A small dog with a huge personality. Please rate/review - and I'll do the same for you!
|The First Meeting
An indignant bark startled Anna out of her melancholy. She had chosen this spot on the pier as an ideal spot to wallow alone in thoughts of Scott, and all their relationship could have been. The spacious apartment that he was going to move in to had seemed particularly suffocating that evening, and she had almost run out screaming. As she squinted for the source, a brown napkin on paws materialized. A little dog, its size quite disproportionate to its loud woof, marched up with an injured air. Before she could react, it had climbed into her lap. Anna had to laugh. Had to be a male, she thought. The presumptuous air stayed the same regardless of species.
Feeling around its scrawny neck, she realized it had no tag. An hour went by but the pier remained empty. The little guy snoozed peacefully, only occasionally waking to peer at her as if she was the one with the problem. Anna was torn. What if someone came by to claim him just after she left? Two hours later the realization sunk in that she had an unexpected guest. She had always loved dogs but Scott never wanted one. She slid him off her lap and tested walking away to give fate one last chance. The dog promptly followed with the same indignant bark as if to say, were you thinking of leaving without me?
Anna searched frantically through the apartment. In the three months since Spice had decided to live with her, she had become used to him meeting her at the door like a bossy grandma. Tonight, it had been a half hour since she got home, and still no Spice. As Anna ran all over the apartment, a box of treats in one hand and his favorite chew toy in the other, a familiar bark halted the dangerous scenarios whizzing through her head. When she wrenched open the front door, a wriggling brown ball, much heavier now than when they had first met, jumped into her arms. It was only a few seconds of sniffling later that she realized her tears were falling on a dog Halloween costume instead of smooth fur.
When Scott had let himself into the apartment earlier that evening to reconcile with Anna, she had still been at work.. However, Spice had been around. Apparently tired of being the canine hanky for Anna’s tears, he had consented to let himself be put in a silly costume that matched Scott‘s. Scott had proposed to Anna that same night. To smooth away her lingering doubts, he had promised he would love Spice just as she did.
All That Glitters…
Anna grimaced as she heard Scott and Spice engaged in a growling match - again. It was their first Christmas together after their whirlwind wedding, and Spice had set the mood by throwing up a candy cane.
Some things don’t change. Scott had objected to Spice’s presence at their wedding, dangled the idea of sending him to a shelter during the honeymoon and hinted they spent too much on his upkeep in their monthly budget sessions. Spice hadn’t helped by developing a relish for using Scott’s shoes as chew toys. After Scott’s latest outburst at Spice gnawing through his laptop‘s battery cord, Anna had declared the dog a taboo topic.
The Way We Were
Anna blinked back tears as the last of Scott’s suitcases disappeared into the elevator. Beside her, Spice whined as he slouched in an uncharacteristic pose of his head between his paws. Was it insane to separate over a pooch?, she wondered. Wasn’t her marriage worth more? But perhaps Spice was only a metaphor for bigger issues. If a dog drove them apart, they were never meant to be.
Can It Really Be?
Anna stretched contentedly on the new stain-free couch, confident the surrounding dirt-brown tiles would conceal any dog hair. She had finally gotten Spice and Sugar washed and dried, and now it was prime shedding time. Bathing the dogs definitely wasn’t the Herculean effort it used to be, since Spice had settled into a sober older brother role after Sugar’s arrival. Sugar had always been timid, which had aroused Anna‘s protective instincts into adopting him from the shelter. Well that, and shelter manager Steve’s passionate persuasion.
The microwave beep signaled the popcorn was ready. Getting up to bring back a bowl, she smiled at her three men - Spice, Sugar and Steve, giving her the same anxious look. The movie was about to start, and her new family insisted, with requesting words and scolding barks, that it could not be complete without popcorn.