~ A brief excerpt from After the Scrum ~
“No, Sherlock, stop it. You uncivilized mongrel!” Francis Keen, interior decorator extraordinaire, tripped over his own feet and his dog’s leash. He landed in a heap on the walk outside his home. “Damnation, you obstinate creature, heel. Do you even know what the word means?”
“Having trouble, love?”
“No, Gran.” Francis straightened himself up, running his fingers through his now thoroughly mussed-up mass of light brown hair. He ignored his beloved grandmother’s tittering giggles while attempting to glare balefully at his Shetland sheepdog, Sherlock, his beloved and the bane of his existence. “Have a good day, Gran.”
“Try to stay on your feet, love.” She waved at him with another laugh then headed up the walk to their shared home.
Oh, the humiliation.
He’d gotten a smaller dog to go with his own more slender frame. He didn’t fancy being dragged off by a monster of a mutt. Sherlock didn’t appear to understand his purpose in life. Even for a smaller dog, he managed to yank his owner off his feet quite frequently.
The sheltie served other purposes, besides companion and best friend. Francis simply didn’t advertise what Sherlock’s training actually entailed. He didn’t want the sympathetic stares.
“One morning, Sherlock, just one would be nice. I’d give you the largest beef bone in the world if you could allow me to preserve my dignity once.” Francis fumbled with the keys to his only prized possession—a turquoise Fiat 500 from the seventies that had been painstakingly and lovingly refurbished. He patted the dashboard reverently once he’d situated himself and his insane canine. “Well, Watson, time to take the world by storm. Are you ready?”