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SNEAK PEAK: "A New Leash on Death" by Teresa Inge

 CHAPTER ONE

Here you go, dear sister.” Emma Ramsey pushed her foot against the screen door while balancing a large sheet cake in her hands.

Catt Ramsey, owner of the Woof-Pack Dog Walkers, looked up from her computer screen and swiveled her desk chair toward the door. “Let me take that.” She walked toward Em and grabbed the cake. While setting it on the newly built front check-in counter, Catt read the writing on the cake. “Woof-Pack Dog Walkers Grand Re-Opening.”

Darcey and Stacey Moretti, twin sisters and recently retired massage therapists and Catt’s newest dog walkers, gathered around the front of the counter.

Lexi Stallings the new dog groomer stood at the opposite end with Catt’s Yorkshire Terriers, Cagney and Lacey close by.

“Love the doggie paw images on the cake,” Darcey said.

“How many people are coming to the opening this afternoon?” Stacey asked.

“Around fifty,” Catt said. “When customers arrive, you two can hand out the doggie bags on the front counter as I give an overview of our services. Lexi will provide a tour of our new dog grooming space. After that, customers can enjoy cake, finger foods, and beverages on the refreshment table in the kitchen.” Catt moved the cake to the kitchen table.

“The office remodel and new dog grooming space looks great,” Em said.

Beau Whitaker, Catt’s rugged but handsome handyman and boyfriend, entered the office with Duke, his German Shepherd. Trey Duncan, the remodel contractor trailed behind him.

“Everything okay?” Catt asked.

Trey wiped his forehead with his shirt sleeve. “We finished installing the last cabinet and touched up the paint on the back wall.”

“So, you’re all done?” Catt asked.

Trey nodded. “Just in time for the big reveal today.”

“Wanna take a look?” Beau asked.

The women and dogs walked down the hallway into the grooming area.

“Wow! I love the cubicles underneath the kennel island,” Stacey said.

“Beau thought of that.” Catt knelt down and straightened a doggie bed in one of the cubes. Once the dogs are groomed, they can hang out in the cozy kennels, along with a toy and a treat.

Lexi walked to the large bath bin in the back of the room and placed a pair of grooming shears next to the shampoo bottles and towels on a shelf above the tub. “Ready for business.”

By the bath bin, Cagney and Lacey sniffed the treat jars, full of their favorite peanut butter treats, rawhide chews, and dog biscuits.

Stacey headed to a clothing rack against the entry wall. “Look at the cute doggie clothes.” She clutched a pink and white sweater with paw prints from the rack and held it up.

“A-dor-a-ble.” Darcey turned her head to view the sweater before delving through a wicker basket filled with bows. “Love the cute doggie bones and hearts on the bows. Are these for sale?”

“Yes. That’s our new accessory line,” Catt said. “They’re also available on our website with various varieties. Em is managing the clothing line for the business. So hopefully, that will bring in additional revenue.”

“Lots of changes for the Woof-Pack Dog Walkers,” Darcey added.

“And to think this area used to be your bedroom and workout space.” Em smiled.

“That’s right. How does it feel to be a new homeowner?” Lexi asked.

“It’s great not to be in one cramped area, thanks to my sis for selling me her house. I love having my living quarters separate from the business in the carriage house over the garage.”

Catt had rented the room over Em’s garage for years. She had lived and worked there, running her dog walking business. She’d started Woof-Pack after losing her corporate event planning job in a downsize around the same time she found her cheating husband with a neighbor. Time for a change. And the opportunity to walk dogs along the Virginia Beach boardwalk was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

After Catt had moved into the house with Cagney and Lacey, she expanded her business with a dog grooming service and office remodel. Further adding to the mix, her boyfriend Beau and his dog Duke had moved in with her and the pups last weekend.

“I know this was a big project,” Lexi said.

“Yeah. And after today’s event, I plan to finish unboxing my things and start decorating my house, which is the next big project on my list,” Catt added.


<<If you enjoyed this excerpt and and would like to read more, buy your PRINT COPY HERE or your EBOOK COPY HERE. More information on the stories included in TO FETCH A KILLER can be found HERE, and short bios on the authors are one click away HERE.>>

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