Chapter 2

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My alarm clock went off at 7:30 sharp. I groaned. I'd forgotten about my job I had every Sunday morning to walk the neighbors' dogs. I shut the alarm off quickly so I wouldn't wake Darcy up. I reluctantly got out of bed and lazily pulled my hair up into a pony tail. I knew the weather would be warm, so I pulled on some denim shorts and an orange tank-top. I skipped breakfast (since Darcy would have to serve it to me later this morning) and headed out.

My first stop was next door. I knocked on the door, and Mrs. Muck opened it. She is a nice old lady, although her name is rather unfortunate.

"Good morning, Mrs. Muck," I said cheerfully. "Is Lil' Bit ready?"

"He is, Paige darling," she said with a smile. She held out her small Chihuahua and his leash.

"I'll be back in an hour," I promised.

"Thank you, dear. You're very kind." She shut the door, and I left for my next customer.

Pretty soon, I had six dogs on five leashes in my hands: two Chihuahuas, a bull dog, a poodle, a beagle, and a large husky. They were all pretty well behaved. The only time they were troublesome was when they passed by other dogs.

Basically, my job was to walk them around the neighborhood for an hour and return them to the owners. I was always done by 9 am. And I got paid for it. I'm saving up money for when I leave for college because my senior year just ended, and I don't want to have to be so reliant on my parents. I had planned on moving out this summer, but I haven't found a place yet. Besides, I like the house I'm in, and my parents aren't around much. I basically live alone already.

We passed a kid with a black lab, and my five dogs pulled on their leashes, barking like mad. But I was prepared for this. I took out a clicker and clicked it a few times to divert their attention from the passing dog and spoke soothing words. Pretty soon, the black lab was gone, and I continued the walk. It was actually kind of nice to get some sun and feel the morning breeze.

Five minutes until nine o'clock, I started taking the dogs back home. First, I returned the husky. The owner was very wealthy and gave me fifty dollars. Next, I dropped off the beagle. The owner gave me twenty dollars. Then I dropped off the female Chihuahua. Just like the stereotypical Chihuahua owner, this dog's owner was a very dramatic housewife with an attitude and a rich father. She gave me sixty dollars for taking such good care of her "baby". Then I returned the poodle to her owner, who was a ten-year-old spoiled girl. Her mom gave me twenty bucks. The last stop was my next-door neighbor, Mrs. Muck, who was my personal favorite. She was the only one in the neighborhood that Darcy and I didn't play pranks on, and that says a lot.

"Hello again, Mrs. Muck," I said when she opened the door. I released her Chihuahua, and he ran past her into the house. I saw him lay on her couch, tired from the walk. I gave her the leash.

"Thank you very much, dear," she said. "Now he won't be so energetic." She chuckled. "Well, at least for a little while, that is."

"It's no problem," I said politely.

She opened her wallet and fished around for money. "Well... I'm afraid I only have ten dollars..."

I held up my hand. "That's more than enough."

She smiled and handed me a ten dollar bill. "You're such a sweet heart."

I shrugged and joked, "I try."

She laughed a little and said, "I'll see you next Sunday, dear."

I nodded, and she shut the door.

Looks like another successful work day.

When I got home, I counted up the money I made: one-hundred and sixty dollars. Sometimes it pays off to live in a wealthy neighborhood.

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