|Image courtesy of [Paul Martin Eldridge] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
The snippet below is from the first story, called "A Handful":
A high-pitched squeak, followed by the clicking and sliding of paws on the wooden floor had Ben rolling his eyes. Suppressing a smile, he called out, “Joey!”
The answering bark guided Ben to the large cupboard in the living room. Ben got down on his knees to peer under it. He was on par with a pair of large brown eyes, staring at him anxiously.
“Joey, get out there. Now.”
The small, black-furred spaniel pup curled himself together even tighter and shook his head. Ben moved his head out of sight from Joey, not wanting to see him struggling with his facial expression. It was bad enough for Joey to forget paying their electricity bill but shifting into his other form to evade his punishment—that was a no-go. Still, Ben had a very soft spot for Joey in his shifted form.
Taking another deep breath, he bent back down and tried to cajole Joey out of his hiding place. “Sweetheart, you're just making things worse. Come on, we'll deal with it and everything will be fine again.”
You're going to spank me! Joey wailed telepathically.
Ben jumped and grimaced. “How often have I told you to give me a warning before you talk inside my head? Especially if you're this loud!”
Sorry, Joey replied much more quietly. I meant to pay it. I just forgot!
“It's the only task you have to do—”
Joey snorted. Not true! You make me do the dishes all the time, not to mention the vacuuming and—
“Joey,” Ben said warningly. “Aren't you in enough trouble already? The electricity is out, and it's getting cold in here. Don't you dare play the poor-me card now. You will get the hang of paying something on time, even if it's the death of me.”