For the Love of Our Dog Brownie Chapter 3

The Runt is Delivered to Ricky’s

Tim marched out of the kitchen to the van, opened the driver’s door, and climbed into the driver’s seat. The yapping and barking increased as he sat down and locked the doors.

“Stop it back there!” Tim shouted.

It didn’t work. They just kept whining and crying. He really didn’t care about the puppies, but he did care about Fluffy. He raised her from a beautiful puppy and she became his favorite dog.

Tim turned the ignition key and the van’s powerful engine roared to life, purring as he backed out of the driveway. A warm and sunny late summer afternoon greeted the conflicted breeder as he left home. It was a sad ride because he would never see Fluffy again. He couldn’t wait to get rid of her puppies though. He blamed them for Fluffy leaving him.

Ricky established his business in an old, abandoned, hardware store. The building was located on the north side of George-Ville. A tire screech pierced the air as Tim jammed on his brakes directly in front of Ricky’s shop. The sudden stop caused the dogs to bounce around in their crates. The yapping stopped for a split second before resuming louder than ever.

Tim opened the van’s hatchback, pulled out Fluffy’s crate first, then untied and removed the other three. He placed all four crates in front of Ricky’s door.

He returned to the van slammed the back door and locked it. Then he walked around the mountain of crates vibrating with snarling and whining dogs and a not so happy mom, and knocked on the plate glass door.

Ricky answered, “You must be Tim.”

 “Yeah,” Tim murmured.

“Are these the dogs?” Ricky asked.

“What do you think?” Tim bellowed. What does he think I’m delivering? Cats? Why would I deliver anything but dogs to a dog adopter!

“Give me a minute, and I’ll help you in with them,” Ricky said.

Ricky pushed open the door. “Wait, I’ll get the door stop.” Ricky walked back to his desk to and picked up a small block of wood and wedged it between the door and its frame. As soon as he stood up, Tim shoved the first crate containing the runt into his chest.

Ricky placed it in front of the oak railing crossing in front of his desk. Tim shoved the next two crates at Ricky the same way.

“Take it easy, Mr. Smith. I’m in no hurry,” Ricky said.

“Well I am!” Tim shouted.

Once Ricky finished placing the last puppy crate on the floor, Tim brought Fluffy through the door and gently placed her crate next to one containing the runt.

“That the mother?” Ricky asked as a frown wrinkled his forehead.

“Yes, that’s Fluffy,” Tim said as a tear formed in his right eye.

The smell of meaty canned dog food, canines, and cheap peppermint soap saturated the room. Tim looked around at the quaint old shop. The oak railing separated the customers’ space from the kennels, which sat behind Ricky’s old worn mahogany desk. The railing was parted with an old oak double swing gate. The surrounding walls were covered by yellowed white paint and the ceiling sported old silvery metal tiles.

 “Open one crate at a time. I have places for all the pups,” Ricky said. He grabbed Fluffy and each puppy from Tim and placed them in their assigned kennels. Then Ricky realized he had to figure out what to do with the runt.

“Just place her with her mom. My wife said it would calm her,” Tim said.

“Good idea,” Ricky replied.

He gently cradled the runt in his wrinkled, left hand and walked to Fluffy’s kennel. It was right near the back wall. Ricky opened it with his right hand. He petted the tiny dog before putting her between Fluffy’s front legs and closed the door. Fluffy, began licking her head.

“Come on, I have to be home in an hour. I don’t have time for this,” Tim said.

 “Okay but you’ll have to fill out some forms before you go. I need some basic information about these dogs, so the people who adopt them will know how to better take care of them.”

“Okay Okay, give me the forms already!”

Ricky walked up to his desk and opened the big drawer on the right. He pulled out eight forms, one for each dog.

“I have to fill out eight of these? Why eight?”

“I need to establish a record for each dog you brought here.”

“You should have given them to me as soon as I walked in here,” Tim said.

“Sorry,” Ricky said.

Tim quickly filled out the forms, while Ricky gave water to the newcomers.

“Finished?” Ricky asked.

“Yeah,” Tim murmured.

He tossed the documents toward Ricky’s desk, but they missed their target, littering the oak floor. Ricky glared at Tim. “There’s no hurry Mr. Smith.”

The dog adopter walked over to his desk, bent over and picked up the forms. He stacked them on the upper left-hand corner of the desk and faced Tim. “In the future please make time for paperwork,” Ricky said.

“There’ll be no next time,” Tim said.

Ricky opened his ledger and recorded the information he needed from each form.

He looked up at Tim and said, “Fred only paid for seven dogs. There’s no money to board Fluffy.”

“Yeah, I know. It was a last minute decision.”

“You need to pay the fee up front,” Ricky said.

“What if I don’t?”

“You’ll have to take Fluffy back,” Ricky said.

“Well, I can’t.” The memory of Fluffy and what Mortimer did to her was too fresh in Tim’s mind.

Ricky walked back to Fluffy’s kennel and was about to take her out, but she and the runt slept together, the little one surrounded by Fluffy’s soft white and brown fur. Ricky walked back to the oak railing and Tim.

“That’s okay. I’ll be the nice guy here and keep Fluffy. You don’t have to pay for her,” Ricky said.

“Good,” Tim replied as an embarrassing blush reddened his face.

“Fred only paid for three weeks. If any of your dogs are left, you’ll need to buy more time. If you don’t, they may be sent to the pound,” Ricky said

“I’ll think about it, thanks.”

“Puppies are not a curse, Tim,” Ricky said.

“You’re sure about that?” Tim replied as he took the first two empty crates to the van. He returned to retrieve the rest. Ricky wasn’t there. He had walked back to the kennels and prepared dinner for his brood.

Just as Tim walked out the door, he bumped into a farmer.

“Nice day,” said the man.

“Sure is. I just dumped a big problem in there,” Tim blurted out.

“That’s too bad,” the farmer replied.

Tim drove home relieved that he didn’t have to see those seven mutts ever again.

Published by Brownie's Author

Hi, I'm Gregory Lamberty. I wrote "For the Love of Our Dog Brownie". Brownie was our dog. She lived eighteen and a half years. My wife Colleen took care of Brownie, trained her and took care of her. Colleen was the one who inspired me to write about Brownie. Colleen's training and love set Brownie apart from other dogs. That was what made her special.

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