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July 15, 2024

DogDoo Speaker

By Alexandra Queen

Author's Note: DogDoo Speaker is a prequel to Josh Brown's Spirit Speaker, based on Autumn Morris's frequent, harrowing and delightful dog poop stories. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

September was wrapped in leather leashes and apologizing to the receptionist when Vince Raines first saw her. My kind of woman, he smirked, stepping out into the small waiting room.

"What seems to be the problem here?"

"You might not want to..." September started to say, but her words were drowned out by the other woman.

"This!" the temp snapped, pointing down at her dress slacks.

Vince had to agree. He preferred his receptionists to wear skirts. The shorter, the better. Staring at her boringly be-panted ankles did, however, inspire a comment from him.

"You can't wear those shoes here. The left one looks like hell, and with the hole in the front, it violates the office open-toed shoe policy. And why is your right pant leg wet...?"

A sudden, warm sensation caused him to look down at his own left leg. One of the two little black Scotty dogs September had with her was staring up at him with soulful little brown eyes. It was also lifting its leg on him and unleashing a bucket of...

"...stand there," September concluded with a sigh.

"I quit," snapped the temp, taking off both ruined loafers, one shredded, one dripping, and tossing them at Vince.

"You're not getting paid for today because of the dress code violation," he called after her as the door slammed.

"You're the pet psychic, I take it?" September began the process of untangling herself from the leashes.

"These are Armani," Vince lied instead of answer her question. Duh. Vince Raines, Pet Psychic was what it said on the door. "I'm going to have to bill you for the dry cleaning, just so you know."

"I don't really believe in pet psychics," September said, stepping out of the tangle of leashes. "But my veterinarian said that if I didn't make an appointment to see you, she'd have a restraining order taken out on the younger dog. They're due for rabies boosters in three weeks and none of the other vets in town will see them."

"Why, what's wrong with them?" Vince peered down into the canny eyes of the older dog. With what Vince would later swear looked like a smile, the Scottish Terrier dropped his hindquarters and proceeded to leave an enormous, reeking pile on the carpet.

"That's Berber --" Vince started to protest again, then choked on the smell. "Oh, my God!"

"I know, I'll pay for it," September said wryly.

Vince didn't hear her. He was distracted. "How did all that crap fit in such a little dog??"

"That's the problem. They've been doing this all the time lately. I've tried switching their food, and they've gotten a little better at home, but every time we go to the vet's office, they... Scamp! Oh, I'm so sorry," she scooped to pick the little dog up from where he had jumped onto a couch and begun digging, shredding the upholstery.

"That's leather!" Vince snapped automatically.

September paused and stared at him. "It's naugahyde. Look, see the threads of fabric under the cheap veneer? Um. Sorry. I mean the surface."

"Damn it, I specifically asked for leather," Vince lied again. "That secretary is so fired."

"Gonna deduct the couch from her final check?" September asked dryly as Vince wheeled and stomped into his office with an impatient, "This way!"

Grunting irritably as he struggled to open his office window, he waved a hand at the couch. "Sit down. Now," he turned around and smoothed his hair back with one hand, reapplying his 'professional' demeanor in much the same way he applied his hair gel in the morning - thick and suave. "I normally like to give my 'clients' a little snack to help us get off on the right 'paw', so to speak," he chuckled at his own humor as he went to his desk and opened the bottom drawer. He pulled out two Milkbones from the small box. The younger Scotty farted audibly and then wheeled, spinning and barking viciously at his own backside. Vince put the small dog biscuits back and went to a box marked "Giant Breed". The guy at the veterinary wholesale supplier had warned him to be careful with the ratio of sedative per pound, or it might cause respiratory failure on little dogs, but these two had managed to completely destroy his office and staff within ten minutes of being here. Vince took out a biscuit for himself, for after they left. He suspected he was going to need it.

"Now, I don't like to toot my own horn," Vince smiled as he walked over to September and her little leashed evils, "but a lot of my clients tell me that even problem pets are generally calmer after a session with me. So expect to be surprised, heh." He looked down to where the older dog was sniffing at Vince's pant leg and resisted the urge to kick the animal. Clients never reacted well to that.

"Here you go, little guy." He forced a big smile as he bent down to give the biscuit to the older dog. The Scotty sniffed the treat and then sunk its tiny fangs into Vince's hand. "OW!"

"Gordie!" September gasped. "I'm so sorry, he's usually not that... bad dog!" Far from looking chagrined, the dog stood in front of her and barked sharply at Vince. "If you need stitches, I'll pay for... Scamp!"

Vince looked over to where the little dog had trotted behind Vince's desk and pawed open the bottom drawer, pulling out a box of Milkbones. "Don't eat those!" Vince snapped. It would probably look pretty bad if a dog died after... "Hey!"

"Diazepam?" With a tilted head, September read the side of the box that the younger dog pulled out.

"HEY!!" Vince screeched as the older dog trotted over to a drawer left slightly ajar in his filing cabinet and seized a folder, shaking it so that the contents fluttered all over the room.

September caught one of the papers as it drifted past. "Credit card numbers and expiration dates?"

"We... keep those on record," Vince said. "For billing purposes."

"Along with the card security codes and ...mother's maiden name?"

"You know what," Vince slammed the drawer shut, hoping to catch the little dog's nose in it. The vile creature was too fast for him. "There are too many blocked chakras in this room. I'm afraid you're going to have to leave."

"This carpet isn't Berber," September pointed out, rising to her feet and collecting leashes. The older dog was easier to catch, since he was busy making yet another enormous pile on the carpet.

"You know what, you don't have to pay for it. Just get out," Vince flung open the office door.

"And Armani doesn't make suits in cheap polyester."

"I hope the judge signs your vet's restraining order quickly," Vince replied as the woman left, dogs trotting merrily alongside.

"I'm sure you'll get a chance to ask him about it," was her parting comment.

One shoe squishing, Vince walked over and flung himself down in the chair behind his desk and took a large bite of Milkbone. He was going to have to shred documents and be out of this place before the cops showed up. Then he was going to have to start over in a new state.

With a sigh, he stared at the partially eaten dog biscuit in his hand. This 'pet psychic' business was a load of... he glanced down at the steaming pile on the carpet and averted his eyes.

There just had to be a better way to scam a living than this.

Article © Alexandra Queen. All rights reserved.
Published on 2005-08-15
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