It was in the middle of a meeting when it happened. This meeting was too large to be held in their room, so they were in the living room. Heather was there, curled up on the couch next to Edward under her quilt. It had worked out well – instead of being seated by seniority, as was typical, those officers Heather did not know well sat further away than those she did, and were not offended by the fact. In fact, Heather had contributed a couple of suggestions. True, they had been whispered into the major’s ear, but it was proof she was paying attention.
But then they heard a yip and a private skidded to a stop at the edge of the living room.
The private looked embarrassed, which was quite a contrast to the cheerful yaps of the half-grown puppy running around the living room.
“Sir, I’m sorry. I’m trying to train her.” Then he addressed the dog firmly. “Come.” The puppy just looked at him, cocking her head.
“How long have you had her?” Beck asked.
“A couple of weeks. Her siblings are coming along just fine, but this one…I don’t know what I’m going to do with her.”
The puppy, continuing to ignore its trainer, had hopped up onto the couch and plunked down on Heather’s lap like she’d always belonged there. Heather, unable to resist the puppy-dog eyes, was petting it. Major Beck, unable to resist Heather’s smile, turned to the private and sighed.
“What’s her name?” he asked in a wry tone.
“Katie, sir.” He said. He was fighting a smile, as were most of the officers in the room at the preemptive adoption they’d just witnessed. “Should I bring some food by later?”
“Sure, why not?”
And that was how Katie adopted Heather.