Charli blushed and laughed when she looked up and caught Joan watching her. Frankie followed her into the breakfast room, and ignored her when she ordered him to sit next to Ulysses. The older dog let out a woof and some silent canine communication passed between them. The overgrown pup instantly settled down on the floor, head on his paws, eyes big and pleading.
"You big fraud," Charli said, settling into the chair next to her mother. "How come he's letter perfect when we're training with Vincent, but the second he walks away, Frankie acts like he doesn't know what I'm saying?"
"Typical teenager," Elizabeth offered.
"He knows he has you wrapped around his … well, not his little finger," Dr. Carson said.
Joan suspected Frankie was acting out, punishing Charli in his own way for leaving him in the kennels at Quarry Hall, even though everyone acknowledged she was his person. The apartment where Charli and her mother lived didn't allow pets. Maybe in another year or two, when they were more securely settled in the Akron area, they might buy a house. For right now, it only made sense for Frankie to stay at Quarry Hall because Charli spent so much time there, anyway, working in the greenhouse and tending her mother's plants. Joan kept her theory to herself. No reason to make Charli any more uncomfortable than she already was, missing her dog and embarrassed over his disobedience.