Rick’s Dog Rotation and Rental Service

The giant doors of the luxury condo opened and Rick flashed his charming pearly whites. “Good afternoon Ms. Bilton, how are you? Got you a fresh-as-a-daisy puppers here.”

“I’m fine, Rick, and thanks,” the young starlet answered, handing over a panting, tail-wagging, ever-so-slightly shaggy Shih Tzu.

Rick cradled the pup like a football in his right arm while proffering an identical but cleaner, impeccably groomed pooch with his left.

“Ohhhh, woogums woogie woogums,” cooed Ms. Bilton as the new dog licked her face. Delighted, the star of HBO’s new series “Teen Zombies in Love” retreated back into her home.

“See you next month!” Rick waved and turned to descend the steps.

*****

Rick placed the shaggy Shih Tzu in the back of the van, which contained fifteen or twenty dogs. There were mostly Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas with a couple of min-pins and brussels griffon mixed in. They nodded, proffered a paw for a bro-bump, or exchanged butt sniffs with their returning comrade. Once back on the road, Rick looked in the mirror and asked, “How did it go, Sgt. Pooky?”

“Eh, not bad, Sir.” responded Pooky. “You got the eye-camera shots?”

“Yes, nice work. We already sold some of the swimming pool shots to TMZ – nice price too. Anything new to report?”

“She’s planning a trip to Palm Springs with the guy from that MTV show. Next weekend. The itinerary should be sell-able intel, and the trip is likely to result in some good photo ops for Ensign Snuggles. I’ll upload the details during the formal mission debrief,” said Pooky.

“Well done, Pooky. You’re a good little soldier, yes you ARE!”

“THANK you, Sir!” Pooky wagged his tail excitedly, briefly overwhelmed by the revelation regarding his goodness. Then the tuckered out little guy yawned, licked his nuts, curled up, and went to sleep.

Just like real yappy dogs, Siriusian-inhabited yappy dogs are adorable when they sleep.

With no other deliveries or exchanges scheduled, Rick and the crew found themselves headed towards the freeway and back home to their makeshift headquarters.

*****

It was coming up on ten Terran years since the Glaucoma, a Siriusian service cruiser, had been forced to crash land on this gods-forsaken rock in the Sol system. They landed not so much next to, but on top of the rural Lancaster home of popular performers – popular in the state fair and ’Vegas off-strip sense of the word – Rick Spectacular and His Wonder Dogs. While that sounds like an event that would be noticed for miles around, the reality is that Sirusian service cruisers are, in earth terms, about the size of a 1936 Airstream Clipper model trailer. So, beyond causing mass defecation among 35 or 40 small, talented pooches, the crash went unnoticed.

The Glaucoma’s survivors were in a pickle. They had no doubt that rescue would come, but given the remoteness of their location, the most optimistic estimates placed that rescue around fifteen, maybe twenty earth years from the date of the crash. Considering the frail, ecto-plasmic nature of Siriusian biology, the crew had little choice but to inhabit the nearest available bodies. Captain Grok was accorded the honor of inhabiting the body of the obvious leader of this collection of Terrans.

For a year they simply continued in the roles of their hosts. They toured the fair circuit and did two separate stints in Las Vegas at a Fremont Street hotel. Given the higher level of Siriusian sentience compared to their host bodies, the audience found the performances truly mind-blowing. But the performers themselves got bored.

Like real yappy dogs, Siriusian-inhabited yappy dogs have short attention spans.

The advent of the purse dog fad became the game changer for the crew of the Glaucoma. Captain Grok, now called Rick, devised and implemented the scheme. Rick’s Dog Rotation and Rental was a business that appealed to the hoity-toity young women of the greater Los Angeles area. If a young starlet, heiress, or aspiring diva wished to sport the fashionable purse dog, but did not really want to commit to the responsibility or emotional investment required of real pet ownership, RDRR was the answer. Rick’s offered two services. One, a permanent dog companion – but just when the dog started to look a bit scruffy, in need of grooming or tedious attention, Rick would come around and simply replace the scruffy dog with an identical, freshly-groomed dog. Two, if the customer simply wanted a short-term rental of a purse dog, say, for a shopping trip down Rodeo Drive or a weekend full of upscale pool parties, Rick’s was the answer.

Also, unlike real yappy dogs, Siriusian-inhabited dogs rarely poop. A believably popular selling point.

The business was a hit; the dough rolling in. But it did not take long for Rick and his crew to realize that a venn-diagram of their clientele and the targets of popular tabloid fascination would produce considerable overlap. They went to work, modifying their own eye-sockets into cameras and their brainwaves able to transmit images to the home-module in the wrecked spaceship hidden on the grounds of the original crash-site. Rick reached out to celebrity magazines, websites, and blogs with great success.

Unlike real yappy dogs, Siriusian-inhabited yappy dogs are adept at improvisational bio-mechanics.

*****

“Mayday! Mayday!” an excited voice erupted from the pendant hanging from the rear-view. An identical pendant hung around the neck of every dog. A pen-com they called it. Again, “Mayday, mayday! Come in Captain Rick. This is Piddles. Mayday!”

“We hear you, Piddles,” Rick replied. “Report.”

Corporal Piddles had been imbedded for about two weeks now with Katrina Tautbottom, the pot pie heiress. She had proven to be a very lucrative target for their endeavors. Drunken public escapades including, but not limited to face-plants and upchucks; fist-fights with valet parking attendants; nip-slips at the clubs, both intentional and accidental; drug-fueled pool parties; you name it, Rick’s puppy-razzi had been able to snap it and sell it.

But the money to be made had led to recklessness on the part of Rick and his operatives. Piddles and Pips had begun to take chances with the pics they snapped, and Rick had become imprudent, too, selling any and every photo received from the eye-cameras. Just a few days ago, The National Scandal had run a photo of Katrina passed out, yoga pants around her ankles, on her own luxurious marbled bathroom floor. Piddles himself had taken that photo on the second day of his current tour of duty. Had their carelessness caught up with them? Even Katrina’s notoriously clouded faculties might figure out that there had been no one else in the room or even the house, at the time, other than Piddles.

“I’m under the bed in one of the guest rooms,” Piddles barked urgently. “Cover … blown! Engaging in …evasive … maneuvers.”

“Slow down, Corporal. What happened?”

“She picked me up,” Piddles continued, having to pause every few words to pant. “She was mad. Said, ‘It had to be you, you little fucker.’ She started turning me over and around, looked in my butt, between my claws, lifted up my eyelids. ‘How do you do it?’ She said. She went for the pen-com. That’s when I performed the standard squirm maneuver and ran.” More panting. And a little bit of whimpering.

In the background, besides general ransacking sounds everyone, in the van could hear a woman’s voice, “Where are you, you little piece of shit? You can’t hide forever!”

“Steady on soldier. We’re coming to get you!” Rick said, as he sent the van into a perilous u-turn, setting out with all speed towards Katrina’s beach house.

“Hurry up Captain, she’s getting clos . . . Oh God! She’s in the room! She’s- ….” There were sounds of a struggle, some brief static, and then only silence.

*****

The van careened up the sloped driveway, screeching to a halt directly in front of the door to Katrina’s Malibu beach house. Rick jumped out and flung open the side door. The entire van’s compliment poured out and up the front steps. The whole group was awash in adrenaline. It felt good to be back in real action again. Terran living had made them soft and complacent. This was proper Sirusian Service Corp excitement. Most of them were trembling uncontrollably.

As they reached the portico, they heard blood curdling yelps coming from the rear of the house. Rick bashed in a glass pane beside the door, reached through and turned the knob. A sharp pain caused him to look down; he had cut his hand and small rivulets of tell-tale green Sirusian blood had begun to trickle down his fingers. No matter, he and the gang dashed through the house, his comrades yipping and arfing as they went. Through the foyer, the living room, a sun room, and into the kitchen. There they all pulled up short at the sight of Piddles, duct-taped to a Formica table. Next to him were the remnants of his pen-com, smashed to bits. Katrina, her back to the intruders, hunched over him holding something. It was a kitchen utensil of some sort . . . a mellon-baller!

Piddles screamed, “Get this crazy bitch off of me! She’s after my fucking eye -Ai-Ai-Ai-Ai!” Simultaneously, Katrina had intensified her hunch, flared her elbow for purchase, and dug the melon-baller into Pibbles’ right eye. Green fluid spurted copiously. Pibbles went limp.
Katrina whirled on the intruders, brandishing the melon-baller with a Chihuahua eyeball nestled in the scoop, like the payload of a nightmarish mini-catapult. “You!” she screamed, pointing, thereby flinging Piddles’ eye at Rick and spattering the lot with a fair amount of green muck

Rick’s order to attack was hardly necessary and largely unheard over the rising cacophony of indignant, irate barking and growling. As one, the unit bounded forward.

*****

Twenty minutes later, Rick and the gang piled back into the van. Piddles was wearing a makeshift eyepatch fashioned out of an egg cup, rubber bands and duct tape. The rest of the crew was panting and wagging excitedly. “Nice work, men,” Rick said. “And Sargent Pips, that note was a stroke of genius. I’m putting you up for commendation.” Pips wiggled, panted, and peed.

*****

Katrina was discovered floating face-down in the swimming pool the next morning by the housekeeper. When the police arrived, they found most of the house undisturbed. The kitchen, however, was a bizarre and grisly scene. There, they found the formica table covered in a thick green ooze that would never be successfully identified by the forensics lab. Dozens upon dozens of little green paw prints tracked the ooze throughout the kitchen and out the back door, towards the pool. Another few dozen of the same tiny green paw prints covered Katrina’s back as she bobbed on the surface. Back in the Kitchen, pinned to the refrigerator was a crude handwritten note that read:

“Two hoo it may consurn; I just wint into the pul and downded. It was an axcidunt. All buy myself. I wuz not kilt by dougs. No wai no hough. Sinceerlie, Katreena.”

Like real yappy dogs, Siriusian-inhabited dogs can’t spell for shit.

© 2015 Whiskey Leavins

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One thought on “Rick’s Dog Rotation and Rental Service

  1. Pingback: The Snatching of Katrina Taughtbottom by the Trope Brothers: Take 1 – THE DEVIL'S OWN PISS

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