|Beach Head vs The Puppy
Author: OktoberDaina PM
What happens when Beach Head is stuck babysitting a Black Lab puppy?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Words: 2,129 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Published: 03-06-05 - id: 2294552
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Small disclaimer: I had this uploaded at and completely forgot to upload it here. My bad!
Beach Head vs. The Puppy
The rain poured steadily over the lake outside of the cabin, the cloud cover casting the area in shades of gray. Despite the approaching fall, the air was still thick with humidity and very hot. The light rain did little to decrease the temperature, but did much to create a lazy heavy feeling in the atmosphere surrounding the small cabin. The only signs of life over Lake Eufaula were the occasional camper at the public campground across the lake as they rushed to secure their speedboats and jet skis before the gentle rainfall turned into a torrent.
A lone figure stood in the doorway, watching the rain with a sharp scowl. At his feet, a black Labrador puppy, no more than a few weeks old, gnawed at his ankle with youthful enthusiasm. The teeth really didn't poke through the denim so much, but it was still a minor source of aggravation and did not help his mood one bit.
"Stop that." He glared down at the puppy, the scowl not relaxing.
The puppy did, looking up with a confused expression before yipping once and returning to its previous task. Wayne made a mental note to wake Courtney extra early tomorrow for few bonus miles around the lake for making him puppy-sit. With a shake of his head, he turned his attention away from the ankle-biting menace and turned back into the front room.
The trip to Lake Eufaula was supposed to be "alone time" with none of the daily interruptions that usually occurred when least wanted or expected. Of course, Wayne had been adamant about not affording to take the time off, but in the end Courtney won provided that he chose the location. In the interest of compromise, he agreed to the cabin as opposed to "true camping".
"I'm not sleeping under a tarp and hunting for squirrel," she argued. The debate had continued for at least another hour before the agreement was reached.
Upon arriving at the cabin early that morning, they were greeted by the sight of a small filthy mass of short black fur huddled on the front step, obviously several days hungry and cold. There was a thick leather collar around its neck, but the tags had been snapped off. This had to have been someone's pet, but who left the puppy behind? Was it an accident or on purpose?
After a few moments of debate, they decided to bring the animal in. Courtney set off right away to give the puppy a hot bath, soon returning with a wet squirming mass that seemed as intent to lick her cheek as it was to spread water all over the lacquered hardwood floor.
"That wet dog's gonna stink up the place," Wayne grumbled.
"He's clean, and besides, don't talk to me about that," she replied obliquely. "I'm not making a comment about what anyone else says, so we'll stop that train of thought right there."
The only response was a barely audible growl that he was going to go unpack as he left for the single bedroom.
Since that conversation, Courtney announced that she was going check with the park's office staff to see if anyone had reported a lost puppy, leaving Wayne to reluctantly keep watch.
The first line of defense against a hyperactive Labrador puppy would to let the puppy amuse himself with a pair of old socks instead of his ankle. There weren't many breakable things in the cabin, so there was nothing the puppy could injure himself on. With that being the case, Wayne sat at the small kitchen table to eat a late lunch. The hot dogs and chili would have been cooked over an open fire later that evening, but the presence of the little visitor took precedence over the necessary visit to the food store located at the entrance to the park.
He paused, fork halfway up to his mouth. With a muttered curse, he set the fork back down in the bowl and stood, stomping into the living room. Somehow, the puppy managed to pull the crocheted afghan from the back of the couch sideways into the heavy lamp on the side table, knocking it over. Thankfully, the lamp was sturdy enough that nothing more than the bulb broke, but it was still annoying to put off a hot lunch to clean up the puppy's mess.
It took hardly any time to clean up the glass, but Wayne was positive that his food would be cold. He briefly considered taking a moment to go lecture the puppy, but lunch was the more immediate concern. He returned to the kitchen, scowling at the situation.
The bowl was no longer on the table. More specifically, the bowl was off of the table, on the floor, with the Labrador's nose buried in it, eating the chili with an audible growl. His tail swished in the air, beating back and forth excitedly, shuffling to lick the last bit of meat from the bowl.
Wayne stopped, ready to lecture the puppy, but instead watched, finding the frustration ebbing away. The puppy was just too darn cute like that, wiggling about, covered in chili. Any thought of fussing at the small dog vanished when he lifted his nose and barked, waving his little tail innocently. Instead, Wayne took a towel and leaned down to wipe off the puppy's nose.
"We'll tell Courtney you ate her lunch. See if she leaves me puppy-sitting again."
ROUND 1 – PUPPY WINS
Only an hour had passed since the chili incident, and the puppy settled into a comfortable sleep. The quiet was very welcome after the hyperactive puppy's rampage through the small cabin, giving Wayne a moment to sit back in relative peace, despite the sound of the storm outside. He looked through the local paper, reading over events in the area with a mild degree of interest when a particularly loud crash of thunder made him turn to glare at the window.
The paper fell from his hand to land on the couch as he stood to watch the storm. Occasionally the lighting illuminated his face as he stared out of the window. Courtney had been gone for at least three hours, and where he was confident that she could take care of herself, a small amount of concern still snuck in given the severity of the storm. Of course, an hour from now the storm could blow away, and the sky could be as clear as though it had never rained. That, unfortunately, wasn't the immediate case.
He almost didn't hear the soft patter of paws on the hardwood floor over the steady drumming of the rain outside, but he did hear the soft growling noises as the puppy busied himself with something, coming from the couch.
Probably the socks again, Wayne thought, irritated at the loss of the pair. That little monster has no place being on the couch anyway.
He turned sharply on his heel, marching back to where the puppy's nose was buried in the corner of the couch, the only visible part of tail wagging furiously over the arm of the chair. As the rest of the juvenile came to view, it was obviously that what the puppy was ripping to shreds wasn't the socks.
It was the newspaper.
"Get down here right now you little…"
The angry order was cut off as the puppy let out a frightened yip, tumbling off of the couch and setting off, the paper firmly locked in his jaws. He shot off, trailing newsprint everywhere his little paws landed, disappearing into the bedroom and under the bed before Wayne had a chance to catch up.
"You come back here. NOW," he bellowed after the puppy.
The only response was a frightened whimper.
"I said now." He lowered his voice, mentally forcing himself to calm down. The puppy was much smaller than him and was obviously scared. Scared puppies are less likely to come when ordered unlike scared Greenshirts.
The reply that came this time was a definite bark, almost a challenge that could be interpreted as, "Make Me!"
The Ranger knelt down, fingers tapping the floor lightly before turning his palm out.
"Come on. I'm not mad."
Meekly, the puppy's nose snuck out from under the bed, paper still clenched between his teeth. The eyes followed, then the head, and finally the canine scrambled forward, dropping the paper in the waiting hand.
"Dog drool…just great." There was still a trace of amusement in his voice as he scooped up the puppy in one arm, making sure to drop the newspaper in the garbage on the way out.
"What say you stay out of my way long enough to clean up your mess?"
The puppy gave an agreeable bark, squirming up to lick Wayne's face.
"Stop that," the Ranger grumbled. "You ain't out of trouble yet."
ROUND 2 – BEACH HEAD WINS
Another hour passed, and there was still no sign of Courtney. Wayne had given up playing fetch with the puppy to go back to looking out of the window. After all, the one and only source of worthwhile reading material in the cabin became a victim of violent puppy play. TV Guide could hardly be considered a mentally challenging work of literary genius.
There was no point in wasting time watching the rain fall, so he opted instead to work about unpacking the pair of duffel bags for the week-long stay. Both bags contained a reasonable amount of items, his less than Courtney's. He never packed much more than the essentials. His took very little time, but with a small amount of mental debate, he decided to leave the tank jockey's bag alone.
Wayne paused at the closet, dropping his duffel bag to the floor. It had been an entire fifteen minutes and silence permeated the cabin where there had once been the sound of a very playful Labrador puppy running about. He turned sharply on his heel and stepped back into the main room, searching the house until he found the puppy.
The Lab was sitting at the back door in the kitchen, whining and beating his little tail in a pathetic manner. He barked sharply and butted his head against the door, whining again.
"Potty break?" The Ranger shook his head. It wouldn't do to let the puppy out in the rain, but he couldn't let the puppy make a mess in the house. Thinking quickly, he retrieved the gnawed-on newspaper from the trash and spread it out.
The puppy sniffed the paper suspiciously, looking back towards his new human friend for instruction. The outstretched finger indicated he was to sit on the paper, and so the Lab did so, squatting down as if to do his business.
If only it were that simple. The puppy did do his business, leaving a wet spot on a thicker part of the newspaper, but hopped right over to the tile floor and left a stinky pile right in front of the back door. With a happy yelp, he dashed off to go play with Wayne's socks some more, leaving the Ranger to stare at the pile rather flatly.
ROUND 3 – PUPPY WINS
Courtney finally made it back an hour or so after sunset to find the cabin quiet and dark as she came in through the back door. Her nose wrinkled at the sudden intrusion of the scent of Lysol immediately from where she stood. She'd just have to ask Beach about it later.
She quietly made her way across the floor towards the living room, turning on a lamp by the wall with a twist of a knob. There, on the couch, lay her favorite hard ass, fast asleep. The black Labrador was there as well, sprawled out on the Ranger's stomach and chest, also deep asleep.
Courtney had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. To think that anything involving Wayne would be cute had seemed unlikely until just now. She reached into her messenger bag and withdrew her digital camera, taking a few quick pictures.
No one at the Pit would believe it without photo evidence, after all.
END SCORE – PUPPY: 2, BEACH HEAD: 1
WINNER - PUPPY