Authors: Holly Webb
A couple of days later, Katie was kneeling on the window seat in the living room, waiting for her dad to come home from work. As soon as she saw him walking down the road, she shot out of the front door and raced towards him.
“Hurry up, Dad, you’re so late! I’ve been waiting ages!”
Her dad looked at his watch. “It’s only six o’clock, Katie, that’s my normal time. Has your mum made a special dinner or something? What’s the rush?”
“Oh, well, it feels later,” Katie said excitedly. “We have to have dinner really quickly – we’re going to see some cocker spaniel puppies! Mum found out about them, the breeder only lives twenty minutes away!”
Luckily, Dad was as excited as she was, especially when he heard that Katie had seen pictures of the puppies on the breeder’s website, and one of them was brown and white, exactly like the one in Katie’s book. They both finished dinner ages before Mum and Jess, and Katie glared at Mum when she started
making a cup of coffee afterwards.
“Mu-um!” she wailed. “We have to go! We said we’d be there by now!”
Jess was still slowly finishing her yoghurt, making each spoonful last, and Katie scowled at her, too. “You’re doing that on purpose!” she said accusingly. “You don’t even like yoghurt all that much, you don’t have to scrape the pot clean!”
“Go and put your coat on, Katie,” Mum said. “We’re obviously not going to get any peace until we go! Hurry up, Jess, you really are taking ages.”
Jess huffed, but put the pot in the bin and went to get her coat, too. She looked like she was about to have a spelling test, not going to see a litter of gorgeous puppies.
“What’s the matter?” Katie asked her in the back of the car. She was so excited about seeing the puppies, but Jess was sending out a black cloud of gloom right next to her. Katie couldn’t ignore it. “Are you jealous?” she whispered. “You’re being so grumpy.”
Jess looked like she might snap back, but then she sighed. “No. I’m just worried about Misty, that’s all.”
“She might like having a dog to make friends with,” Katie suggested hopefully.
But Jess looked doubtful. “We’ll see,” she murmured.
The puppies were just as lovely as Katie had imagined they would be.
The breeder’s house had a conservatory at the back, which was being used as a puppy room. Katie could hear the puppies squeaking and yapping as soon as they got in the front door.
Mrs Jones, the breeder, laughed at Katie, who was hopping up and down with impatience as Mum and Dad followed her into the hall. “Come and see them,” she said, leading everyone through to the conservatory. The door was blocked off with a board at knee height to keep the puppies in their own space. They were tumbling around all over the room, while their mother watched them from a comfortable cushion.
Katie couldn’t see the little brown and white puppy she’d loved from
the website. “There was one brown and white boy puppy in the photos. Has he gone already?” she asked anxiously.
Mrs Jones looked around the room. “Goodness, where has he gone? He’s the cheekiest of them all. Ah!” She smiled, and pointed. “Look! See that big cardboard tube?”
Katie nodded. The tube was wriggling, and as she watched, a little brown nose appeared at one end, followed by some stubby whiskers and a pair of sparkling dark-brown eyes. The brown and white puppy popped out of the tube and stared curiously at the visitors.
“Oh, he’s gorgeous!” Katie giggled.
“Do you want to go in and play with them?” Mrs Jones asked.
“Yes, please!” Katie said eagerly.
“Are they happy with strangers?” Dad asked.
“They’re quite friendly,” Mrs Jones replied.
“Well, remember to be really gentle, Katie,” said Dad.
Soon Katie’s whole family was sitting on the floor, with puppies sniffing and licking and climbing over them. Even Jess couldn’t resist the cuddly little things. There were only five puppies, but there seemed far more as they all wriggled and darted around so quickly. The brown and white puppy was definitely in charge – or at least he thought he was. Katie watched him hopefully. She really wanted to pick him up, but she didn’t want to scare him.
The puppy gave her an interested look. She smelled nice. Very friendly.
Katie gently held out the back of her hand for him to sniff, and he crept up to her, his tail wagging gently. He sniffed her fingers, then butted them lovingly with his nose.
“Your nose is cold,” Katie whispered. She ran her fingers over his silky, domed head. His fur was so soft.
The puppy closed his eyes blissfully, and rested his chin on Katie’s knee. That was
“He’s a beauty,” Dad murmured. “What do you think, Katie? Is this the one?”
There was a lot to do before Katie and her family could bring the puppy home. Katie, Jess and their mum went to the pet shop on the way home from school the next day, with a long list. Katie had brought all her pocket money with her, although she didn’t have an awful lot left after buying Christmas presents. It certainly wasn’t
enough to buy everything she wanted to get for their new puppy.
“Katie! Come and choose a collar and lead,” Mum called from the counter. Katie left off choosing between a squeaky fish and a
nylon bone, and ran over.
“What colour do you think?” Mum said thoughtfully. “This blue one is nice.”
Katie nodded. “Ye-es… But don’t you think he’d look gorgeous with a red collar? It would show up really well against his brown and white fur.” She lifted out the bright collar and held it up.
Mum added the red collar and lead to the pile on the counter – a sleeping cushion, a big bag of puppy food, and food and water bowls. “Did you find a toy for him, Katie? And where’s Jess,
did she want to get anything?”
“She’s choosing a Christmas present for Misty. I’ll get her. And I’ve
decided which toys.”
Katie managed to limit herself to three dog toys, and five minutes later they were walking home, laden down with bags.
“There’s one thing missing, girls. We still need to think what we’re going to call the puppy. Ow, this food is heavy!” Mum shifted the bag to her other hand.
“I’ve been thinking about it!” Katie hitched up the big purple cushion they’d chosen for the puppy to sleep on. The man in the shop had said some puppies liked to chew baskets, so cushions were better. “I think he really looks like a Timmy. Sort of cheeky but cute.”
She looked anxiously at Mum and Jess.
“Timmy… Yes, I like it,” Mum said.
Jess just shrugged. Even though she’d enjoyed cuddling the puppies at Mrs Jones’s house, she still wasn’t sure that they should actually get one. “It’s OK,” she muttered.
Back at home, Katie wandered round the kitchen, trying out the cushion and bowls in different positions.
“Katie, I’m not cooking with a dog cushion in front of the oven,” Mum pointed out. “Try by the radiator, that’ll be nice and warm.”
Katie pushed Misty’s blanket out of the way, and stood back and looked at the cushion. “That’s perfect!” she declared happily.
Misty prowled in from the hallway
and stopped. Someone had put a big purple cushion exactly in her favourite sleeping spot. She stalked over and stared up at Katie accusingly.
“Hi, Misty!” Katie bent down to stroke her. “Look, this is where your new friend’s going to sleep. He’s a puppy, and he’s called Timmy. He’s so sweet, and I bet you’ll love him!”
Misty climbed on to her fleecy pink blanket and sat down, squishing herself in beside the vast cushion. She glared at it disapprovingly. What was going on?
Katie didn’t notice. She was looking at the calendar on the wall and wishing it wasn’t so long until they brought Timmy home. “Another three whole days till Saturday!” she sighed. “That’s ages!”
The brown and white puppy gazed thoughtfully up at the window. It was only very slightly open, but the most delicious smells kept floating through it. Fresh air and frosty ground and general outsideness. It smelled
. The puppies weren’t allowed outside yet, as they were too young, but the brown and white puppy was desperate to explore. Where were all those delicious smells coming from?
He looked round. His brothers and sisters were snoozing in their basket, and their mother was half asleep, too. If he went for a little wander now, probably nobody would notice…
Mrs Jones had left the window open
to air the room, but she’d carefully made sure it was only open a crack. Not that the puppies were big or strong enough to get up on to the windowsill, of course! They were far too small for that.
The puppy looked up. Beneath the window was a chair. It was still too high for him to reach, but next to that was the old cardboard box Mrs Jones had given them to play with. If he climbed on to that first, maybe he could jump on to the chair, and then to the window?
He scrambled on to the box, tiny claws scrabbling. Then he made the next hop on to the chair. Hmmm. It was still a long way to the windowsill. But…
“Oh, you naught y little thing!” Mrs Jones was half-laughing, half-cross, as she rescued the brown and white puppy, who was standing on the chair seat, his paws on the back, staring up at the open window hopefully. “You could have really hurt yourself. And I suppose you were making for the window. I’d better shut that.” She smiled. “I think your new family ought to call you Rascal. You’re going to be a real little handful!”
On Saturday morning, Katie woke up early, with a wonderful feeling of excitement inside. She was still sleepy, and it took her a couple of minutes to work out why she was feeling so happy. It was the first day of the Christmas holidays, but there was something more… Then she remembered. They were getting Timmy today! She bounced out of bed, and flung on her clothes.
She clattered downstairs, wondering where everyone else was. Misty stared at her reproachfully as she banged the kitchen door open, then turned round on her blanket and settled herself down with her back to Katie.
Katie was aching with impatience by the time the rest of the family got up.
She couldn’t understand how Dad could sit there with the paper, and drink a cup of coffee so slowly.
“When are we going to
?” she wailed, standing in the kitchen door with her coat on.
“It only takes twenty minutes to get there in the car,” Mum pointed out.
Katie frowned. “But it takes at least five minutes to get
the car! It’s rude to be late, Mum, you’re always saying so.”
“Well, that still leaves us half an hour.” Dad folded up the paper. “Anyone else want more toast?”
“OH!” Katie groaned, and stomped out of the room.
At Mrs Jones’s house, the puppies we r e playing a fabulous game with the big cardboard tube. It was only just wide enough for them to get inside now, and they were scrabbling through it, nipping at each other’s tails.
Suddenly, there was a scratching, scuffling noise from inside the tube as the brown and white puppy shot out of one end. He shook his ears to unsquish them, then trotted hopefully over to Mrs Jones. “What is it, boy? Oh, there’s the doorbell.” She smiled down at the puppy. “Did you hear the car? Someone
special’s coming for you!”
When Mrs Jones answered the door, Katie had to stop herself dashing into the house and hugging the puppy – she was already thinking of him as Timmy. But she knew she mustn’t. He was only little, and he probably wouldn’t remember who she was. She would have to be really calm and gentle. But it was so hard when she was this excited!
Katie walked into the living room, digging her nails into the palms of her hands. Would Timmy even remember her?
The puppies were all standing by the conservatory door, watching to see who was coming. Suddenly, there was a piercing squeak of a bark, and a small
brown and white ball of fur hurled itself at the board across the door, scrabbling madly. Two little white paws clawed their way over the top, and Timmy flung himself over the board, making for Katie as fast as he could. He knew that girl! She was the one who’d cuddled him!
“Oh my goodness!” Mrs Jones exclaimed. “None of them has ever done that before.” She hurried forward. “Is he all right?”
Timmy was shaking himself dazedly – it had been a long way down for such a small dog – but then he barked again and ran to Katie.
Katie knelt down and hugged him to her lovingly. “Oh, Timmy. You remembered me!”