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Puppy Love

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Keith could light himself on fire right now, the embarrassment is that real.

It’s not enough that he ruined a one year old’s birthday party, pissed off his brother and disappointed his brother-in-law. He now has to sit in a veterinary clinic wondering how he’s going to explain this to a brand new doctor now that the family vet Sam Holt has retired and is probably sitting on a beach somewhere sipping pina coladas with his wife.

He sits in the exam room, glaring at his husky Kosmo, cursing the dog under his breath. He would die for this dog but he currently wants to murder this dog.

Keith briefly checks his phone, gritting his teeth as the texts come in from Hunk who was also at the party. Hunk’s trying to be supportive, but from the pictures he’s sending he also clearly finds the whole fiasco hilarious. Keith winces at a picture of a screaming child in a highchair when the door swings open.

Keith’s head jerks upward at the sound and his mouth promptly falls open.

“Good afternoon Mr. Kogane. I’m Dr. Altea, but you may call me Allura. I’m new around these parts and I’ll be taking care of…Kosmo is it?” The veterinarian looks at her clipboard then the dog then approaches Keith.

She holds out her hand and Keith slowly takes it, still gawking. Her hand is soft and warm and when she leans in for the shake the smell of whatever hair product she uses drifts from her messy high bun right into his nostrils.

Allura pulls back and places her clipboard on the table before bending over to scratch Kosmo behind his ears. The pup groans, but leans his head into her touch, milking whatever sympathy she has to give.

“So Mr. Kogane, what’s wrong with this sweet boy, hmm?” Allura coos before turning her attention to Keith.

He’s so busy staring he almost doesn’t hear the question and when he finally does process it his heart sinks. It was bad enough when he was going to have to recount the incident to Matt, maybe receive some ribbing, but now he has to tell a gorgeous woman that he’s a bad pet owner who can’t control his dog and traumatized a baby.

Keith swallows hard and takes out his phone, pulling up the evidence and handing it to her. Allura swipes from one photo to the next like a slideshow unfolding the series of unfortunate events as follows:

Shiro and Adam’s daughter Coco sits in her high chair, party hat perched lopsided atop her dark hair which is pulled up into pig tails. The hat matches her frilly yellow dress.

A beautifully decorated vanilla smash cake with white frosting and pink flowers is placed in front of her.

Coco stares at the cake and a yellow flickering “1” candle in awe and wonder (presumably while everyone sings to her).

Seemingly before the song could even finish Kosmo leaps up on his hind legs, paws perched on the highchair and lunges at the confection, mouth open wide.

Kosmo continues to inhale the cake, almost like a snake with its jaw unhinged swallowing it in its entirety. Coco is screaming.

Keith is yanking his dog away. Coco is in hysterics in Shiro’s arms who’s face is in mid snarl.

Fin.

Allura places fingers over her mouth trying desperately not to laugh as she hands the phone back.

“The whole cake?” she asks, voice still shaky as she’s muffling a snicker.

“A whole cake…with the candle…and a plate of hot dogs…” He sighs with shame and hangs his head.

At this point Allura can’t hold it in and she lets out a wonderfully charming guffaw followed by a snort.

“Sorry.” She giggles and her smile makes his insides flutter on sight.

“It’s ok.” Keith chuckles. Now that the worst of it is over, it is a bit funny.

She composes herself before returning to Kosmo and stroking his head and back.

“Well the good news is birthday candles are non-toxic so he should be fine. There could be a chance of a bit stomach upset or soft stool given the introduction of something he’s not used to paired with his little feast, but overall I think he should be fine. Just keep an eye on him for the next 24 hours and if any problems arise, just give me a call.”

She stands and slips a hand into her coat pocket, giving him her card when it reemerges.

“Y-You want me to call you?” His cheeks flush as he flips her card over in his fingers.

“If there’s an issue with Kosmo” she clarifies.

“Ah, heh, yes with Kosmo.”

“Or if you have any questions and general” she adds with a smile.

“Of course.”

He slides the card in his back pocket and hops to his feet.

“So what do I owe?”

“This one’s on the house.”

“Really?”

“Yes, I think you both have suffered enough today.” She smirks.

Keith laughs and shakes his head, stepping around her to carry Kosmo off the table. He walks his sluggish dog out of the room and into the main lobby.

“Uh, you know, maybe I should bring Koz back next week, just as a follow up to make sure he’s ok.” Keith shrugs innocently.

Allura blinks then bites her bottom lip to hold back a grin.

“If you think it’s best.”

“I’d feel better if I saw y- if Kosmo saw you again.” He fumbled his words, cheeks flushed.

“Yes…Kosmo. Then I guess I’ll see you next week. Take care Mr. Kogage.” She waved sweetly over her shoulder before disappearing into her office.

Keith waited for his heart to slow before looking down at his faithful companion and crouching to get to his level.

“You were very bad today…”

Kosmo whimpered, tried to cover his face with his paw.

“That being said…” he glanced up at her door, at her name splayed across the gold plating, “good boy, very good boy!”