Like Cats And Dogs – Episode 17


Two hours later, when Tim looked at that corner again, he smiled as he watched the long-haired German Shepherd turning round and round on the bundle of blankets that would serve as a bed for now, until she finally thumped down with a contented sigh.

Tim had taken to the beautiful animal on sight, admiring her erect ears and intelligent eyes, and fortunately the dog – named Anastasia, Annie for short – had seemed to return the compliment.

“She’s a lovely dog,” the attendant at the rescue home had commented. “Really sweet nature. Came from a family who couldn’t manage to keep her. They had some money troubles,” she murmured sympathetically. “They were in tears when they brought her in and begged me to find her a good home.”

As she spoke she was opening up Annie’s run and putting her on a lead, and Annie submitted docilely at every step. When she was led out she sniffed at Tim and immediately sat at his feet with her tongue lolling as she gazed up at him.

“A few people have been to see her already, but I think she’s taken to you,” the attendant said with a chuckle. She handed him the lead. “Want to take her for a walk round?”

Annie trotted obediently at his heels, looking happy and relaxed, and Tim took his time, enjoying her company.

When he brought her back to her run Annie looked up at him with beseeching eyes, and Tim fondled her head tenderly.

“She’s a smasher. Well trained, too.” He felt sorry for the family who had had to give her up. “I’d love to give her a good home. How long will it take to check me out?”

“I did it while you were walking her. Call it women’s intuition! I don’t have any worries; I know she’ll be in good hands with you. There’s no doubt she’s comfortable with you. So, give me ten minutes to do some paperwork and she’s all yours.”

“Hear that, Annie?” he said, crouching down to gaze into her eyes. “You’re coming home with me.”

Annie promptly raised a paw and rested it on his thigh, and Tim felt his heart swell. As he glanced up, he caught the attendant wiping a tear from her eye before she turned away.

“I’ll get on with that paperwork.”

****

Morning, Cally – quite a bundle for you today.” Neville, the local postman, looked in at the office door just after nine and handed her a small stack of envelopes held together with a red rubber band.

“Thanks, Neville.” Cally tipped them into the tray on her desk. “How’s your knee?”

Neville leaned against the door jamb, the sun glinting on his silver hair as he stooped to massage his left knee.

“Giving me a bit of gyp as usual, if I’m honest, Cally. But I’ve got a date to get my new one. I heard this morning: six weeks from Tuesday, they want me. And I’ve decided to retire at the same time. So it’ll be all change.”

“Oh, good for you, Neville. There will be no stopping you once you’re back on your feet. Madge will be pleased. I bet she’s getting the travel brochures lined up.”

Neville’s genial face creased into an amused grimace.

“You said it, Cally. She’s got us jetting all over the world the minute I get rid of my crutches. Well, I’d best get on – I don’t want to be in trouble with the bosses!”

Chuckling, Cally picked up the pile of envelopes and rolled off the rubber band.

“I wonder what this lot is?” she muttered. She didn’t usually get as many letters as this.

However, she quickly saw that only three were for her. The rest were for Tim.

“Neville!” she called, then bit back the rest of her words.

Neville was at the back door of his little red van sorting out the deliveries for the next stops on his route. He glanced up as he locked up.

“Did you say something, Cally?”

“Um, no. Just mind how you go.”

Quashing a feeling of guilt, she tucked the mail behind her back as he drove off.

 

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.