5,000 Writing Prompts from Book Written by Bryn Donovan
150 General Fiction- Prompt #30- Roommates take in a stray dog and hide its existence from the apartment manager in a building that doesn’t allow pets.
Rex sighs heavily when he hears his roommate, Tammy, make some clicking noises behind him. He turns to see a skinny matted dog wagging its tail because Tammy is scratching its head.
“Tammy, come on, leave the dog alone. You know we can’t take it home with us so why pet it and give it hope?” Rex says, turning away as the poor dog whimpers at him.
“Yea I guess we can at least do that. Come on then, dog,” Rex waves to them to follow him as he keeps walking down the sidewalk.
“Okay boy, let’s go.”
The two head down the street, the dog happily walking in between the humans, tongue hanging out and tail swaying slowly back and forth with each happy step. Their third roommate, Jackson, sees them walking by and he heads out of the bookstore he is in catching up with them and raises an eyebrow when he sees a dog walking beside Tammy and Rex.
He then wrinkles his nose at the dog, “This pup needs a bath big time”
The three make it to the humane society, Animal Haven, but it has a sign on the front door stating that all the animals have either been adopted or transferred to other humane societies. It also states that the humane society is closed for the near future as they make upgrades to the building and the stalls for the animals so that the animals can have more room and be more comfortable while they wait for their forever homes.
Tammy throws her hands up, “I know that the humane society needs this but now what do we do with the dog?”
Jackson looks down at the dog for a moment, his lips thin and forced to one side by his facial muscles as he thinks of what to do now. The dog sits down in front of him, cocking his head to the side, his big brown asking the human for an answer for the female human’s question.
Jackson nods his head coming up with a plan, “We take this dog to the vet for a checkup. Then we take him to the groomers to get cleaned up. We will post an adoption page for him and keep him with us until we can get him adopted. Or until the humane society opens up again.”
Rex shakes his head, “No way, man! You know Mr. Willson would kill us and then kick us out. And we have nowhere else to go.”
Tammy nods, “I don’t want to make Mr. Willson mad at us, Jackson. He hates all of his tenants except us. We are the only ones he likes and I for one do not want to mess that up.”
Jackson pats his leg and the dog leaps to his feet, tail wagging excitedly as he keeps his eyes on Jackson. Jackson and the dog head down the sidewalk, “I will take him to the vet now. Meet me at the groomers on 4th Avenue in about an hour and a half. I don’t know how long it will take with the vet since we are walking in and all so I will text you once we are done if it will be longer or we get done sooner.”
Rex shakes his head, “Oh man, once Jackson puts his mind to something you can’t really talk to him out of it can you?”
Tammy shakes her head, “No, no you can’t. Well, I have to meet up with Sandy for lunch so I guess I will see you at the groomers later.” Tammy waves goodbye to Tony, heading in the opposite direction.
“Ask Sandy if she wants a dog,” Tony calls after her. “And if she doesn’t, ask her to get the word out for us.” He glances at his watch, “Now what am I going to do to kill time?” He shrugs and heads off back towards the bookstore where Jackson had been, deciding to kill some time by looking at books and reading magazines while drinking coffee.
The three friends stand in front of the groomers an hour and a half later, the vet having needed to do a lot in order to get the dog checked out completely. They enter the groomers and Tammy signs the paperwork needed for the groomers to work their magic on the poor, scruffy dog. They watch as the dog gets taken into the back and taken over to a large tub already full of warm bubbly water. The woman assigned to clean and cut the dog gently coaxes the dog into the warm water and pampers the dog as she washes away all the dirt and grime. Another groomer joins the first and checks the dog’s ears and fur for fleas.
“The vet checked for a microchip under the dog’s fur but there isn’t any. She also says that the dog is a young male golden retriever who she thinks has been abandoned. She thinks he might be around 1 year old. He has ear mites and fleas but she has treated him for both plus the groomers will be using a special shampoo and conditioner that will help with all that too. Also, he is now up to date with all of his shots.” Jackson tells them as the dog grins over at them, his tongue hanging out of his mouth. Jackson chuckles and waves at the dog who tries his hardest to shake the water off of himself and onto the two groomers.
“Good, a young dog will be easier to adopt out,” Rex says. “Sandy?” He looks over at Tammy.
“Sandy can’t take another dog but she told me she will let her family and friends know that we have a dog that needs a good home. I will text her the information we learned from the vet and everything that we have done for the dog so she can tell the others.” Tammy informs them.
“So the question is how do we sneak the dog passed Mr. Willson and keep him hidden?” Rex asks, worried about what will happen if they are caught.
“I will go buy the things that we need for the dog, like a leash, collar, and stuff,” Jackson tells them, pointing to the side door that leads into the pet store that is connected to the groomers. “Then we will make a plan from there.”
Rex nods, “All right, I will help you get some stuff like food, treats, food and water bowls, stuff like that.” He follows behind Jackson as he heads for the door. “Tammy, you stay with the dog.”
Another hour later, with clean fur and a collar and leash on, the golden retriever emerges from the groomers with Rex in tow. Tammy and Jackson carry the recently bought items and they head back towards their apartment. One pleasant thing about living in a somewhat small town is being able to walk everywhere. In no time at all, the three roommates are standing in front of the apartment, dog Rex’s side, new dog items in hand, and no plans on how to sneak inside.
Just then the front door opens and one of their neighbors from one floor below them walks outside. He quietly surveys the situation in front of him before he disappears back inside, the three glancing at one another, afraid that he is going to tell Mr. Willson that they have a dog with them.
A few nerve-wracking moments later, he reemerges and points to the side of the building. “My wife, Franny, is holding the back door open for you lot. Mr. Willson is in his apartment on the first floor so sneak up the back stairs. Hope you find a good home for the dog.” He smiles as he pets the dog, scratching him behind the ear, “Reminds me of a golden retriever I once had as a kid.” He chuckles lightly then waves goodbye as he heads out for his night job.
The three thank his retreating figure before they cut through the alley-way a block down from their apartment building, cutting back behind another building until they are standing behind the apartments. Sure enough, Franny, a sweet middle-aged woman with curly red hair and mischievous autumn-colored eyes, is standing at the door, propping it open.
“What trouble are we starting?” she jokes when she spots the group. “Her eyes fall onto the dog and she kneels down, arms open to the dog. “Oh, my goodness.”
Rex lets the leash go and the young pup bounds over to her. The dog licks her face, tail wagging so hard that his butt wiggles back and forth.
“What a good boy… such a good boy,‘ Franny says, letting the happy puppy give her kisses on her cheeks. “Oh, I love your puppy kisses.” She pushes him gently off after a few minutes and stands up, “Okay you all, get inside.”
Rex grabs the end of the leash and they all quickly head inside, Franny closing the door behind her. “If you all need any help with the dog, just let us know. We will help you with hiding him until you can find a home for him. Also, the Channing’s in 210 and the Davidson’s in 310 will gladly help hide this cute boy from Mr. Willson.”
“That will be really helpful, Franny,” Rex says, using the woman’s first name as she hates being called Mrs. Thumb, saying it makes her sound old.
The groups head inside and walk towards the back stairs, saying they’re goodbyes and thanking Franny once they reach the second floor where Franny and her husband live. The roommates continue up the stairs after Franny leaves them since they live on the fourth floor. Jackson unlocks their apartment door, pushes it open, and waves the other two and the dog inside while he keeps watch down the hallway. Jackson returns to the stairwell and grabs the food bowl, following behind Tammy, Rex, and the dog inside their apartment. The friends sneak quietly and quickly while the dog trots beside them without a care in the world. Rex takes the dog off the leash while Tammy locks the door and Jackson gets the food and water ready in the new bowls Rex had bought.
Once they are settled, Rex and Jackson contact the other couples who said that they will help them hide the dog, inviting them all for dinner so they can make up a plan of action. Later that evening, Franny and her husband, Ian, show up at their apartment first, followed by the Davidson’s and lastly the Channing’s.
Tammy makes a huge chopped salad, garlic bread, and a large mushroom, pepperoni, and bacon pizza. Tony grabs a notebook and pen so that he can write out the schedule for everyone while they eat. After a two-hour meeting, everyone leaves with a schedule in hand and wet slobbery kisses from the dog. Thanks to Franny Thumb and Marge Davidson, they knew Mr. Willson’s own schedule so they know when the dog can be walked, where he will sleep, and who he will hide with during the day while everyone is at work.
A month crawls past ad thankfully Mr. Willson hasn’t found out about the puppy but a month has also gone by with no one answering their ads for adopting the dog. Tony continues to post about the dog at least once a day, trying his hardest to get someone to bite and adopt the sweet pup. Then without warning, one day Mr. Willson begins to do random checks on everyone that lives there, always making up excuses about why he is checking on them, trying to act like a good manager all the while trying to catch anyone who may be breaking his rules.
But the day before the checks began, Mr. Willson confided in Tammy that he thinks someone is hiding a pet. He told Tammy that he heard a dog barking but couldn’t tell which floor it was coming from so he has been trying to find out where so he has decided to do random checks for those living in his apartment building. Tammy chuckled and told him good luck before she had walked away to go back upstairs to the apartment after getting the mail for that day.
Once back in the apartment, Tanya informed the others about the random checks before they began the next day and it became even harder to keep the dog a secret. Moving into the next month, Jackson, Rex, and Tammy begin to panic as the Davidson’s leave for a vacation to visit family three states away and could no longer help for the time they are gone. The roommates’ hearts drop even further when the Channing’s move out of the apartments two weeks after the Davidson’s left for their vacation.
Franny and Ian also begin to look for their own home to buy out in the town, wanting a change of area and pace in their life. Because of them heading out a lot and looking for their house, their help has slowly become minimal, and it is even harder for the three young adults to hide the dog. Jackson hides all the dog items in a cleared out closet on the floor before he takes the dog out for a walk every day before work. A few times, he had almost run into Mr. Willson as the man goes to the store or goes for a walk for the day but thankfully he spies the older man before the older man spies him.
The last day of the unsuccessful adoption month comes with the news of Franny and Ian moving out of the apartments. They asked the friends for help in packing up their belongings and taking them out to the car so for most of the day Tammy, Rex, and Jackson reluctantly pack up their apartment. Once the last box is in the car, Jackson notices that there is one last empty box left in the apartment but he couldn’t find anything that left to pack inside of it. He shrugs and carries it out to ask Ian about it who just smiles at him, taking the box from his young friend’s hands.
Just then Rex walks out to the car with the golden retriever ready for his afternoon walk, his tongue hanging out of his mouth, and a grin on his furry puppy face. The dog hops around when he sees Franny and Ian standing outside, barking happily. While Franny is kneeling down, talking to the dog, Mr. Willson emerges.
“A-Ha! I knew there was a dog staying here,” he says as he walks over to them. “So fess up! Who is this dog staying with?” He glares at the people standing around him.
Tammy, Rex, and Jackson freeze when they hear Mr. Willson charge up behind them and stand in front of them, with a glare on his face. But before any of them can talk, Franny stands up and faces the annoying man.
“Oh chill, Mr. Willson! Ian and I adopted this dog after we bought the house. He was only with us for two nights and one night with them since we went out to celebrate Ian’s new job, our new home, and our new cutie, Bo, here.” Franny scratches the dog behind the ear, “Isn’t that right, Bo? Such a good boy!” The now named Bo barks happily, wiggling his tail so much that his butt moves back and forth.
Ian turns back to Jackson, “Can you go grab his things from your place, Jackson? We would like to take Bo to his new home soon.” He holds the empty box out to Jackson with a wink.
Jackson takes the empty box from Ian and grins at them, running back inside followed closely by Rex. They return a few minutes later, both carrying all the dog’s items including the dog food and stashes them in the back car seat where Ian had left space.
Tammy kneels down and hugs Bo around the neck gently, “See you later, Bo. We will come and visit you all from time to time, we promise.”
Jackson and Rex give the dog a few more ear scratches before they step back. Bo hops into the back seat beside his things after Franny opens the door for him. Franny and Ian pile into the car after the door closes Rex into his seat. The windows slide down and hands come out, waving goodbye to the group as the car drives away. Jackson, Rex, and Tammy waves goodbye before they head back inside leaving Mr. Willson still standing outside, stunned by what has just happened.