Irina couldn't believe it. Her whole summer was about to be wasted! Staying with her grandfather on his farm for her three months of precious summertime. All because of what? Being caught skipping school a few times. She kept a scowl plastered on her face since they left. It wasn't leaving anytime soon. Her parents can think they're doing her a favor all they want, but she knew they were just getting on her nerves. They chattered endlessly about how nice it would be to spend time with her granddad and learn about all the animals, and actually do some work. Whatever! She already knew she was going to play sick all summer. She stared out the window at the countryside. They were almost there, and dismay filled her every second.
Duke happily ran into the barn, his tail fiercely wagging.
"Hey, guys!" He called once inside, "Irina's coming for the summer!"
"Who?" Asked Otis, looking over at Duke.
"Irina. The farmer's granddaughter. It's been years since I saw her. She was about four back then. Now she's seventeen. I overheard the conversation the farmer had on the phone!"
"Another human here!?" Asked Abbey, shock in her voice, "How can we have fun with another human around us?"
"And for the whole summer," added Otis. "How could you be so happy?"
"She won't notice us. She's a teenager. She'll probably just stay inside and listen to music or something."
"How do you know?" Said Pip, who was on Otis's shoulder.
"I heard the farmer say she could hang out around the house. I highly doubt a teenage girl will want to hang out in the barn."
The dog looked around at all of his friends in the barn. Their faces were all still skeptical. In a way, he didn't care what they thought. They just didn't bond with humans the same way a dog did.
"She should be here any minute," he said, "I'm going to go wait outside."
"You keep her away from here!" Otis called.
Duke didn't care. He walked on all fours as he came out of the barn. They didn't need to be excited. He'd live just fine with him being happy over her arrival. The farmer walked over to him.
"Hey, Duke. Have I told you the good news?"
He barked happily in response.
"That's right! Irina's coming for her vacation. It'll be so good to see her again." He got on one knee to pet Duke, then said, "I have a big job for you. You need to keep an eye on her. Can you do that, boy?"
With affection in his eyes, he licked the farmer's hand. Of course he would. The farmer smiled. Just then, a car pulled up.
"Hey, dad," said a middle aged woman, getting out of the driver's seat. That wasn't her.
Then a girl with shoulder length light brown hair and a purple streak going down it came out of the car. Definitely her. Duke happily pranced over as the farmer and Irina's mother hugged. He nudged the young girl's leg, hoping she'd remember him.
"Hey," she said, a playful lilt in her voice, "Duke, is that you? Wow, you grew up, huh?" She bent down and scratched his ears. Oh man, did he like that. Then she quickly got up, "Hey, Gramps," she said, hugging him.
Her mother handed her two suitcases, and they all said their good-byes. Then she left, as they walked inside the house.
Irina followed her grandfather upstairs to where she put her bags in the upstairs bedroom. His house was the same way she remembered. From what she remembered anyway.
"I hear you've been skipping school," he said with a smirk.
"Yeah, but I was only skipping boring classes."
"Your mother was the same."
"Really?" That was truly surprising.
"Oh yes." Then quickly changing the subject, "About your work around here." He pointed to the kitchen, "The dishes. I want you to clean them. Dust the inside of the house once a week, and keep your room tidy."
"That's it?" She was feeling a little shocked. Honestly she expecting more like, up at the crack of dawn to the cows and collect the chicken eggs. But she wouldn't push her luck.
"Yup. And Duke here is going to watch you. Now what kind of food do you like?"
"Oh, well, I'm a vegetarian these days, so yeah. Salads are my thing."
"Really?" He smiled wide, and walked into the kitchen with her, "Have you ever thought of going vegan?"
"I have, but it seems so hard."
Maybe this summer wouldn't be a total waste.
A/N: So, I really wanted to do this for fun and see how this initial chapter turned out before posting more. I haven't followed this shoe much, so if anything's wrong just let me know. I was inspired to do this while watching an episode with my brother. Haha.