unimaginative questions.

But I have to either tie this story up neatly or leave it extremely wide open. I’ve chosen to leave it extremely wide open. We may never know what dogs are, who they are, or whether they know their names. We’ve seen some first-hand reporting, heard from one unnamed source, and heard from one named source, but to no avail. Some mysteries are destined to remain just that. And that is a profound ending if I ever heard one, so please publish this unsolicited exposé on dogs. Please, I’m begging you.

© 2018