Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride

Free Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

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Authors: Sandra D. Bricker
their pets and released them into the wild.
    Well, maybe not into the wild exactly. But they did send them running leashless into a fenced area, dogs only, where the animals could frolic and bark and sniff one another's behinds. Sherilyn found the whole thing rather bizarre, and she wondered how she'd never known about such things.
    "One of the PTs at the center told me about this place," Andy explained as he stood at the fence, leash in hand. "He brings his dog here all the time."
    His dog. That implied that this very hairy creature leaning against the fence might be Andy's dog. Which would eventually make him Sherilyn's dog, and this realization fell upon her in about two and a half seconds.
    She placed her hand on Andy's arm. "I'm not really a dog person, Andy."
    "Oh, I know. But that's just because you've never had one."
    "No, I don't really think that's why. I've really just never been—"
    "Come on, boy," Andy interrupted, squatting down next to the animal, just the fence between them. "Go on in and make some friends. I know it's scary but, after what you've been through, I'm thinking you can conquer this. What do you think, huh?"
    The terrified dog cocked its head back and looked into Andy's eyes for support.
    "You can do it."
    He didn't seem convinced, and he pressed his entire furry body against the fence, leaning toward Andy. As he stared at Andy, he seemed to be asking, "Why??"
    Sherilyn had to admit that this looked like a very different dog than the one she'd first met in the backyard of the home she hoped to occupy one day. It turned out that its fur was white and gray, rather than the dark beige and brown that untold days out on his own had created. The veterinarian who checked him out found there was no microchip implant to tell Andy anything about his newfound friend also had a groomer on staff who took the dog's matted clumps of yuck and turned them into brushed, brightened fur. Three hundred dollars later, the dog came out of the clinic with an apparent new home, and looking a little like a glamorous character in a canine shampoo commercial.
    "Maybe if we don't watch him," Andy suggested as he stood up. Placing an arm around Sherilyn's shoulder, they turned their backs to the fence and stood there, waiting. For what, she wasn't entirely certain; a surge of doggie bravery perhaps or a shameful walk out into the yard in response to two grown humans ignoring him?
    An incessant yip-yip-yipping caused them both to turn around again to find a brazen little ball of brownish fluff jumping and poking the sheepdog with its teeny front paws. "C'mon," it seemed to be inciting. "You want a piece o'me?" To which the answer was a silent-yet-resounding, "Not at all."
    "Look, Henry," Andy pointed out. "A potential friend. Go on and run around with her."
    "Henry?" Sherilyn gawked at Andy, one hand raised as if she could pluck the word right out of the air. "You named him?"
    "Oh, yeah. I thought I'd call him Henry. What do you think?"
    "That depends. Why would you name him again? I mean, he probably already has a name."
    "But we don't know what it is."
    "He doesn't need another name, Andy. He needs to find his owners."
    "Everybody deserves a name," he replied. "What am I supposed to call him? 'Hey, you'?"
    "This would imply that you're planning on calling him often?"
    Andy angled his gaze away from Henry and grinned at her.
    "I think we should keep him, Sherilyn."
    She sighed. "Andy, I told you. I'm not—"
    "—a dog person," he finished for her. "I know. But he's a great dog. Can't you give it a try?"
    There was ten minutes of back and forth between them— running from how he probably belonged to someone in the
    neighborhood to how much work a dog of that size would be to a repeat of the "I'm just not a dog person" defense. Then Sherilyn watched Andy deliver his friend from the confines of the fence, and she silently followed them back toward the car.
    A dog? Really?
    She slipped behind the wheel and turned over the

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