Post Classifieds

Mini & Sparky

By Jessica Bowman
On February 15, 2019

Allison Belle never had anything to hide. She was a straight shooter who knew what she wanted, and when she had to have it by. So the only thing on her mind as she walked her Papillion Mini down Main Street was where to find the best organic dog treats for her pup.

She certainly wasn’t thinking about the other people on the street, or making conversation. Allison was well over that at her ripe age of twenty-five, at least she thought. The sun glimmered through the trees and cast a broken canopy of shadows over the park as Allison and Mini walked past it.

Mini’s brown long haired tail was raised high and her tongue was rolling out of her mouth so it looked like she wore a permanent smile. A few times during their walk Mini would brisk speed ahead, stop, then turn her white and brown head of fur back at Allison as if to check that she was still there.

They hit all their usual stops, the breakfast diner that let Mini and Allison eat on their back porch. The art store where Mini would wait patiently for Allison to buy the tools she needed for her next canvas. Then finally they were walking down the sidewalk by the park where Mini always loved to look at all the other dogs and people throwing Frisbees, but never interact with them.

One time Allison tried to get Mini into the park but the little dog sat resolutely, staring as if it was a forbidden land. She had barely even looked at Allison. When Allison picked her up and placed her over the threshold of grass and dirt Mini stood stock still. Her eyes went wide and she stopped panting in the Sunday sun. Then slowly, as if avoiding anything seeing her she began to back up. She didn’t stop until her feet were back on the pavement. Finally safe again, her tongue hung out of her mouth and she wore that big grin, looking at all the people at play.

Mini halted their stroll at the entrance of the park to watch like they usually do. She turned in a circle three times then sat down on the sidewalk, watching a life of play that she either didn’t think she could or didn’t want to be a part of.

Allison sipped the dregs of her coffee, watching her pup with a strange curiosity. She wasn’t paying attention when a loud voice yelled in their direction and it wasn’t until a massive Cujo dog was nearly on top of them that Allison noticed the giant brown mutt hurtling towards her, and the tiny woman trying in vain to hold it back.

“Watch out!” The woman’s voice carried high and long. The dog was careening towards Allison, tongue lolling, giant head bouncing so that its ears temporarily blinded it when they bounced down. Allison heard Mini’s tiny barks of terror before the brown fur ball was tackling her to the ground.

A wet nose went into her mouth and bumped her teeth, leaving the slick residue of dog. Bones and fur collided with her chest and the only thing she knew before her head hit the pavement was a tongue on her face.

Allison found herself lost in tangled chocolate fur as the large mass moved on top of her. Paws pressed harshly against her chest and knocked the wind out of her. The girl’s voice was a small thing in her ear until the dog was finally pried off her body.

When it was held back the dog still fought, choking against its own collar. Allison sat up, rubbing her head and ignoring the way Mini yipped and jumped at her side. Allison finally caught a clear sight of the tiny woman who had lost control of her dog.

She wasn’t necessarily short, maybe only an inch or two below Allison herself, but she was unnaturally skinny and for a moment Allison wondered about her health. She had a softly structured face, with a small nose and chin that somehow was made more prominent by her big hazel eyes. Her straightened hair fell in wind-whipped clumps around her face in blonde, pink, blue and purple.

The impact of falling had already taken her breath away, but suddenly Allison felt like she couldn’t catch it again. It certainly wasn’t because of the dog anymore. The specimen in front of her might have been the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen.

Allison realized too late that she had stared for too long without saying anything. The small woman was still struggling to lift her dog away but now it seemed she had gotten it under control and was holding its chest under her legs so it couldn’t move.

“Are you okay?” the woman’s small voice asked. Her dog barked loudly but otherwise stayed where it was, wagging its tail wildly until the blonde woman wagged with it.

Allison stammered, “U-uh,” She managed to stand up on her own and took her eyes off the beauty in front of her to brush some of the dirt off her pants. “Yeah, I’m-” she looked up once and swallowed. “-fine.” In the impact, Allison had dropped Mini’s leash but she picked it up quickly. Thankfully Mini was well behaved and was still sitting right next to the gate of the park as if nothing had happened.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” the blonde began talking. “Sparky just has a mind of his own and he’s hard to contro-” Before she could finish speaking Sparky barked loudly and lunged forward, leaving his owner to grab tighter onto his chest. The blonde looked up with an embarrassed smile. “My name’s Wendy by the way.” She held out a hand for Allison awkwardly. She was still hunched over her dog with one arm wrapped around him and tangled up with the leash.

“Uh, Allison.”

As soon as they shook Sparky tried to leap forward, his attention now on something across the street. Wendy jumped trying to hold onto him. This time though Allison joined in, holding Sparky back. He licked her face when she braced her hands on his neck. Together they managed to keep Sparky from moving but he looked between both girls like he was excited to have them crowded around him.

Allison moved her hands when he calmed down, gently trailing them down until they struck Wendy’s slender fingers. Her gaze lifted to meet ice blue eyes that could have frozen her over like a lake in winter.

 Allison smiled nervously and ripped her hands away, hoping Wendy wouldn’t notice how much her palms were sweating. Wendy laughed nervously and turned her attention back to her dog. With him now substantially calmer she pushed on his rear and loudly told him to sit. Sparky just licked her face.

Allison wasn’t sure if this girl was cute or just an airhead. Eventually, she managed to get Sparky to lay down completely and he sat with no more complaints, just a tongue lolling out of his black lipped mouth.

Wendy sighed in relief and swung her hair back as she stood up straight. “He’s a work in progress,” she said and laughed.

Allison gave her a sweet smile. “I know some dog training places,” Allison said. “They’re like, right down the road. I can show you where they are if you want.”

Wendy’s eyes lit up and she smiled so big Allison felt her heart skip a beat. “Really? That’d be amazing! Sparky needs so much work,” she laughed again nervously.

Allison nodded. “Mini used to be a spoiled terror until I brought her there. They can work miracles.” As Allison looked down at Mini she found the little dog was now holding a staring contest with Sparky. Neither was panting anymore, just staring down the other's beady black eyes, stone-faced. Eventually Sparky extended his neck, an attempt to sniff at Mini, but she barked and he pulled back.

Wendy, also watching the dogs, giggled. “I guess they could use some getting used to each other too.”

Allison nodded, giving her a small smile. “Mini and I still go for remedial lessons every once and a while so I’m sure they’ll be seeing plenty of each other.”

Wendy beamed. “Great! I’m new to town by the way. Maybe you could show me the way?”

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