Namjoon - Neighbors

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You yawn. The clear blue sky darkens slightly as you slide your shades down to cover your eyes. You place your hands behind your head, enjoying the summer breeze. The sudden movement causes the hammock to sway lightly. Once the hammock is stable again, you close your eyes and enjoy the warm sun.

You're unsure of how much time has passed when you can make out the voice of your neighbor. He was shouting angrily for his dog to come back. Not surprising. The dog was always running off.

Just as you were beginning to block out the noise coming from around you, you feel a sharp pain on your stomach caused by sudden weight. The hammock strains under the extra weight, sways suddenly and tips you over. Your sunglasses fly off and you land on your stomach. When you finally come to your senses, you see very excited ball of golden fur panting heavily and wagging its tail. He must have gotten through the space between the fence.

"I would be mad, but you're too cute," you say as you allow the dog to sniff your hand. The dog sits and dips his head to grant you permission to pet him.

"Makki," Namjoon yells. The dog's ears perk up at the sound of his name but immediately falls at his owner's tone. "Lara, I'm so sorry. He slipped through the door again."

You rub Makki's head some more. "It's fine. He was just coming to visit. No big deal."

Namjoon helps you to your feet. You stand there awkwardly thinking of something to say. Although you have lived next to Namjoon for three years, you only ever exchange hellos and small talk. Makki breaks the silence with a loud bark.

"What's wrong?" you ask the dog as if he would actually reply. "I think he wants to play," you tell Namjoon. "Wait here."

You jog to the back door of your house. Once inside, you search the old chest of toys for something useful. At the bottom of the large chest, you find a few old tennis balls, a chew toy, and some treats. You fill your hands with as much as you can and run awkwardly to the yard.

"Does he know how to fetch?" You ask Namjoon as you set the items down on the grass.

Namjoon shrugs. "He doesn't listen when I try with him."

You squat and call Makki over. He happily trots toward you. You select one of the tennis balls, lift it to his nose, and allow him to sniff it. When he tries to bite at the ball, you pull it back slightly. His eyes follow the ball and his tail wags uncontrollably.

"Want the ball?" You question. "Fetch!"

You launch the ball only a few feet away and smile as the Makki dashes after it. Makki quickly scoops up the ball before sitting down and playing with it.

"Come here, Makki," you command. "Bring me the ball."

Makki's ears move at the sound of his name, but he continues playing with the ball.

"He does this every time," Namjoon laughs.

"You just have to teach him," you explain. "As a golden retriever, fetching is a part of him. Watch."

You grab a few treats before determinedly walking over to Makki and kneeling in front of him. He tilts his head. You slowly reach for the ball, but Makki gets to it first. You let out a laugh.

"Come on, Makki. I'll give it back," you try to reason.

You place your hand under Makki's chin and wait patiently. Makki blinks.

"Drop it," you demand firmly.

It takes a few seconds, but Makki obeys.

"Good boy, Makki," you praise him. "Here you go."

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