DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To ariadni.mou[at]gmail.com
SERIES: Follows Spring is in the Air.

Summer Fun
By Athena


Part 3: Ms. McFurryPants

Helena glanced in the rear view mirror as she heard the beep. A rusty, beat up truck was coming up behind her. She sighed and slowed down, hoping that it would pass her. The driver slowed down as it passed her and she could hear hooting and more honking.

"Bloody hooligans," she muttered under her breath.

The truck pulled ahead and in front of her. Then suddenly she saw a white blur as something was tossed out the window. She hit the brakes and watched the truck speed up. There was movement at the side of the road and she realized that whatever it was they had thrown out, it was alive. She pulled to the side and got out. She ran in the direction of the package only to come to a complete halt when she saw what it was. It was a small dog, half tied inside a plastic bag.

"Good Lord, what did they do to you?" she whispered as she carefully approached the scared animal.

She kneeled and held out her hand. The dog whimpered and started to shake. She gently stroked its head while talking softly to it. She smiled when the little dog licked her hand.

"You are a sweet little thing," she said and smiled. "How could they throw you away like this?"

Helena slipped off her jacket and put it down in the grass next to the dog. Carefully she slowly eased it onto her jacket and picked it up. The dog whined, but did not move or show aggression. She quickly walked back to the car.

With the dog on the passenger seat she sent a quick text to Myka letting her know that she would be late for tea. With a last glance at the dog she put the car in gear heading for Univille.

"Hi Helena," the young vet tech said and smiled at her.

"Hi Jenny," Helena said. "Is he in?"

"He is. He's with a patient but he should be free in a moment."

"I'm afraid that it's sort of an emergency," Helena said and made a face.

"What's going on?" Jenny asked concerned.

"I have a dog in my car. It was thrown out a truck. I think it might be hurt."

Jenny came around the desk and followed Helena out to her car.

"Oh sweet little one," Jenny exclaimed. "What happened to you?"

"I don't know how hurt she is. I could pick her up without too much obvious pain," Helena said with a pained expression.

Jenny nodded. She carefully picked up the dog and Helena's jacket all in one. Helena closed the car door and followed her.

"Come," Jenny said and led Helena into one of the examination rooms. "I'll get Dr. Lund right away."

Helena nodded silently. She looked at the dog and gently petted its head. It whined softly.

A couple of minutes later the vet walked through the door. He smiled at Helena.

"Helena, what a pleasure. What do we have here?"

"Hi Brian," she mumbled. "I found her after she was thrown from a car," Helena said getting upset again. "Bloody bastards."

The vet nodded. He carefully cut the dog free from the bag. The animal was dirty and had some knots in its fur, but there was no blood or obvious sign of trauma. Helena watched as Brian gently, but thoroughly, examined the animal. Finally he looked up at her.

"She was lucky this little girl," he said and smiled. "It doesn't appear that anything is broken, but I'd like to do a couple of x-rays just in case.

Helena nodded and let out a sigh of relief.

"If they check out, you can take her to the animal shelter right away. I'm sure they will be able to adopt her out. She seems friendly enough."

"The animal shelter?" Helena said surprised. "I'm not taking her there. I'm taking her home."

The vet chuckled and nodded. He petted the dog's head.

"That doesn't surprise me. Perhaps she'll be a good little barn dog, keeping Majeed company."

Helena chuckled. She looked at the pathetic looking little dog who was gazing at her with her dark peppercorn eyes.

"Let's get those x-rays done and if everything checks out, I'll have Jenny give her a bath and flea treatment. I think we should probably do some blood work and give her a few shots too, just in case."

"Perfect," Helena said and smiled at him. She touched his arm. "Thank you Brian."

"Any time. That's what I'm here for," he said and smiled. "This little girl was lucky it was you passing by."

Helena smiled and nodded. She sat down on the chair in the corner while Jenny prepared the dog for the procedure.

Helena smiled at the dog that was again resting on her jacket in the passenger seat. She looked much different from before. Brian had been right, nothing was broken. She was a bit bruised and too skinny from malnutrition, but she was all right. After a bath and some grooming she looked like a different dog. Her white fur was almost fluffy. She looked at Helena and it almost seemed like she was smiling.

"Do you think you would like living with us little one?" Helena said to the dog and petted its head.

The dog whined and licked her hand.

"I guess that's a yes," she said and laughed. "I hope you're house broken, because Leena will be upset if you aren't."

The dog just looked at her, her tongue hanging out.

Helena held the dog in her jacket as she entered the inn.

"I'm back," she said loudly.

There was sound of running feet and a moment later Mina threw herself at Helena laughing.

"Hi sweetheart," Helena said and smiled at her.

"Hi," the girl said and grinned at her. She had a milk mustache and a couple of cookie crumbs on her cheek.

The dog squirmed in Helena's arms and peeked out of the jacket. Mina gaped as she saw it.

"A dog!" she squealed.

"Don't scare her honeybun," Helena said softly. She took the girl's hand and they went out in the kitchen.

"Helena got a dog," Mina announced as they entered the kitchen.

Leena, Pete and Claudia all looked up at her.

"Hello," Helena said a little embarrassed and grinned at them. "I'm afraid she's right. We have a dog."

"We have a dog," Pete mumbled.

Claudia got up and walked over. She looked at the dog and smiled.

"She looks like a ball of lint," she teased.

"You might too if you'd been thrown out of a car by people who barely fed you," Helena muttered.

"Oh God," Claudia whispered. "Is that what happened to her?"

Helena nodded and sighed.

"Claudia, would you be a darling and get the bag of dog food and things in the back seat of my car?"

"Sure thing," Claudia said and smiled at her.

"Thank you," Helena said.

Helena sat down with the dog on her lap. She looked at Leena.

"I hope it's all right that I brought her here. I just couldn't leave her."

Leena smiled and nodded.

"It's fine. Let's hope she's house broken."

"I've had dogs," Pete piped up. "I'll help you train her if you like."

"Jeesh Helena, did you buy the whole freaking store?" Claudia asked as she hauled four bags of stuff into the kitchen.

"I'm afraid I might have overdone it a bit," Helena said with a slight blush of embarrassment. "Do you think you could find the dog bowls and some food? I think we need to give her a drink."

"Can I help?" Mina asked excitedly.

Claudia chuckled and waved her over. Together they pulled one thing after the other out of the bags. Pete laughed and raised an eyebrow at Helena as he held up a little dog outfit that looked suspiciously like a Burberry coat.

"I know, but it was so adorable," Helena mumbled embarrassed.

Mina skipped over to a corner of the kitchen and put down the placemat Helena had bought, arranging it so that the image was facing her. She put the two dog bowls on top and then turned and smiled at Helena.

"Very good darling," Helena said in approval. "Could you please fill one of them with water?"

Mina nodded and with Leena's help she filled the bowl and carefully balancing it she walked across the kitchen only spilling a little in the process. Helena got up and put the dog down by the bowls. She kneeled next to her.

"Here sweetie, this is your bowl," she said and caressed the dog.

The dog sniffed the bowls and tasted the water but did not drink. Helena sighed.

"It's okay," Pete said. "She's probably just too nervous right now. She'll come back when she's thirsty."

Helena looked up at him and smiled. She got up and returned to her seat watching Mina pet the dog. Mina giggled when the dog licked her face.

"I just can't understand how people could do something like that to an animal," she muttered. "Obviously she's a sweet dog, so why didn't they want to keep her?"

Pete shrugged and squeezed her shoulder.

"People are d-bags, okay," he said softly. "Anyway, she's far better off as a pampered rich dog with you," he teased.

Helena laughed and looked at the mountain of dog toys, grooming items, food and treats on the table.

"I did overdo it a little, didn't I?" she mumbled.

"Maybe a smidge," Claudia teased.

Helena picked up the black leather collar and pulled off the tag. She dug around in her pocket for a moment for the rabies tag that the vet had given her. She attached it to the collar and looked at it.

"I learned today that you apparently need to register dogs these days," she said as if talking to herself.

"Yeah," Pete said and nodded.

Helena looked at the dog and opened her mouth, but then closed it. She looked at the people sitting around the table.

"I have no idea what to call her," she said softly.

"What happened?" Myka said surprised and stared at the pile on the table.

"Helena got a dog!" Mina exclaimed and ran over to Myka. To everyone's surprise the dog followed her and sat down by Myka's feet. She touched Myka's leg with her paw.

"Oh dear," Helena whispered and covered her mouth.

"Well hello there fluffy," Myka said and looked amused at the dog.

The dog barked softly and then waggled its tail.

"I guess we know who's alpha dog in this house," Pete muttered and gave Helena a shoulder bump.

"Oh hush you," Helena muttered.

"Why do we have a dog?" Myka wanted to know.

"Long story," Helena muttered. "I saved her."

"I see," Myka said softly and looked at the dog. "Does she have a name?"

"Not yet," Helena said with a sigh.

"Jasmine," Mina suggested, naming her favorite Disney princess.

"No way!" Claudia said and laughed. "How about Mrs. D? We have a Mrs. F, so why not a Mrs. D? For Dog."

Pete laughed out loud and Myka scowled at them. Helena rolled her eyes.

"Let's not make a big fuss out of this," Helena said and held up her hand. "How about everyone write down their suggestion and we have a vote?"

"We're sure it's a she?" Pete asked.

"I can assure you she's a female dog," Helena said and gave him a stern look.

"Well, you know boy dogs tend to get their precious jewels taken away to be forever kept in a jar on the evil vet man's table," he pointed out.

"She never had any 'jewels'," Helena said with a deep sigh.

"Fine, just saying," he said and held up his hands.

Helena carefully scooped up the dog and grabbed the package of puppy pads.

"Just to be on the safe side until we know if she's house broken or not, I think we'll keep her in our room."

"Do you want me to bring in the crate too?" Claudia offered, referring to the larger package she had left in the car.

"Perhaps later," Helena said and smiled.

Myka trailed after Helena as they walked upstairs. Once in their room with the door closed she confronted Helena.

"Helena, what were you thinking? We can't keep a dog here," Myka said.

"Of course we can darling," Helena said and smiled. She looked down at the dog who was sitting on the rug by her feet. "She was discarded, no one wanted her," she whispered. "I knew I couldn't leave her."

Myka sighed and smiled. She wrapped her arms around Helena holding her in a soft embrace.

"Just like you?" she asked softly as she caressed Helena's hair.

Helena nodded and pulled Myka closer.

"It's okay sweetie," Myka said and kissed her cheek. "You have people who love you and who want you."

"I want her," Helena whispered.

Myka smiled and nodded.

"Okay, but if she pees in my shoes, she goes to the barn," she teased.

Helena laughed and kissed her. She caressed Myka's soft cheek.

"Thank you darling."

Two days later, the little dog still did not have a name. Mina had exhausted all her Disney princesses names, Pete had come up with every strange name he could muster. Claudia had run through singers and actors. None of the suggestions had passed Helena's tough judgment. Not even Pete's suggestion of Ms. McFurryPants. Helena smiled. She knew he was secretly calling the dog that anyway.

The little dog was currently curled up on the sofa by Myka's feet, with a paw on Myka's foot. Of all the people in the house, she seemed to prefer Myka. Except when it was dinner time, then she was pretty much a fan of whoever was holding the bowl of food.

"Coco," Helena mumbled.

The little dog opened its eyes and looked at Helena. She smiled at her.

"Coco, she said a little louder and she dog sat up. "I'll be damned," Helena mumbled. She held out her hand on the floor. "Come here Coco," she said to the dog.

The little dog hopped down and trotted over. She sniffed Helena's hand and then looked at her as if Helena had tricked her.

"You can have a treat baby girl," Helena said and pulled a small dog treat out of her pocket. "Sit," she said and the dog sat down. She gave her the treat which the dog gently took from her.

"You can't call her Coco," Myka mumbled.

"Why not?" Helena said with a laugh.

"First of all she's white, and secondly it's too close to what Pete calls you when he's mad at you."

Helena's eyes narrowed.

"Is that so? I think I need to have a talk with Mr. Lattimer," she purred dangerously.

Myka laughed. She looked at the dog that was still sitting by Helena's feet, hoping for another treat.

"Coco," she said.

The dog instantly ran over to her and put her paws on the side of the sofa. Myka sighed and shook her head. She petted the dog's head and smiled at Helena.

"I guess it's settled," she said.

"Coco McFurryPants," Helena mumbled to herself.

Myka laughed out loud.

To Be Continued

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