It’s my turn to bring you an excerpt from our Pups That Make Miracles quartet. This one is from Their One-Night Christmas Gift, the final book in the series.
My surgeon, Charles Ross-Wylde, is the laird at Heatherglen Castle and also runs the clinic. It’s fair to say that unlike his sister, Esme, he’s not a dog lover. This scene is with one of his young patients and Harriet, his ex, who is helping out over the New Year Not to mention a certain, special pup…
Karin Baine xx
The triumphant smile Charles was wearing as Harriet was saying her goodbyes to the family died on his lips. A wagging, panting bundle of fur streaked past him as he opened the door to leave the room.
‘Isn’t this Esme’s puppy?’ Harriet scooped up the excitable animal, which had been causing havoc recently.
‘He’s so sweet. Is he for me?’ Bryony’s voice matched the excitement of the canine intruder and he cursed his sister’s generous heart. If Esme hadn’t insisted on keeping this nuisance around, he wouldn’t have to upset a young patient.
‘Sorry, Bryony. He must’ve escaped from the house.’
‘You can stroke him if you want.’ Harriet stepped in with a compromise and took the dog over to her before the tears had an opportunity to fully form.
‘He tickles.’ Bryony giggled as Dougal licked her face. Charles wasn’t pleased that Dougal had made an unscheduled, unsupervised visit but it was good to see her happy. Harriet too. Although the dogs were part of the ongoing therapy around here, he’d still have to have a word with Esme about keeping a closer eye on her four-legged friends. He didn’t want them getting in the way when staff were doing their rounds.
He lifted the hand sanitiser and passed it to her mother. ‘I’m so sorry about this..’
‘Don’t worry. He’s the best therapy we could have asked for.’ Bryony’s mother joined the group fawning over Dougal as though he were a newborn baby.
He understood their importance in terms of therapy here when he’d seen the results for himself. They calmed patients as well as provide a distraction from illness and treatment. However, on a personal level he didn’t know what the fuss was about.He’d never been a dog lover. Probably because his parents had stressed how much mess and destruction they could cause in a place like this where every stick of furniture had history and substantial monetary value. As proved by their canine companion. Sure, Dougal was cute, but he didn’t do anything for Charles except generally make his life more difficult around here.
‘We should get him back where he’s supposed to be.’ Charles stood back and let Harriet and her new friend leave before him.
‘’Bye, Dougal.’ There was a chorus as they left, indicating there was only one of them who’d be truly missed.
‘Just wait until I see Esme. I’d prefer he had a bath at least before he starts wandering around the place.’
‘Oh, poor baby, don’t listen to the nasty man. You smell like home to me.’ Harriet covered Dougal’s ears against the insult and peppered him with kisses, completely losing her own professional image to let her soft-hearted mothering instinct take over.
‘You lived in a kennel?’
She tutted. ‘We always had a dog in the house when I was growing up with Mum. They’re great company and totally devoted to their owners. If I wasn’t so busy with work, I’d still have one, but it wouldn’t be fair to leave one at home alone all day.’
‘Exactly why he shouldn’t be in the castle, unsupervised,while Esme is at work.’
‘He’s only a baby. Esme is the expert and she only has his best interests at heart. How could you be mad at this little face?’ She held Dougal out towards him. The dog’s tail was wagging so hard his body nearly folded in two.
Charles stared into the pair of soulful eyes begging for his love. A little pink doggie tongue shot out and began slobbering over his face, making it impossible to remember why he was being a grouch.
Then a warm trickle of liquid soaked through his suit and reminded him.
‘Whoops. I think he got too excited.’ Harriet could barely contain her laughter as the puppypromptly forgot all the house training Esme had no doubt instilled in him the moment his Alpha hero had paid him some attention.