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A Dog in the Manger

A Dog in the Manger

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A Dog in the Manger

148 Seiten
2 Stunden
Dec 15, 2019


Trish inherits a dog from her dead aunt and even though she doesn't know anything about dogs, she'll be damned if she's going to let her goody two-shoes cousin Jules sweep in and save the day again, like she always did. The decision of taking the dog on is going to change Trish's life in many unexpected ways.

If you love reading about dogs, unexpected friendships, and a splash of romance, this book is for you!

Dec 15, 2019

Über den Autor

Victoria Wallin writes women's fiction, romantic comedies, romance, historical fiction and crime thrillers!

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A Dog in the Manger - Victoria Wallin

A Dog in the Manger


A novel by

Victoria Wallin

A Dog in the Manger

Copyright © 2018 Victoria Wallin

Smashwords Edition

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written admission of the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed by a newspaper, blog or other social media.

All characters appearing in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons is coincidental.

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Table of Contents

Arrival of the Brute

Like a Walk in the Park

Super-model-new-(boy) friend?

A Neighbor in Need is a Friend Indeed


The Mondayest of Mondays

Pet Sounds with a Beach Boy

Friends and Foes

Wine, Dine & Sixty-nine

Running Scared

Public Display

First Date Jitters

The Dating Game

Netflix & Not So Chill

Food Strikes & Work Strikes

The Green-eyed Monster

Cake and a Break

Making Lists

Hot Mexican (Food)

Friends and Strangers

Is Getting Coffee a Date?

Coffee, Cupcakes & an Audience

Giving Thanks

Christmas with the Critters

New Year, New Me

About the Author

Arrival of the Brute

Trish had to rush to the subway to make it before the doors closed. She jumped into the car with mere seconds to spare, which made the other passengers give her surprised and/or annoyed looks. She didn’t care. She’d had a long busy day at work, she felt exhausted, and she couldn’t wait to get home and take a long hot bath. Then she suddenly remembered, she had to get to the airport. The long, hot bath would have to be a quick shower. She sighed.

Her auntie Sally had sadly passed away the previous week, after a car accident. She’d lived in Oregon for many years, so Trish hadn’t seen her for ages, hardly knew her to tell the truth. She had been very surprised when she learned that Sally had picked her to take care of her dog Brutus. Trish wasn’t a dog person; she lived in a town and had a demanding job. Sure, she could work from home sometimes if she wanted to, well, sometimes she had to, her boss kept giving her more and more work, the office hours just weren’t enough anymore to him.

When her cousin Jules, her mom’s second sister Marjorie’s daughter, had offered to take the dog on from her she had been tempted to accept. This was typical of Jules, the good girl in the family, the one who always did the right thing, who had excelled at college, was married to a lawyer and lived in a nice big house, to step up and do what’s right. Trish wouldn’t be a bit surprised if she volunteered to read to blind children at the hospital. No, she wasn’t going to give Jules the satisfaction to play goody-two-shoes yet again, and make Trish look like the black-unaccomplished-sheep in the family, like she always did. It was her bloody turn to save the day, she’d rescue the darn dog, though she really didn’t have the time, didn’t care to, or had any previous experience taking care of a dog.

How hard could it be? She’d probably just bring the poor mutt to work in her handbag, she’d seen women running around in the city centre with cute little dogs in their bags. She was curious to know what the dog would look like, if it was a fluffy little thing like the one Lisa Vanderpump carried under her arm in Vanderpump Rules. Lisa was a renowned business woman, in charge of several successful restaurants and bars. If she had the time to be a dog owner so could she, Trish reasoned. Or perhaps it would be one of those French Bulldogs that everyone was posing with on Instagram these days, they always looked so calm and cute with their faces all pressed together as if they’d been hit by a car. Not very handbag-friendly, they had quite sturdy bodies, but… Well, she was going to find out tonight any way.

Trish’s mom and dad lived outside of Fairview in a house on the countryside, and it would have been ideal for the dog, except her dad was very allergic. That also meant Trish could not expect a ride to the airport to pick up the dog, since it was just her dad who had a driver’s license in the family. So she had to take the train, which took over an hour, among stressed-out people with a lot of luggage and travel brain, you know, that level of stress where people may or may not have forgotten to put the stove off or left their passport at home.

Trish was also felling stressed, her boss had made her work late again, even though it was a Friday. She was an assistant to a marketing exec, Mr. Marshall, and he had suddenly needed help with a power point presentation for a meeting Monday morning. There were a lot of unexpected, last minute assignments coming her way lately. Her boss said their business was expanding, but a lot of times she thought he just handed things over to her because he could. She had been working there for two years now, straight out of college. She was twenty-four years old, well she was turning twenty-five in six months. Halfway to fifty. No boyfriend, not even an office flirt. Not that she had time for one either, she thought.

After a quick shower and a touch up of her makeup, she hopped on the train to the airport to pick up her aunt’s dog Brutus. She’d bought a sandwich which she ate while being stared at by a five-year-old boy in the seat in front of her who kept kicking her on the knees with his boots the entire trip. The boy’s mom kept looking the other way as Trish squirmed in her seat, trying to angle her knees out of reach, with no luck. Needless to say she was in a bad mood arriving at the airport, being run over by people’s suitcases and getting shoulder bags swung against her thighs in the rushed crowd. She wondered how many bruises her legs were going to have the next day. Just my luck, she thought.

Trish had got the flight info from her mom and went straight to the arrival hall, a large hall on the first floor. She was getting excited now, where was her cute little pup? She looked around at all the tanned people coming in from various parts of the world. Over in one of the far corners was a large travel box on the stone floor and a man standing next to it dressed in airport working clothes, holding some papers. She was going to walk over and talk to him, ask him where her little doggo was. The man nodded at her as she approached him.

You Patricia Berringer? the man asked with an arrogant tone as if he had better things to do.

Ehr, yes, she said, and looked at the dog in the box. To her sheer surprise, and slight panic, the dog in the travel box was a huge white dog that looked like Scooby-Doo with floppy ears and droopy cheeks. The large beast had to lie down in the compartmental cage to even fit in it. Um, I’m here to pick up a dog named Brutus, flying in from Oregon? she said and stared at the man. There must have been a mistake.

Yup, that’s the one. Sign here, please, the airport representative told her and held out a form, which she looked at a bit dumbfounded, but signed. There was no way out now. She watched the man open the box and let the enormous dog out. It crawled out and wagged its big tail, yawned and stretched its huge body over the stone floors. The man put a leash the size of a thick rope on the dog’s collar and handed it to Trish. Good luck, he said and drove away with the empty travel box on a small vehicle.

Trish stood there with the leash in one hand and stared at the dog and took a step back when it started sniffing her leg and then licked her hand. The dog’s tongue was wet and sloppy and she immediately pulled her hand away. This beast was way more than she could handle. What if it was aggressive? She could die. Brutus started sniffing the stone floors and pulled away on the leash. He was strong, Trish lost her balance and took a few steps after him. Gosh, where was he going? She yanked the leash a bit with both hands, her heart racing, and the dog stopped and turned to look at her.

Good boy, she exhaled. All right, it was going to be all right, she thought to herself, trying not to panic. Let’s find the exit, sweetie, she murmured and looked around. Come on, this way, she said and pulled the large animal along. Great, she was already talking to the dog, like one of those crazy cat ladies.

The train ride home was an even bigger nightmare than getting to the airport. Brutus was crammed in among heavy luggage and rude people and he was whimpering from all the new situations he had been put in. He squealed when some guy standing in the ally accidentally stepped on his tail. Trish’s maternal instincts kicked in.

Hey! Watch where you put you big feet! she yelled, then instantly felt ashamed. She could feel her face turning red.

Sorry! the guy said with a scared look on his face. Trish couldn’t tell if he was afraid of her or Brutus. She was sweating profusely from all the stress and the crowded train, she had no more patience for rude people, her face was blushing bright red.

When they finally got home to Fairview Brutus was shaking from the stress on the flight and the train ride and pulled hard on the leash, panting, striving forward. Trish had to use all her strength to hold him back on the rope-like leash. She had stepped off the subway a stop early and walked the rest of the way, so the dog could get some fresh air and do his business.

As they entered her apartment building she met one of her neighbors. Trish had forgotten he also had a dog. It looked like a miniature Lassie, and now it was sniffing Brutus who looked a bit defensive.

Hello there, the neighbor said in a friendly manner. Well now, have you got yourself a dog? he asked politely. The man was always friendly and said hello to her whenever they met in the building. He was in

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