The lost dogs…#’s 7 & 8

Friends: The following weeks I will be posting some of the chapters of my new short story entitled, The Lost Dogs of Mercy Trap. This is the first of 6-8 stories to be published in 2016. I hope you enjoy. John
(Chapter’s seven and eight)
Seven

Katy and Joseph took personal leave days from work. At ten AM they loaded Jimmy in the van and drove 35 miles north to Goldstone, WV, a city of 20,000 people. They shopped at five stores gathering dog food, treats, collars, shampoo, ropes, hardware snaps, and other supplies.

Returning to Mercy Trap around two PM they drove to the steel mill. In order to bath and groom the dogs, they would have to find a building with running water.

For the first time since the episode of abused dogs had started, Joseph felt he was getting a break. There was one bathroom with a tub and shower where the water had not been turned off. “Must be for he security guards,” Joseph mused.

“Then where are they?” asked Katy.

“Christmas break, I suspect.” He said.

“And if they show up tomorrow night?”

“Then I’ll give them a Christmas bonus to turn their heads?”

They unloaded supplies and returned to Joseph’s house, fixed PB&J sandwiches and settled around the kitchen table with pencils and note pads. It was time to be specific about the abduction, storage, care, and return of five dogs.

They worked through the afternoon and evening putting their plan on paper. At ten PM, 48 hours before the plan would unfold, Katy hugged both Jimmy and Joseph and drove home.

Eight

On Thursday and Friday Joseph took Jimmy to the hospital for volunteer time in the peds department, and then sorted mail. Katy wrote stories about awards presentations, personnel promotions, and obits.

They met for dinner at Bob Evans on Friday after work.

“Why do I feel like I’m on death row and this is my final meal?” said Katy.

Joseph and Jimmy laughed out loud.

“You worry too much,” Jimmy said. “After all what’s the worst that can happen?”

“Death before a firing squad,” she said. “Or maybe lethal injection.”

“No way,” Jimmy said. “We won’t get caught. And if we did, there’s not a jury in Mercy Trap that’d give us more than three years in the pen.”

“Okay, okay, children,” Joseph admonished. “Let’s enjoy our meal as if it is our last. We’re going to need all the energy we can muster before the night is over.”

After dinner, Katy drove home. She changed into drab pants, old shoes, and a sweatshirt with the hood pulled over her head. She took a bus to within three blocks of Joseph’s house, and walked, wondering all the while why she had agreed to such a crazy scheme.

The first three dogs were loaded without incident…mostly due to their familiarity with Joseph and his treats.

The fourth, a young Rottweiler, never having been removed from a 20-foot tether, was unruly and anxious. But a piece of Bob Evans steak calmed him considerably while they forced him into the van.

Katy and Jimmy took the four dogs to the Steel Mill while Joseph worked at getting the acceptance of a 175-pound Mastiff.

His name was Scrooge. He was a cross between a rounder and a junkyard dog. Fortunately, the mailbox for all five owners was on a post outside each property fence. Joseph always threw the treats. But, he had never entered any of the yards. Still, he was comfortable with the first four dogs. Though they would bark, it was more for the treats than out of aggression. This morning, even in the dark of night, each of the four had merely wagged their tails when he entered their yards and hooked them to a leash.

Scrooge, however, was different. He did not wear his disposition on his sleeve. He was pensive and slow to move. He never attacked the treats. Rather, he was thoughtful. He’d wait until Joseph turned his head before eyeing the treat. Then, he’d sluggishly pick it up and throw it down in one gulp.

“Hey, boy,” Joseph said as he approached the big dog and offered him a biscuit.
Surprisingly, Scrooge wagged his tail, accepted the biscuit, and allowed Joseph to remove the old chain and snap a new lead to his collar. Then, as if the two had gone on numerous walks together, they slowly and silently left the yard.

Katy and Jimmy returned and Joseph loaded Scrooge in the van. Two hours later they finished bathing the five dogs.

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