The query letter
I am writing to interest you in a book manuscript entitled The Dog Called Sammy: A Memoir
When [Blank], a recently retired college professor, adopts a rascally, black rescue dog, she faces family and neighborhood consternation when he barks, chases children, growls at people he meets, and ransacks the kitchen looking for food. At the same time, she encounters unexpected loss of status and avenues for achievement with retirement. The dog gives her an outlet for suppressed ambitions.
The story begins with meeting the dog, gradual acceptance, and training to overcome his behavioral problems. They succeed when Sammy passes the Canine Good Citizen test and then go on to learn the dog sport called rally obedience. No one thought the barky, growly, aggressive little dog could learn, but he not only learns, he shines. This book tells how the author and dog trained for and struggled through nine trials to finally achieve five titles and two major championships in his first full year of competition; they end the year among the top 20 teams in the nation. The dog also overcomes two serious illnesses: epilepsy and pancreatitis. Along the way, the author struggles to come to terms with retirement, and encounters family crises. This story covers the first three years of the author’s retirement; an epilogue brings the reader up to date and reflects on what she learned in those first three years. (The dog is still living)
The author left 14 years of social work practice for academia in 1978. During her academic career, she published one book and numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. The book, [Blank], was published by [Blank] Publications in 1997 and is still in print. She retired in 2004, which is when this story begins.
The 143-page, 44,000-word manuscript is complete. There are numerous photographs not included in the page count. I will be happy to forward parts of or all of it upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to a reply from you.