That's nice, isn't it

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Pets that are adored by their owners, but not necessarily by others.

That's nice, isn't it_ Booksie large.jpg

 

THAT’S NICE, ISN’T IT

 

Addison was round at his friends, Amy and Bob’s house, with his two dachshunds, Mo and Jo. He wasn’t very imaginative in naming his pets, but for him it was practical. He didn’t like complicated names too much. His dachshunds were: one black and flame and short-haired, and the other a light brown long-haired. Addison took them everywhere with him for company. Ever since he had decided not to have a wife and family but to have pets instead, he never gave it a second thought that maybe, just maybe, other people didn’t like dogs. On the evening when his animal education skills were called into question, he was sitting with Amy and Bob having a quiet chat. Their children had gone out to their individual activities for a few hours, so the adults were enjoying the quiet and easygoing atmosphere of the house without them. Addison had put the dogs in the kitchen, following Amy’s advice. Nobody was worried about the dogs.

The trio had met up at sports events when in their teens, and were now almost like family. They had other friends as well, but those three were the closest. Now in middle-age there wasn’t much left to be surprised about each other. The bang of the front door heralded the return home of the children of the house. Two heads popped in through the living-room door, “Hello, Mum. Hello Dad.” And turning to Addison said, “Hello, Addison.”

Then they banged the door shut and went off upstairs for their nightly baths. One of them had gone into the kitchen for a glass of water, and had left the door open. Mike, the bigger brother, was running his bath, the other one, Jimmy, had then gone upstairs to his bedroom.

A short time later there was a shout, “Get out! This isn’t for you.”

Pounding footsteps down the stairs and a dishevelled Mike entered the living-room. “Addison, come upstairs with me, please.”

The three adults followed Mike up to the bathroom, and saw one of the dachshunds swimming in the bath and the other struggling to climb inside. Addison laughed and said, “They enjoy bath time. Aren’t they sweet?”

Mike, a rather pompous teen boy, who fancied himself as a lady killer, said, “Nice, isn’t it. You begin running a bath to have a relaxing half hour, to find two hairy dogs swimming around in your lovely clean water. Addison could you get them out of there, please?”

Addison picked up his two dogs and Amy gave him an old towel to dry them with. Mike was cleaning out the bath in an attempt to get rid of the dogs’ hair.

The adults went back downstairs with the dogs, and left Mike in the bathroom. They went into the kitchen, “One of them must have left the kitchen door open, otherwise they wouldn’t have gone up there just for nothing. They would have heard the bath water running and got straight away into the lovely clean water. They do it to me constantly,” Addison said.

“Yes, Addison. Perhaps it’s funny for you because they’re your dogs, but Mike is a proud teenager and has a poor sense of humour, which is common at his age. Jimmy’s that bit younger and finds it amusing,” Amy said to their friend.

Addison looked down at the two clean little hairy dogs and said, “We know where we’re not wanted. See you around, bye.” That was the last time Addison ever darkened Amy’s and Bob’s house again. Whenever they met, it was at a sports event or, even more rarely, when out shopping.

 

Princess was an apricot-coloured Persian cat, that was followed by Duchess, another Persian who was also apricot. They were both adored by Chalice, their owner, who spent more time on their pampering than on herself. From the tops of their heads to the tips of their paws, their beauty routine was that of a pair of divas. Nothing was too good for either of them.

Chalice had a boyfriend who was the epitome of longsuffering. Not many young men would have put up with taking two cats out on leads to the park, or to a lake, or anywhere else. Chalice’s parents had a small house, which was used as a holiday home in good weather. Rufus, Chalice’s boyfriend, had been without a girlfriend for some time, and wasn’t all that young when they met. Chalice was a bit older, which proved to be of no impediment in their relationship. Chalice had her hair dyed in the nearest shade to her cats’ fur. She was really glamorous and with her two glamorous cats, was considered a knockout. Rufus was the first man who loved the quirkiness of the situation.

“Rufus, do you fancy a weekend in the country in my parents’ small house?”

Rufus fancied the idea very much. “Yes, I’d love that. It sounds like a great idea.” Little did Rufus know what he was letting himself in for.

 

The next Friday afternoon saw both Chalice and Rufus filling his car with suitcases of clothes. Then plastic crates with cat food and special water, medicine, and a cosmetics bag with brushes and combs, melamine eating bowls, dry food, a tray and litter to poop in, cat beds, and anti fur-ball biscuits. Princess and Duchess slept in their carrying baskets all the way to the little house. Rufus and Chalice stayed in the car when filling up at a petrol station. They took it in turns to get out for using the toilets and the restaurant. Chalice lived in fear of anything bad happening to her two precious pets. The cats were taken out wearing their leads, to pee, and have a drink, and then back they went into their baskets. The journey took longer than it would have without the cats. Chalice was so afraid of having an accident that Rufus had to crawl along, much to the annoyance of other drivers.

On arriving at the house, it was beginning to snow and the house was in darkness. The house had a garage and the car went inside it very easily. Chalice got out carrying her two precious cats, and Rufus was left in charge of the luggage, both for himself, Chalice, and the cats. The front door was left open until they were all inside. The lights were switched on by Chalice, who then proceeded to put out food and drink for the cats. Rufus went upstairs with the luggage. When everything had been sorted out, the couple sat side by side on the sofa. The two cats were sitting on a small carpet in front of the fire.

“What do visitors do around here?” Rufus asked his beloved.

“They go for walks in the woods, and there is a large lake not far away. The village has a pub where many meet up for a drink before lunch.”

“What do the locals do for fun?” Rufus, afraid of feeling bored on what he hoped would be a great weekend.

“They go fishing, walking in the local quarry, which is no longer mined, and things like that.”

A few minutes later, Chalice stood up, picked up the cats, and said, “Goodnight, Rufus, see you in the morning.”

Whatever expectations Rufus had held about a weekend in the country had been shattered. He stayed down in the living-room with the fire and watched an old film on the television.

 

The next morning he found Chalice in the kitchen with her hair bound up in a silk square, brushing and combing her cats. Their bowls were on the floor and from the little evidence left in them, the food had been devoured. Chalice looked up as Rufus entered, “Hello, sleep well?”

“Not as well as I would have, if I’d been with you.” Rufus said, hoping to get some sort of message through to Chalice, who continued brushing her cats.

“Have you had breakfast?” Rufus asked.

“Yes, Princess and Duchess and I, all had our breakfasts together. The breakfast food is in the cupboards. There’s coffee and tea if you like, and orange juice in the fridge.” Chalice sounded very matter of fact as she spoke.

Rufus got some cereal out of the cupboard and milk from the fridge. He was getting rather fed up with the devotion Chalice gave to her cats. He took his food into the living-room and swallowed it down. What a weekend! When finished he returned his bowl to the kitchen, washed it, and went upstairs to his room. He put on his warm clothing and a large jacket over the top, and then went downstairs. He said to Chalice, “I’m going for a walk to try to see some of the local sights. See you later.” Then he left and walked out onto the road into the tiny village.

Chalice was totally unaware of Rufus’s feelings and the state he was in, bordering on a light depression. All her attention was on her cats, who were now receiving their daily pedicure, then they would have drops put into their eyes. Chalice had switched the fire on as soon as she got up, and that’s where Princess and Duchess were lying in the warmth. Chalice, with the pampering of the cats finished, went upstairs to see to her own pampering. The next hour, Chalice spent in the bathroom doing a repeat performance on herself that she had done to her cats. By the time she had everything back on track, Rufus had finished up a good old-fashioned English breakfast, and was relaxing in a comfortable chair in a village restaurant.

 

The out-of-step couple met up again outside the house. Chalice had been waiting for him near the window and opened the door. “Where have you been?”

“I’ve had a full-English breakfast at a nice restaurant, and now I’ve come back to tell you - I’m off. I’ve had enough of you and your cats. You treat them as if they were people, when all they are is - cats.”

Rufus went into the house, up to the bedroom, got his bag, and went out to the car.

“You can’t leave me here just like that,” Chalice screamed after him as he reversed into the road.

“Don’t get upset. The cats will keep you company. Bye.”

And so the two who had started out so well, finished acrimoniously.

 

Dunstan and Laney were a childless couple. Their child was a brown coloured spaniel, who was called Cinnamon. They had got married when it was still considered the correct thing to do socially. From the outset, the idea of having children was anathema to the pair. Their friends were busy pushing buggies and changing nappies, which had no appeal for either of them. As they passed from their thirties to forties, they travelled less and less to far away places.

Purchasing a caravan and acquiring a dog, had happened at the same time. Friends of theirs were into breeding spaniels and offered them a puppy. Neither of them was sure what having a dog entailed, and yet they accepted it just the same. The caravan was seen and bought in a flash, with Cinnamon accompanying them. Dunstan and Laney drove out of the caravan centre with Cinnamon sitting in his basket on the back seat of the car. What thoughts might have passed through the puppy’s head?

From the moment the caravan and Cinnamon entered their lives, Dunstan and Laney became less available for babysitting duties with family and friends. The lovely trio would get ready on Friday evenings in good weather, and drive off to who knows where. The caravan had an extended room at the back, and in hot weather or on the beach, Cinnamon would stretch out in the shade in sheer bliss. The spaniel loved travelling, and as soon as he saw a trip on the cards, he was up and ready. Cinnamon’s toys were packed into a rucksack with his name on the front. He was allowed to take everything he wanted with him. Laney had bought him blankets when a tiny puppy, and he was still using them as the years passed. He was a good dog and never strayed from Dunstan and Laney. They appreciated him, and he them.

 

Dunstan always said he’d never let a child sleep in their bed, but with Cinnamon he broke all the rules, and the dog spent quite a few nights right inside their bed. Dunstan wasn’t quite sure whether or not it was a good idea, and spoke to Laney about it. “Do you think Cinnamon should sleep in our bed?”

Laney stared at Dunstan, and said, “You can’t turn him away now. That would be most unfair. He’s our baby, and that’s that. Look at that lovely soft face. How on earth could you even think of turning him out?”

Cinnamon knew they were talking about him, and he had also learned what expressions to pull in order to get sympathy. It never failed, and after a few seconds he had both Dunstan and Laney hugging and kissing him, and plying him with his favourite food. They never discussed their rather unconventional household, not even to their nearest and dearest. Dunstan’s mother and father once asked where Cinnamon slept at night, and they were kindly informed that he slept in his own bed. Laney’s family was not quite so nosey about the living arrangements in Laney and Dunstan’s house. They were too involved with their neighbours’ personal scandals, which they never stopped talking about, any weekend they visited. Cinnamon liked the two elderly gentlemen, because they took him for walks to the local pubs, where Cinnamon got given prohibited food, like crisps and pieces of different kinds of meat, whereas at home he had to eat the best dog food, which always tasted the same. Cinnamon looked forward to the family visitors as they provided him with a different aspect of human nature. Laney always shooed him off the marital bed when the mothers were around, Cinnamon took a dim view of such behaviour and once he managed to get into the unmade bed. Laney’s mother went into the bedroom with her daughter and when they pulled back the bed clothes they saw Cinnamon lying stretched out, asleep.

“That’s nice, isn’t it? Laney, what’s that dog doing in your bed?”

“Mum, he’s Cinnamon, not ‘that dog’. He likes doing things like that.”

Laney’s mother tried pushing Cinnamon off the bed, which made him growl. Laney’s mother insisted, and so did Cinnamon. In the end Laney told her mother to go downstairs. When they were alone in the bedroom Laney turned to Cinnamon, and said, “You picked a good moment to show me up, didn’t you?” Cinnamon rolled over showing her his lovely brown tummy. Laney couldn’t resist that, and began tickling him.

That night, as a special treat after nearly having been pushed off the bed, Cinnamon slept between Dunstan and Laney. Whereas until then, such good luck had been rare, Cinnamon between them in their bed, became a regular feature.

 

Sefton was a single, late-middle-aged man. He had a black Labrador called Bogart, and he spent the majority of his free time with him. The two were inseparable and everything Sefton thought of was with Bogart in mind. They had travelled to all sorts of different places, but only those where Bogart was welcome. They had walked over all kinds of country hills and dales together. Sefton had remained single through choice, because he valued his independence and wasn’t tough enough to put up with a woman in his life. The best company for him was Bogart. Ever since Bogart had grown up, Sefton had been approached by men and women, with a view to mating the Labrador with their own Labrador. Sefton had always refused on Bogart’s behalf, seeing it as an affront to the dog’s pride and decency. In other words he didn’t approve of using Bogart as a sperm donor. There were plenty of parks to walk dogs, and Sefton tried a different one every time, in order to avoid meeting the same people.

 

Raelyn had a black Labrador bitch called Sable. The dog was a wonderful example, and now she was fully grown Raelyn wanted her to have some puppies and sell them, because she knew they would fetch a good price. Raelyn knew some of the Labrador owners, but she had never met Sefton, although some of the other dog owners she met when out with Sable, had spoken of him and how he refused to let Bogart be a father.

One day Raelyn, accompanied by Sable, who was on heat, went to the same park as Sefton. She saw Bogart was not on a lead, and released Sable’s lead hoping that the two dogs would mate without any preamble. Sefton was walking around the park looking and calling for Bogart, but his beloved dog didn’t appear. Bogart was practicing what all dogs do when they meet up with a bitch on heat. Raelyn knew exactly what was going on and didn’t feel a bit of remorse. She knew what she wanted, and she wanted Bogart to be the father of Sable’s puppies. Raelyn saw the two dogs separate and grabbed at Sable, put her lead back on and left the park in a hurry, hoping against hope that her dog was pregnant.

 

Sefton found Bogart hanging out in some bushes with a rather disreputable shaggy-looking grey dog. Bogart ran up to Sefton and the pair made their way to a local pub, where they would both enjoy a drink.

 

During the next six weeks Raelyn was on tenterhooks and found life almost impossible to live, wondering what Sable’s puppies would look like. She never saw or heard anything of Sefton or Bogart. Raelyn had told just about everybody she knew that Sable was going to give birth to four pedigree black puppies. Sable was treated like royalty and had all the food she needed for healthy puppies and for her.

The vet had told Raelyn to take Sable to his clinic a day before the birth. It was with tremendous excitement that Raelyn sat in the vet’s waiting room while the happy event took place just a few metres away in the delivery room. After what seemed an age, the vet opened the waiting-room door and beckoned Raelyn to follow him. “Raelyn, are you sure Sable mated with another black Labrador?”

Raelyn looked down and saw the strangest dogs ever. It was impossible to tell what kind of dogs they were. She burst into tears and sat down on a chair in the surgery. “What am I supposed to do with them, they are no use to me, or poor Sable. I was hoping she would mate with a lovely black Labrador called Bogart, that I’ve seen in the big park.”

The vet sat back and stared hard at Raelyn, and then said, “I know Bogart, but he’s not an actual patient of mine. But one thing I can say, is that he’s been castrated, his owner Sefton didn’t want any problems with bitches on heat, as he put it.”

Raelyn put her head in her hands and cried. The vet continued, “Raelyn, you really should have paid more attention to Bogart, then there wouldn’t have been this slip up.”

“I’m not taking those puppies home, and it might be a good idea if you would remove her womb and ovaries.”

“That can’t be done till she has recovered from the birth of the puppies. In about six weeks they will be weaned, and they can go to other homes, and Sable will be able to resume a normal life.”

“Can you have her and the puppies here till they are bigger?”

“They are your responsibility, not mine. So put up with them for six weeks, and then give them away. I’m sure some children will want them. Sable doesn’t have to be sterilised, she can be mated with a black Labrador and give you puppies you would prefer.”

Raelyn stared at him in stupefaction, “Oh, no, I’m not going through all this again.”

 

Meanwhile, a large shaggy dog was busy running around loose, and when he had the chance got one of them pregnant.

 

Kenny James, the vet, was a man of ideas. He hadn’t been at all surprised at Raelyn’s reaction to the odd-looking puppies. He knew she wanted pedigree puppies but, as he had said to her on more than one occasion, “There’s many a slip between cup and the lip.” Raelyn had paid no attention to his words. He found some of his other clients a little more receptive to his advice.

 

The drama of Raelyn and Sable was water under the bridge, when the vet was asked to organize a wedding between two dogs. They were two gorgeous golden retrievers, and their owners wanted to formalise the dogs’ relationship. Everyone who was a patient of Kenny was invited.

 

Addison was amused and decided to dress the dachshunds in matching suits. Chalice was invited, but turned down the invitation for fear of the dogs. Dunstan and Laney arrived with Cinnamon wearing a beautiful diamond collar and lead. Sefton was not at all interested, but went anyway for Bogart’s benefit, to meet other dogs. Raelyn took Sable, who as soon as she saw Bogart began barking. “What’s the matter with you?”

Sefton walked up to Raelyn and said, “She seems to know Bogart. Do you go out to the big park with her?”

“We haven’t been out there for a long time. There were health issues to deal with first.” Raelyn said, not wishing to explain anything about Sable’s unwanted puppies.

 

The guests gathered behind the happy couple, and watched as the ceremony unfolded. The bride wore a veil and the groom a top hat.

The other dogs began to get restless, and in the end fighting broke out over food. The three tier wedding cake was trampled into the lawn, and went everywhere - except in the dogs’ mouths. Bogart and Sable were sitting side by side on Sable’s blanket. The bride and groom were in the melee, and were covered in cream and chocolate. Raelyn saw Sable and Bogart so happy together, she had a lump in her throat. Sefton paid no attention, of course.

A large grey shaggy dog was running around causing utter mayhem. The vet called to him, “Shadow! Come here! Good dog.”

 

Raelyn ran up to him and said, “You knew who the puppies’ father was as soon as they were born - and never said. I’m going, and if I could, I would sue you for every penny you have.”

 

Raelyn felt humiliated and hurt. She grabbed at Sable’s lead, and almost ran out of the garden.


Submitted: July 05, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Georgina V Solly. All rights reserved.

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