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In Ireland in 1999 I was bitten by a dog name Holly. This wasn't especially significant until a tremendous amount of drama surrounding the dog and its recently dead owner was revealed to me and Abby, who was traveling with me. Back home I wrote it all up, adding things here and there, changing some things around -- such as having Abby, not me, bitten by the dog -- and it amounted to fifty-some pages; I named the story "Holly's Last Bite" -- yes, the dog, in strange circumstances, actually died shortly after biting me. It had taken me about five years to accomplish this story because I don't stick to things; but once done, I sent it off to The Missouri Review. I always like it when a form rejection comes with a personal note. I decided, post-rejection, that I could shorten the story, change more things around, make it better. I got all that about half-done before I took what has turned out to be a break of several years.
What's kind of weird to me is that when I happen to recall that incident now I tend to recall that it was, as in my fictionalization, Abby who was bitten by the dog; I tend to believe my fiction more than the fact. I must remember: Holly didn't bite Abby. Holly bit me.