Jake left the vets, goes over to his car and sat in the driver seat. He stayed there for a few minutes, going over the days events and just letting it all sink in.
He wasn’t sure how he thought today would go, but he never imagined he’d be in this situation right now. Then he thinks of Poppy, his old friend and who he just named the pup after. She always loved dogs, and he knew she’d fall for this one too. Was that why he took it in? He wasn’t sure why he did what he had done today, only that he knew it was the right thing to do.
A wave of realisation went over him as he thought about his home and what the pup would need. He suddenly felt the stressed/worried shroud he’s been so used to of late, he shuddered. Breathed deep a few times and started the car, he needed to get home and clean up.
Soon after he pulled up outside his home, went in and closed the door. He leant against it for a few moments and looked around. There was a heap of stuff on the coffee table, the bin was out in the open and there were power cords and cables all over the place.
“Right then….. best get to it.” Jake grabbed the bin and cleared everything off the table, then cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed everywhere. He then went about winding up the cables and putting them out of the way, so they wouldn’t get chewed or be a hazard.
After all this, he thought about what he needed to get in for the pup. A bed, food and water bowls, along with some food, a collar and lead. There’s bound to be more but he couldn’t think of it all right now, so instead he went out to the back garden. It was an overgrown mess, and that was being kind! Jake walked round the fence and checking it was all together and had no holes or gaps. All looked fine, but there were leaves lying around and conkers scattered everywhere thanks to the tree next door.
He stood there feeling the chilly wind as it blew the leaves over the garden, then he heard a slight knock on the fence. As he went over, Mr. Robbins popped his head up and said hello. Jake tries to smile and says hi back, but isn’t really in the mood for small talk.
“Bitterly cold today isn’t it? Not nice to be out, but the garden needs some work.” He looks at Jake’s garden and chuckles slightly. Jake replies “Yeah cold enough, I haven’t really been out here for a while. I should really mow it down, need to make sure it’s all safe for Poppy” He realises what he just said and then looks at Mr. Robbins, who is smiling back at him.
“Well, if you’ve not got time. I can always bring my mower over and quickly go over it? Can’t leave it like this for a small pup eh?”
Jake looked at the old man, smiled a little and thanked him for his offer. “Well I do need to go out and get some stuff in, don’t think i’ll have time for both today. Are you sure you won’t mind?” “Nonsense, won’t be much trouble. I can get it done quickly and will get my rake out too! Not got much else to do today.” Mr. Robbins, was already going into his shed and bringing out the lawnmower. Jake knew enough about Mr. Robbins to argue after he’d made his mind up. So he went to the garden gate and unlocked it, then peaked over the fence to thank his neighbour and told him the gate was open. “Good good, i’ll be there in a jiffy. ‘Oh, dear, what can the matter be? Seven old ladies were locked in the lavatory….'” Jake couldn’t help but laugh at this, he was reminded of his Grandmother who used to sing that same song.
He went back inside, had one last look round to make sure he hadn’t missed anything and then left. He locked the door and got back in the car and drove off into town.
As he pulled up into a parking bay, he was going through a mental list of what he’d need to buy. “Bed, bowls, food, collar, lead, toys….” He gets out of the car, and grabs a trolley on the way into the large pet store.
He’s almost immediately overwhelmed by the amount of people and the choice of products available. So he slowly goes down the aisles labelled ‘Dog and Puppy’, grabbing an adjustable collar with tag, an extendable lead and all the essentials on his list. He turns a corner to go down the next aisle, grabs a bag of puppy food and a couple tins. Stops at the toy aisle and wonders what to get, spoilt for choice Jake eventually opts for some teething chews and a couple of squeaky toys.
Eventually he makes his way over to the tills and pays for everything. As he’s about to leave, he see’s an engraving booth ahead. He decides to get a tag engraved, tells the guy to put Poppy on the front and his phone number on the back. As he waits for the machine to finish engraving, he notices someone go past that looks like his ex. Suddenly Jake starts to panic and feels dizzy, his legs go weak and his head feels light as his vision starts to blur and darken. The woman turns and Jake notices it’s not her, he remembers to breathe. After a few moments of controlled breathing and trying to calm himself, the machine stops and the guy hands over the tag. Jake focuses on it, reads the name and starts to feel better. He pays the guy and slowly makes his way back to the car. Putting the shopping bags in the boot and then slumping in his seat.
He still feels shaky, so stays put for a while until he feels able to drive again. Tears start flowing as he thinks of everything that happened, how he lost his friend and partner. How they played him for a fool and didn’t care about him at all. Then he thought of his friends, his true friends that he hasn’t seen for a couple of years. He thought of Poppy, the friend he lost and then of the puppy that’s just appeared in his life. Jake wiped the tears away and sniffed as he shook his head a bit. Decides to call the vets and tells them he’ll pick up Poppy after work tomorrow. He then turns the ignition, puts the radio on and drives off home.
The alarm blares out some 80’s pop song, Jake groans as he rolls over to turn it off. He gets out of bed and slow stretches his arms and legs out. Hearing a few odd clicks and creaks, the sure signs of age or at least lack of exercise. Stumbling over to the dresser, he pulls out some clothes. Lays them on the bed and heads into the bathroom.
Soon after, feeling awake and refreshed he gets dressed, then grabs his phone and wallet. As he goes down the stairs, he see’s the new additions around the house. The dog bed in the corner and a bag of toys near the sofa, with the food and water bowls on a mat in the kitchen. Last night was a bit of a haze, Jake managed to get home ok and decided to make a stop in town to get a Pizza and a bottle of Whiskey for Mr. Robbins as a thank you. The kind old man had even raked up the leaves and the few conkers strewn around too. He gladly received the bottle! No doubt he slept well last night, Jake didn’t though. Had an odd dream where he was running after a car, yelling at it to stop but it just sped away and hit another car. He woke up a couple of times in the night, not really had a good nights sleep for a while now.
Jake went into the kitchen and made himself a coffee, notices the time and quickly drinks it down. He puts on his jacket, grabs the empty pizza box and rubbish, remembers to grab his keys then goes out the door. Putting the rubbish in the bin outside, he locks the door and gets in his car. Which is frosted over, he starts it up and turns on the heaters. Grabs the bottle of de-icer and goes over the windscreen, before finally reversing onto the road and driving off to work.
As he pulls up, he realises he’s one of the first people there. He goes into the main office floor and see’s Mrs. Kimber’s office light on. He knocks on her door and is invited in and to take a seat. As Jake sits in front of her desk, he notices the family photos on her desk and the dog photo in particular.
“Jake, it’s good to see you. How have you been?”, He goes through the events of the day before. Leaving out a few details like his attack in the store and why he didn’t come in yesterday. But She calmly listens and smiles a little as Jake talks about the puppy.
“Well i’m a little surprised by it all, though i’m glad the pup will be ok. But honestly Jake you’ve had me concerned for a while now and i’d like you to consider talking to someone.” She writes down a name and phone number on a note and hands it to Jake. He takes it and looks at it suspiciously.
Mrs. Kimber quickly adds: “That is my brother in-laws practice, he’s a psychologist and I think it may be of help. I’d like you to call him and make an appointment, I know you only work here part-time right now. But you’ve been a great help to us and we want to offer a full-time contract, on the condition you make an appointment.”
Jake is taken aback by the offer and also the fact she’s willing to help. He’s not had much luck of late or been one to accept help from people. A little too much pride maybe, but he knows he can’t turn this down. “That’s very kind of you, i’ll call them later today. I promise, and thank you for understanding about yesterday.”
As Jake gets up to leave, she quickly asks “So this pup of yours, tell me everything!!” Jake sits back down again and starts to describe Poppy as Mrs. Kimber makes them both coffee.