As Ernest walked through the park his eyes caught sight of a flash of white in the bushes. Curious he went to investigate and found a pure white dog with big blue eyes looking up at him.

 

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Ernest had always had a soft spot for dogs, he had got his first dog Fudge just after leaving University even though he had, had hardly any money. She had been a great companion to him and he had been delighted when he found she was going to have puppies.  

  

Ernest looked closely at the white dog in front of him.  It didn’t seem to have a collar. Looking into the blue eyes he asked “Where are you from? I wonder”

 

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The dog wagged its tail in response and looked expectantly up at Ernest. It was then he caught sight of red on the pure white dog. He could see it on the dog’s foot. “He must be injured in some way” thought Ernest.  Ernest had been wavering in what to do with the stray, but the sight of blood decided it. He would take the dog to the vet to get it checked out.  Calling up Kendra he said “Hello dear, it’s me. I am in the park. I found a dog and he’s hurt. Would you be able to bring a spare collar and lead so I can take him to the vet?.”

 

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Kendra arrived twenty minutes later. Meanwhile Ernest had been getting to know the white dog. He seemed to be a friendly fellow and had let Ernest pet him. However Ernest hadn’t felt it was wise to try and look at his wound. He decided the best thing he could do was earn the dog’s trust, enough that he could lead him to the vet. The dog didn’t seem to mind a lead being put on him and with a little coaxing they began walking to the vet.

 

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The vet looked him over with the help of Ernest and decided that he had caught his leg on some barbed wire. The wound was cleaned and stitched up. The vet told Ernest “Just try to keep it clean and stop him from biting it, you may want to get a dog cone from reception, some dogs just can’t leave a fresh would alone.” Ernest nodded and did as he suggested.

 

Once they were walking home Kendra said “Ernest, is the dog coming back with us then?” Ernest looked across at her and said “Well I couldn’t just leave him in the park, not when I realised he was injured” “Well no” Kendra conceded, noting how Ernest had evaded her question “but now he has been treated we could take him to a animal centre, then they can rehome him.” Ernest stopped walking and took her hand in his and gestured to the big blues eyes at his feet. “We could but you heard the vet his stitches need to be left alone and he is so relaxed with us already.” Kendra sighed she could see how much Ernest wanted to keep him. “Well” thought Kendra to herself “How much different could five dogs be to four? Out loud She replied “Okay as long as he gets on alright with the other dogs.” Ernest leant forward and placed a kiss on her cheek “Thank you.” He said simply and taking her hand in his they all walked home.

 

The dogs all seemed to get on pretty well.

 

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It was Harry that nick named the newcomer, after noting his fascination for his own hiking boots. Although other names were suggested, Boots just seemed to stick. As Boots seem to have been a stray for some time he wasn’t the best behaved. Ernest found him digging holes in the garden and scratching the furniture. Eager to have Kendra accept Boots, Ernest did his best to train the dog and he did slowly improve over time. Boots worst offence was one Sunday when Kendra was playing a game of chess. Walking into the room where she was he sniffed her carefully. Kendra who was too intent on her game did not pay him any attention, that was until she felt the wetness against her leg. Looking down she saw Boots, one leg cocked, spraying the chess table.

 

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Kendra was livid. She gave Boots a severe telling off and he was restricted to the outside for a few days.

 

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A few months after they took Boots in, Coco began acting strangely. Unfortunately it was at a time where both Ernest and Kendra were very busy at work. Neither of them could spare the time to ponder what her strange behaviour meant, but they decided to see how she was at the weekend and maybe take her to the vet then if needed. Two days later it became all to clear what was wrong with her when they found her and Boots being very friendly. They separated her from Boots but the damage was done, the vet was able to confirm a few weeks later that Coco was expecting puppies. Both Timothy and Harry were delighted, they had wanted puppies when they were young but the house had already been full of dogs and neither of their parents had thought it was a good idea. Coco gave birth to only one puppy in the end, a little white pup they named him Benjy.

 

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Even Kendra thought he was cute as long as she wasn’ t the one who was expected to train him. She hoped now that Ernest would be satisifed and not try to bring any further strays into the house. Even he could see that six dogs was a lot for one house, even one as large as theirs.

https://wintersmith.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/chapter-23-%e2%80%93-a-change-of-scenery-perhaps/

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