Dr. Weinstein woke up at the foot of Darlene's bed to the sound of her alarm clock, blasting the news in a soothing yet too loud voice. He heard the familiar grumble as she got her bearings, rolled over and slapped the snooze button.
This would happen three more times. He would bet his breakfast on it.
After the third snooze, as he had predicted, Darlene swung her legs over the side of the bed, ready to receive Dr. Weinstein, tongue out in anticipation of a thorough and pleasing head scratch. She reached down and dragged her nails along his head, behind his ears, and he felt his back leg quiver. Dr. Weinstein loved his morning head scratch.
Darlene throws on shoes and a coat, and takes Dr. Weinstein to the curb to relieve himself.
Back inside, he lay back down with a contented sigh as she scurried off into the bathroom, tossing pajama remnants as she walked. Turned on the water. Did what humans do in there. She always came out smelling like fruit. He found it strange, but it seemd like she meant to.
When she emerged, laced with cucumber melon, Darlene donned her robe, swung her hair in a towel, and moved to the kitchen. Being New York, the kitchen wasn't far, and Dr. Weinstein waddled along behind her. It was Wednesday.
His master busied herself with breakfast and dumped a cup of doggie chow into Dr. Weinstein's bowl. He has no idea what she does next, completely absorbed with his breakfast. He is laying himself down next to the empty bowl when he hears the door open, keys jangle, door close.
Now he waits for his walk.
Dr. Weinstein is on the sofa, a forbidden locale for the torpid bulldog, but when he's alone, he can't really get in trouble for it. He hears the door open and his walker's friendly voice.
"Time to go boy!"
Dr. Weinstein leaps from the sofa, tail a-wag, and gets a good scratching while being hooked to his leash. He is spry on the walk to the park.
The day was sunny and warm, early spring, and Dr. Weinstein was looking foward to socializing with the usual suspects. Chloe was there. It wasn't Enid's day, so he was off the hook.
Once in the confines of the dog run, Carl let Dr. Weinstein off the leash, and he trot over to visit with Bubba and Charles, two golden retrievers who had much nicer dispositions than Samson. They were debating the merits of the retractable leash when Dr. Weinstein arrived.
"Dr., there's somebody I want you to talk to," Bubba said as he approached.
Great, thought Dr. Weinstein. And on my day off.
"Of course," he said. "What's the problem?"
"That little dachshund over there," Bubba pointed with his nose to the wee dog, curled up at her master's feet on a nearby bench. "Charles overheard her talkin' to Chloe about how she wants puppies, but she's fixed. She's pretty messed up about it."
Dr. Weinstein cast his gaze over in the direction of the petit pup.
"I"ll see what I can do..."
Dr. Weinstein decided to spend the first few minutes watching the dachshund. She was full of sighs and watched the dogs play as if she wanted to join, but something was holding her back.
"I'm Dr. Harvey Weinstein," he said, finally approaching. "I do pet psychotherapy, and wanted to offer my services. I hear you've been feeling down lately..."
"What's it to you?" snapped the dachshund. She then cast a guilty stare down at the ground. "Sorry. I'm Rita."
"Nice to meet you Rita," said Dr. Weinstein. "How often do you come to the park? I don't recall seeing you here before."
"We usually go to the dog walk over by the river," she said, "but we moved. Now we have an elevator. It's pretty nice."
Dr. Weinstein nodded.
"Well, I'm around most afternoons about this time, if you decided you'd like to chat," he said, and with that Dr. Weinstein waddled back over to the retrievers and began helping them chase their tails.