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Chapter 6. Toby

*whimpers*

“Hello?” I call out while walking into the alley.

Looking around I see a small movement behind a garbage bag. What the hell? Taking a closer look I notice that a paw peeking from behind the garbage bag

Moving closer I moved the garbage bag and see a little puppy with a slight limp backing away.

“Hey, little one,” I say softly. Squatting, I move closer to the puppy to get a better look at it, the puppy had a collar around his dirty fur; he must’ve gotten dirty because of all the garbage he has been hiding behind, poor baby.

Moving a little closer, I grab the puppy by the scruff, bringing it closer, I read the collar, and it has the puppy’s name.

“Toby,” I read out loud. Turning the collar around I checked the address. Picking toby up, I take him out of the alley so I can ask people the address.

I really need to get used to this place. Looking around I ask the first person that passes me, he tells me the way, pointing towards the direction I should take. Good thing it’s just around the corner.

I started my walk to the place holding little Toby close to me. I walked as careful as I could, avoiding bumping into anyone because I didn’t want little Tony to get hurt more than he already is.

Turning around the corner, I stand in front of the building looking at the window I see a logo that has animals in it. It looks like a pet shop, “Ann’s pet shop”, wow I actually found a pet shop that’s when it clicks. The collar has the same logo as the pet shop. Gosh, how dumb can I get?

Entering the shop I look for the owner. The shop has all kinds of animals from, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, puppies. They were all separated by a glass window, some had tinted windows, probably so the animals don’t see each other. Nobody wants animals clawing at the glass just so they can kill each other.

While I was watching the animals, I didn’t notice someone behind me.

“Hey, welcome to Ann’s pet shop.”

Turning around I came face to face with a man, he looked to be in his late 20s, wearing casual clothes, he has a darker skin tone, curly black hair, and dark eyes reminding me of dark chocolate, his shirt has a name tag that says Joe.

After staring at the man who was currently wearing a friendly smile and waiting for me to respond, I answer.

“Er, I found him in an alley around the corner he seems to be injured,” I explain while showing Toby to him.

Glancing at little Toby his eyes widen, “Thank you so much for finding him, I thought someone stole him. I took him out for a walk with some other puppies and his chain must have loosened and detached itself from the collar. I left him and the other puppies outside a shop, after attaching the chain to the poll so that they don’t run away I went in to get myself a bottle of water, only to come back to no Toby,” he explains while petting Toby looking relieved that Toby has been found, but worried about the injured limb.

“He must’ve wandered around, you know how curious little ones get, nobody must’ve noticed him walking around, so someone may have accidentally stamped on him.”

“Could be, I can’t thank you enough, I really need someone to assist me now, it’s difficult working on my own, the last employee was way too terrified of the animals so we had to let him go,” he tiredly says.

“You own this place?” I ask. Oh my god, I think today is my day, I get a cupcake and maybe I’ll land myself a job. Please, please God, help me get this job.

“Actually, it belongs to my mum, but I handle it now since she’s hasn’t been well these days.”

“Oh, well I’m looking for a job too, I have experience in taking care of animals, I used to do it all the time back home.”

“Really? How long ago did you start?”

“Well, it’s been 3 years, people trusted me with their pets.”

“That’s good, hmm how about you help me today,” he suggests.

“Okay,” I say trying to hold in the excitement. I didn’t want to seem too desperate.

“I’ll see how you do and by the end of today, you ’ll know if you’ve landed yourself a job or not,” he says.

“Fine with me, where do I start? Oh I’m Summer”

“Oh I’m so sorry, I forgot to ask you your name, nice to meet you Summer, here help me with Toby.”

He already had Toby on the table, needing me to just hold Toby so he can wrap his leg properly.

I held Toby from the back scratching behind his ears, knowing most dogs love that. After Joe bandaged Toby’s leg, he put him down.

Toby began wagging his tail looking up at me, while Joe went to get him his treat.

“Aren’t you a cute little boy? So brave aren’t you Toby?”

He lets out a small bark, like he understands me, making me giggle.

“You really are good with animals,” Joe says, and I just smile at him. He gives Toby his treat and takes him to the back room probably so he can sleep.

Joe comes back with a list. “These are what needs to be done, do how much you can for today, let me know if you need anything or don’t understand something,” he says

“Okay,” I say taking the list from him.

Looking at the list, I read the job on the list. Feed the chickens, looking around I don’t see any chickens.

Hmmph, “Hey, Joe?”

“Yes?”

“Where are the chickens?”

“Oh, come here.” He calls from the back room.

Walking across the room I enter the back room. I stopped staring in amazement.

“Woah,” I say amazed.

It wasn’t just a room, on the right there was another door leading outside to a large open space, there were chickens everywhere. Who would’ve thought that this place would have like a mini farm. There was a mini pond at the corner, with some ducks and ducklings swimming around, a small area divided by a short fence had rabbits hopping around.

Although the place was super cool it stunk. The downside of working at places like these is the horrible stench.

But I guess I have to get used to this.

Do people even adopt chickens?

“Some do, but most of these are here for a few days, they’ll be going back to the actual farm, they’re only here so I can see if they are able to produce enough or are healthy enough.”

“Did I say that out loud?”

“Yes you did,” he chuckles.

Well, the foods in the cupboard at the end of the room you just entered in, it has the label’s that say chicken food, you have to mix some in the water and leave the other day,” he explains.

“Oh-kay, I got this.”

Going back to the room I head towards the cupboard and pick the bag that says chicken food.

After pouring the food for the chicken I head back and check the next job on the list. I end up cleaning the litter box for the cats and replacing it with clean sand, refilling the bowls of food for the animals and putting fresh water in their bowls.

“You can have a break,” Joe says, I think he has been observing me this whole time.

Exhausted I take a seat, a bottle of water appears in front of me. Taking the bottle I open the lid and take a large gulp. Sighing in contentment I close my eyes for a few seconds before opening them.

“So Joe, do you let people volunteer around here?”

“Oh yes, but no one really wants to volunteer you know, they don’t want to deal with the smell and cleaning up after animals.”

Hmm, maybe I should ask Ethan to come here since he wants to get to know me so badly.

“You mind if I bring someone tomorrow?”

“Not a problem, anyone’s welcome.”

Taking my phone out I look for Ethan’s number so I can text him.

“Hey Ethan.”

“Summer! Miss me already?”

Rolling my eyes at his answer I text back.

“You’re not that important. Anyways about our friendly meet up, how about we meet up tomorrow?”

“So soon? Haha just kidding, yeah I’m free, where do you want to meet up?”

“Meet me at Ann’s pet shop. It’s around the corner from the jewellery store, but I’m sure you already know that”

“At the pet store? Oh okay, I’m definitely not asking any more questions, you might end up changing your mind *sighs*, the things I do for people. ”

Letting out a short giggle I continue my message, he has no idea what he’s signing up for.

“Oh and make sure you wear casual clothes, see you.”

“Okay, bye, can’t wait!” He sends his last reply.

Putting my phone back in my pocket I get up so I can continue the rest of the jobs

“Summer, I think you’re done for the day, I don’t want to overwhelm you on your first day, I’ll see you tomorrow,” Joe says.

“Are you sure? I can continue till it’s closing time if you want.”

“Yes I’m sure, come back tomorrow morning will discuss your pay.”

“Okay, thank you, oh and Joe? a volunteer will be coming tomorrow afternoon.”

“That’s great, the first day and already being such a great help, see you tomorrow summer.”

“See you,” I say and go out of the building, heading home.

Tomorrow is going to be so much fun, oooh Summer you are so evil.

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