He howled, paused, then howled again.
“Shut up, ya daft idiot.” She hissed at him. “Do you want to wake the whole neighborhood?”
He whimpered in reply and settled in beside her, tongue hanging out as he panted. She watched him a moment longer, then got back to work on the huge padlock hanging from the gate.
“It’s got to be one of these,” she muttered. “I paid enough for ‘em.” She twisted the ring and tried another key, but this one wouldn’t even go in the hole. She lifted the keys to a patch of moonlight. “Blast! Now I can’t remember which ones I’ve already tried.” Heaving a sigh, she rummaged in her coat pocket. “Aha!” She tied the small piece of string to the ring. “Starting point.” She pointed to the bit of string and looked for comprehension in his eyes. “Right. Like asking a babe to recite the dictionary. By heart, no less.”
"Alright, that does it."
She jumped at the voice and wheeled around.
"Down here, pinhead."
Her eyes dropped to the animal at her side. He was standing on his hind legs. "I've had it," he said. I'll follow you around, because it's what dogs do, but I will not take verbal abuse from a woman who carries string in her pocket like a bloody mental patient? Got it?"
He woofed out a rawhide-scented sigh and dropped down on all fours. It was against the prime directive, talking to humans, but her mind was loose-woven cheesecloth. She'd forget it by morning.
Opening: Sarah.....Continuation: Lynn