Short story

Easy money

The newspaper was open to the Classifieds. Had been for the past several hours. David had three empty cups and seven round squiggles in red ink to show for it.

He turned back to the first one. Could he be a gardener? He considered for a moment. All that mucking about in the dirt? No way.

A stand-in actor for a stage play? Hmmmm, maybe. But it would be lots of work for little or no pay. He knew this from experience. Still, the ad was rewarded with a blue tick mark next to the red circle.

Dog trainer. Could he be a dog trainer?

David looked up from the day-old newspaper and scratched his week-old beard. It was an idea. Why not indeed?

He re-read the Classified. “…6-month-old German Shepherd,” it said.

Sit. Stay. Run. Fetch. Shake paws. That’s it. How hard could it be?

David stood up and stretched. Taking up a Karate position, he delivered a perfect kick, sending an imaginary dog flying across the room. “Kaaaaa-ching!” he yelped.

Time to mint some easy money. He reached for the phone.

—-

Cradling the phone on his shoulder, Mike looked down at the hateful dog growling behind his restraining muzzle. His ankle still hurt from where he’d been bitten three weeks ago.

The trainer was asking him a question. “Gentle? Oh yes, yes, he’s very gentle,” said Mike, “Only a bit excitable at times…” he added, keeping his tone expressionless.

At the other end, the trainer was going on and on about his stellar credentials. Feeling slightly guilty, Mike wondered how long this one would last. The last trainer who’d worked with Tommy had sent him back within two days. The local kennels, too, had refused to board the hyperactive, aggressive dog.

That dog did not need a trainer; he needed to be shot. Now, if only they’d make that legal.

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