Eugene figured he would park his car at the end of Romney Drive, the main street in Merino, and walk back to the pet store from there. It was a beautiful sunny day and Rex needed another walk anyway. His plan was to ask the young lady there a couple questions about dog food and maybe just try a sample first, to see how Rex liked it. What was her name again..? Emily? A pretty name, he thought to himself.
As they got closer to the store, Rex started to pull and whimper. Eugene couldn’t see anything that would be getting Rex so excited but he quickened his pace to keep up.
Rex pulled him right up to the pet store front door and waited impatiently for him to open it. ‘Odd’, Eugene thought…’he is acting like he has been here before!’ As soon as Eugene opened the door, Rex disappeared inside. Eugene hurried in after him only to find Rex belly deep in a bin of dog treats, just about to devour his second biscuit.
“Rex you bad dog, get out of there!”
Out from behind the sales counter came a soft and gentle voice.
“Oh that’s okay, come here boy”.
Kneeling down beside the bin, giving Rex a belly rub, was a petite, red-haired young lady that Eugene assumed was Emily.
“I am terribly sorry about this” Eugene stammered, “he was so excited to get in the door, he just got away from me. I will gladly pay for anything the little bugger has stolen.”
“Oh no need,” said the young lady “he would have gotten a couple of treats anyway.”
“Thank you,” Eugene said as he stuck out his hand in greeting, “I am Eugene and this little thief is Rex.”
“Nice to meet you two. I am Emily and this is Jasper.” Emily motioned behind the counter and out sprang a cute little brown and beige mutt. Jasper and Rex exchanged hello’s and off the went to check out the squeak toys.
Eugene, a little frustrated and embarrassed over Rex’s poor behavior, awkwardly made an attempt at small talk with Emily but eventually gave up and just asked her about what she thought would be the best diet for Rex. After going over all of Rex’s options, Emily could see that perhaps she had overwhelmed Eugene with too much information. He was looking a little glassy-eyed and unfocused.
Handing Eugene a bag of frozen raw pork patties, she said, “Give this a try, there should be enough in there to last a week. That should be long enough to see if Rex has taken to it or not. After that, come back in and we can get you more of the same or try something else.”
“Oh, okay,” said Eugene, snapping out of his daze “Thank you.” Just then Rex came bounding up to Eugene with a stuffy in his mouth, ” I guess we will be taking this as well!”
“Good choice Rex,” Emily said with a smile. Eugene and Rex left with their purchases in hand (and mouth) and wandered out into the bright sunshine.
Emily watched them go. ” A bit of an odd duck, don’t you think Jasper? But he is kinda cute!” Jasper barked in agreement.