Talib gave Romy a little jolt of pleasure as they got to the entrance of the park; she’d kept her place at his side exactly all the way, despite him trying to surprise her. He could claim ‘heel’ as fully trained, then.
He shifted the backpack, and wished he’d brought Slave to carry it. But having both of them around would distract him, and he’d decided to push giving her a new accent and see how well it could work. Still, he was here, he could ﬁnd a place to drop it oﬀ, and take a seat a moment.
Romy got a break, of sorts, as well: He unleashed her, and let her run. This was actually as much a part of the training as anything else: she was supposed to go exploring and sniﬃng around, not leaving his sight or shouting range, but not staying close either.
Of course, he hadn’t explained that to her. He’d just implied it heavily during a couple hypnosis sessions.
She scampered oﬀ beautifully.
Satisﬁed, he turned and got himself unpacked; he’d brought lunch for both of them, and extra water for Romy, as well as some treats, and a light-duty crop for if he needed to make corrections. He hoped he wouldn’t need the last, but it was good to have it ready.
“Romy!” He called out: She was investigating something closely at the base of a tree on the other side of the ﬁeld. As soon as she heard her name, her head came up. “Come!” She bounded towards him, at a full run.
He gave her a pat on the head when she arrived, then: “Beg!” She sat back, hands up and hanging, framing her breasts, not hiding them, tongue out, knees enough apart to show of her sex. He was satisﬁed, and gave her one of the treats.
She’d have preferred cock, but they were in public. Besides, she couldn’t always get what she wanted.
So far, no problems. Though he wasn’t really expecting any yet; it was early in the day, no one was around, and she wasn’t tired. Later, it might be a problem. But even then… She was about ready.
This wasn’t Talib; both their heads turned to the new voice. A little girl was running over, her obvious father trailing behind. Talib waited until she arrived. “You must be Alicia, Scavo told me about you.”
She looked up, and realized she didn’t know him. She drew back, but just a little, but rallied. “Are you the person who’s orders Romy has to follow?”
“Yes and no. I’m not her Owner — the one who she agreed to be a dog for. However, both Romy and him asked me to teach her how to be a dog, so until that is done, she’s agreed to follow my orders.”
“So you’re her teacher.”
“Yes. Scavo — the lady Romy was with yesterday — is my assistant, and has agreed to follow my orders.”
“So, she is your Property, and you’re her Owner.”
“Yes, very good.”
She was proud of herself. “I looked it up online last night.” The pride faded a bit. “Mom and had to help me; there were a lot of big words.”
“I’m not surprised. Most people don’t learn about it until they are a lot older.”
“Can I play with Romy again today? Please?”
Talib turned to the man who’d arrived while they were talking. “If it’s ok with your father.”
“May I Dad?”
“Thank you!” She hugged her dad’s legs, then turned to grab the frisbee of the table.
Talib stopped her, gently. “Romy’s here to train today, so I need to ask you to do a couple of things for me, ok?”
“First oﬀ, she needs to practice fetching both the frisbee and the ball, so don’t just use one all the time. Secondly, she’s supposed to run oﬀ after whatever you throw, pick it up in her mouth as quick as she can, run back, and drop it at your feet. If she doesn’t do that, I need you to scold her and tell her she’s been a bad dog. If she does a good job, then you can give her a pat on the head, ok?”
He leaned in, and started a pretend-conspiratorial whisper. “And, sometimes, I want you to just pretend to throw something. She needs to run oﬀ and hunt for it a moment before coming back, even if it was an obvious pretend throw, ok?”
Alicia grinned at that. “Ok. I can do that.” She grabbed the required items, and went to go play.
Talib turned to the man who’d stood there. “Hi, I’m Talib. I assume you’re Elliot? I heard about you yesterday.”
“Yeah, that’s me.” He reached over, and shook hands. “Sorry to interfere here, I’m sure this wasn’t what you’d planned…”
“It’s ok. I need to train Romy in some bigger spaces, and with people around. I’m actually planning on turning her back over to her Owner tomorrow. I, uh, take it you looked up Sentient Property yesterday after your little encounter?”
“Yeah. I mean, I’d heard of it, and even seen a few people with the little info ﬂag noted above them, but nothing quite like this.” He swept his hand, to where Romy was running after the ball, with all evidence of enjoyment.
Talib shrugged. “It’s my living, so I’m not impartial, but it’s really just fun between adults. Usually being in public puts some restrictions on the primary purpose, if you take my meaning, but Romy’s owner wants to be able to show her oﬀ, and has a bit of land, so…” Another shrug.
“Alicia was talking about her all last night; usually she doesn’t have anyone to really play with, so I guess it was just that she liked having a playmate.”
“I suppose there isn’t anyone else in her age group around, is there?”
“Not really. We’ve got some bots, and Candace and I try to play with her as much as we can, but we went into debt to buy the child-license…”
“Both working, most days, I take it?”
Elliot nodded. “Yeah. We’ve arranged to have diﬀerent weekends, which is a bit hard on us, but it means Alicia has someone home more often.”
“I can see that’d be helpful. And I’m glad that Romy’s helping her enjoy herself, although I’m sorry that she isn’t likely to run into Alicia again.”
“You said she’s being turned over to her Owner tomorrow, right?”
“Yeah. Though, I do have an on-going arrangement to check up on her and give her some more training, as my time permits. If you want me to notify you when Romy’s going to be in the area…?”
Elliot thought a moment. “Yeah, do that, if you can.” He laughed. “Alicia was determined to be here again today, ‘in case Romy shows up’. Hopefully she’ll lose interest…”
Talib shrugged. “I think Romy liked playing with her too: She’s not really all that much older. Early twenties. Sure she’s an adult, but…”
“I remember my twenties. Oh god, that was… Eighty years ago, already. I was so young.”
“Longer, for me. Anyway, I suspect Romy’s remembering what it was like not to have anyone to play with, and using the excuse that dogs are supposed to be playful to indulge in a bit of play herself.”
“Alicia will run her ragged.”
“Good; I want Romy tired out and working hard today, so I can make sure she’s got her training down even when she’s tired.” He paused, and came back in a lighter tone. “She’s actually got just about all I’m supposed to be teaching her down, but ‘fetch’ and ‘come’ across long distances still needed a bit of work, and I don’t have the space at home. Honestly, Alicia is probably as good a bit of training for that as anything.”
“If you say so. I’ll admit that the wife is a bit concerned about this aﬀecting Alicia’s clothing habits, among other things.”
“Then I’m glad I had Scavo dressed conservatively yesterday. And they are just playing, though I understand the concern.”
“I see you brought lunch, how long were you planning on being here today?”
“All day, though if you need an excuse to get Alicia away…”
“No, that’s ok. I didn’t bring lunch, and I think I can keep her home this afternoon, if you want some training time.”
Talib shrugged. “As long as Romy is acting like a dog, it’s good enough. She seems to have ‘fetch’ down, at least when she’s trying to impress Alicia, so I’m not worried. The main point was to help drive home to her that acting like a dog, publicly in front of lots of people, is normal for her. If she’s focused on entertaining your daughter, she won’t focus on what attention she’s drawing, and that’s all the better.”
“Then, if you don’t mind watching her for a bit, perhaps I could run home and grab us lunch, and make a day of it?”
“Sure. I’ll make sure she’s safe.”
“Thanks.” He turned and called out. “Alicia!”
She came, Romy following. “We don’t have to go home yet, do we?”
“No, dear, we don’t. In fact, it sounds like Romy and Talib were planning to spend all day in the park, so I thought I’d go grab us some lunch so we can join them. I just wanted you to know where I went, and to not get out of Mr. Talib’s sight while I’m gone, ok?”
Talib spoke up. “Romy, that goes for you too: I want you to stay in my sight, and help make sure that Alicia doesn’t hurt herself.”
“Good girl.” And he handed her one of the treats from the table, winking at Alicia. “Dog-girl treats.”
“Can I try one?”
This set Talib back a moment, and he could see Elliot starting at the thought; better head this oﬀ. “You wouldn’t like it. See Romy’s tongue?” Romy obediently started panting, to show it oﬀ. “It makes things taste diﬀerent for her; some things that taste good to her don’t taste good to us. Part of being a dog.” It was a complete lie, and Romy even knew it, but she’d understand. “Besides, I brought them for Romy. Here, you give her one.”
“Ok.” And she held it up to Romy. Romy promptly licked it out of her hand. “Ewww!” Alicia giggled. “Come on!” And she was oﬀ.
Talib turned back to Elliot. “So… See you in a little bit?”
“Yeah. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Romy was deﬁnitely tired as she walked home, Talib could see. Alicia had kept her busy all day long, until the sun had set, and been heartbroken when told that Romy had to go back to her Owner tomorrow. Talib had found himself promising to ask Mr. Meier if she could visit, just to calm her down.
Still, it had been a good day, and a deﬁnite change of pace. He looked down at Romy, who was obviously having trouble keeping up, but hadn’t complained or faltered. “Another block, that’s it, then we’re home.”
Romy set her mouth, and kept crawling, managing to speed up slightly.
“You did good today.” He paused, the changed topics. “You’ll miss her too, won’t you?”
“Well, I’ve got a treat waiting for you at home, and I’m sure you’ll see each other again, sooner or later. Next time you come to me for training, if nothing else.”
“Don’t mention it.”
Mary: Hey, got a moment?
Slave Scavo: I guess so; we’re dropping oﬀ Romy. Talk quick though, please.
Mary: I just want to set up an appointment with Talib. 5:30, today, his oﬃce, ok?
Slave Scavo: I don’t see anything in his schedule, so probably. I’ll ask him when I get a chance.
Mary: Ok, I’ll assume it’s ok unless you tell me otherwise.
Slave Scavo: Got it.
“…Ok, I’ve taught her ‘come’, ‘heel’, ‘beg’ and ‘fetch’ so far. We started on a couple of others, but those I’d consider fully trained. I’m sure she can demonstrate for you if you want.”
“I’m sure she will. Not ‘sit’ though?”
“I did ‘beg’ instead. Although I think I saw Alicia working on ‘sit’…”
“Ah, sorry. A girl Romy ran into at the park, where we were training. I let her play with Romy for a while, as they were both enjoying it so much, and it could ﬁt as the training nearly as well as anything I could do. Um, she asked if she could visit Romy on occasion. She’s eight.”
“You let an eight-year-old play with Romy?”
Talib shrugged. “They seemed to get along, and Alicia was treating Romy as a dog, even scolding her if she wasn’t being dog-like enough. It made Alicia happy, and it was honestly decent training.” He decided to add something else: “Her dad was watching, making sure they didn’t get in trouble.”
“Why were you training at the park, anyway?”
“Two reasons: First oﬀ, I needed someplace that could imitate your nice yard here, someplace where Romy could run and stretch as part of her training. Secondly, I wanted her to get used to being on display, or at least watched, as you said you intend to show her oﬀ. The park was good for both of that. Honestly, so was Alicia: She worked Romy harder than I could have, and made Romy completely unselfconscious.”
“Well, you seem to have done an excellent job, with or without the help of an eight-year-old. Anything else?”
Talib reviewed for a moment. He’d checked out the bathroom, feeding station, and door locks, to make sure Romy could operate any of them she needed to. “No, I think that’s it. I’ll call to set up our next training session, but I may be busy for a couple of weeks.”
“Well, thank you for everything then.”
“It was my pleasure. Have fun. You too, Romy.” He waved, and led his assistant out.
As soon as the door closed behind them, Slave spoke: “Master, Mary wants to set up an appointment with you this afternoon. 5:30, at your oﬃce.”
“A business appointment? Oh, paperwork delivery, I expect. Certainly.”