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There comes a time in every girl’s life when she begins to yearn for a shoulder to touch hers on the bench of the park of life, even if that girl was of the furry and four pawed variety. Although the idea of nestling her own face into a hard broad chest made Geneva’s hands sweat and her stomach recoil, she knew it was the only suitable option for Petunia. Ever since Percy had passed, she moped about, licking her shoes instead of gnawing off the heels and merely watching the doves instead of chasing them from window to window with a scolding of stern barks.
Now, most owners would not have been so concerned and simply would have waited out or maybe purchased a stuffed animal. However, most owners did not work at home as web designers. Most owners did not have heavy puppy sighs heating up their toes every thirty minutes.
“Petunia, you must perk up!” Geneva scolded, tucking her toes under her chair leg. Petunia merely laid her head on Geneva’s foot and huffed across her ankle. The only thing worse than toe sweat is ankle sweat.
“Ok, that’s it.” Geneva closed out her window and thumped the mouse pad with her thumb. “I’m finding you a boyfriend,” she informed the pug.
Petunia’s hot breath billowed up the cuff of her jeans. Geneva typed faster, scanning site after site. There were plenty of pugs for siring or breeding, but no sites advertising single pugs wanting a snorting girlfriend. Now most owners would have simply gone to the pound or local rescue group and procured a pug, but not Geneva. A hopeless romantic, she not only was charged with finding a pug that Petunia liked, but loved. As a single woman herself who had sworn off dating publicly years ago while privately trolling Internet dating sites, the discomfort and likely humiliation was not something she envied Petunia. But neither was toe sweat. With that, she picked up her phone.
“How would a pug find a girlfriend?” she asked when the caller picked up.
“By being pugnacious.” Her friend Sarah cackled.
“So has Petunia been watching too many Girl episodes or what?” Bubblegum popped in the speaker.
“Unless you want a pug girlfriend, I’m assuming Petunia is sniffing around. Get it?” More cackling.
“Your wit never fails to amaze me,” Geneva drawled. “I was calling to acquire into the serious matter of finding a new love for my broken-hearted dog, but I can see that you don’t care about Petunia’s pain.”
“All right, all right.” Although a cat lover, Sarah had always loved Petunia. Had Geneva had the same problem for Percy and she suspected Sarah would still be cracking jokes. “Did you check the rescue groups?”
“All senior citizens.”
“So P’s not a gold digger, huh? Good for her.”
“Actually, that wasn’t a joke, but I’ll take it.” Sarah snapped and popped her gum, but no crackle this time. “Did you check the pound?”
“And the classifieds.” She hated to say it, but she did. “Should I call a breeder?”
A brief pop, just quiet enough to let her know that Sarah was informing her that she would not dignify that with a response. Either that or she was trying to talk through a bubblegum-coated screen. “Do you know anyone?”
“Of course I do! I know every one. Give me ten.” The screen went black and Geneva lowered the phone. “She’ll call us back,” she informed Petunia. “How do you feel about a cat?”
Petunia licked her toes and Geneva squealed, shuddering. “Ok, ok!” She couldn’t blame her. She never understood cats either, a rarity in her profession. Petunia resumed her gentle snorting across Geneva’s arches and Geneva resumed coding the latest overly cheerful mommy blogger’s site she was designing. When her phone buzzed an hour later, she jumped so fast Petunia even managed to bark.
“Friday night, 7 p.m., the Petco off of Highway 6. His name is Greg. You’ll love him.”
“How old is he?”
“Mid-forties, but he’s a doctor and”—
“The dog, not Greg.”
“Greg is the dog. I don’t know the doctor’s name—it’s my stylist’s brother. He’s in the middle of a nasty divorce”—
“I don’t want some other woman’s pug!” Geneva protested. “Petunia is not a charity case!”
“Well, this dog is. If you don’t take him, he’s going to surrender him to the pound.”
“Your stylist won’t take him?” Petunia cocked her head at Geneva’s voice. She slowly began to creep back under the desk, her tail lowered.
“You are. Totally judgy. Friday. 7. Petco.”
“Got it.” Geneva hung up. “We have a date.”
Petunia looked as thrilled as she was.
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