Withersmith sniffed once,
then twice, then yet again. He rolled his tongue over his mouth as the aroma of
Crème Brule entered his nostrils. He was odd for a dachshund, preferring
sugary treats to meat and gristle.
The wiener hound
expectantly wagged his tail at Dorothy, who was applying a nearly dried up
felt-tipped pen to the envelopes of wedding invitations. His human companion
put her implement down and sighed.
Upon espying the seating
chart for the festive meal, she reoriented her biro. Her betrotheds
family had insisted on open seating whereas her parents had asked that guests
be given assigned places.
Shrugging off all of those
mountains, Dorothy went to the oven to check her cake. Withersmith trotted
behind her. He continued to wag.
Worst of all,
Dorothys father had beseeched her to write a personal note inside of each
invitation issued by their side. Of course, all of the preparations were
happening concurrent with Dorothys finals. In the least, the test on
International Law promised to be a doozy.
Withersmith barked. When he
stood on his hind legs, he came to Dorothys knee. The young woman pushed
him away gently, opened her ovens door, and then peered inside. The
middle of her cake had fallen in.
Tears escaped one of her
eyes and then the other. Some brazenly rolled off of the tip of her
She swaddled her hands in
mitts to lift her failed confection onto her table.
Her doxie barked.
Shrugging, Dorothy blew on
a piece of the sweet treat and then crumbled that portion into
The dog ate ravenously.
Dorothys albino hedgehog uncurled; there was too much ruckus to make
sleep possible. The furze pig waddled out of his box, which was stationed
behind the fridge. He sniffed at the crumbs that Withersmith was
Dorothy reached for her
prickly pet. When her tears wet his back, he twisted back into a ball, offering
The next day both
Withersmith and Rudford tried to shake off the pink shellac with which Dorothy
had coated their nails. As per her future sister-in-laws instructions,
the bride had tested that hue on her animals. They would not be attending her
down the aisle, but they would be featured in the official pictures.
Only Mr. Henry had escaped
that cosmetic sacrilege. Rather than have his paws violated, the tom cat had
leapt out of Dorothys window and onto an adjacent branch. Although he
caterwauled all night, he refused to come anywhere near Dorothy.
A few days later, little
Nancy Lynn, the neighbors child, was able to coax Mr. Henry down with a
bit of tuna. Nancy Lynn was supposed to be Dorothys flower
Her final status was
undetermined, however, since Nancy Lynn sported an arm plaster and a neck brace
- she had engaged in a bit of overenthusiastic wagon riding on her driveway. At
least, her crashing into her mothers cement garden gnomes had prevented
her from flying into the street. As it was, her parents remained undecided as
to whether their spirited child ought to be part of a
Using her good arm, Nancy
Lynn carried Mr. Henry home.
Dorothy thanked her and
offered her a cup of juice.
The little girl accepted
conditional on Dorothy warming up, via microwave, the bespoken reward for
all of the big numbers.
Withersmith scampered over
to Nancy Lynn and licked her face. He paused his greeting only when Dorothy
lightly nudged him away to pass the heated juice to her young
Nancy Lynn asked to see
Dorothy reached into his
box, and then screamed. Not only were her nerves shot, but her wee critter,
equally, was gone.
The would-be petal
scatterer startled, spilling her juice. Ever the opportunist, Withersmith
licked up the puddled drink. He likewise wet the sticky hand that had splashed
The telephone clanged.
Dorothys beloved, who was on the other end, was raving. He had no
intention to take out a small loan to fund the famous photographer
that Dorothys mother had requested, and no intention to pay for the
unparalleled band upon which Dorothys father had insisted.
Akin to his folks, he was simple in taste and in means.
While Dorothy soothed her
groom, Nancy Lynn let herself, Mr. Henry, and Withersmith out. She returned
with Rudford in her hand; that little beast had somehow also emancipated
himself and then had fallen asleep on the threshold.
Dorothy noticed nothing as
her dear heart continued to rant.
Realizing her mother would
insist on dinner, bath, and bed, Nancy Lynn, sullenly retrieved Withersmith. As
far as she was concerned, Mr. Henry could stay outside; he had already had some
tuna and Dorothy didnt seem to be missing anyone - she hadnt even
offered to refill Nancy Lynns cup.
Withersmith jumped onto
Dorothys sofa, wrapped his tail over his nose, and began dozing. His
mistress could be heard yelling and crying, in succession, in her kitchen.
Rudford shuffled next to the sofa. Using the stack of pillows, against which
Dorothy leaned to watch TV, he climbed up next to his friend. That
sausage dog readjusted his position so that the bristly rodent could wind next
to him. One of them snored.
That night, after foregoing
cramming any more data about human rights, trade law, or international crimes
into her head, Dorothy filled Withersmiths bowl with half of a burnt
cupcake and enticed Rudford to leave the sofa ( she offered the hedgie a
handful of mealworms.)
Mr. Henry, who poked his
head into Dorothys window, deigned to reenter his home. In spite of that
reunion, Withersmith refused to share iced cake with the cat.
Dorothy took her bass down
from the wall and tightened its pegs. Mr. Henry howled. Dorothy sang. Nancy
Lynn, who heard the song through her bathroom window, clapped amidst rubber
ducks and suds.
Rudford returned to his box
for sleep. Withersmith licked Dorothys ankle, wishing it would taste