During the night I roamed the bigger house. I was in a room Detective Mike called a pantry where cans of food were stored, and a blanket was set on the tiled floor. It was hard and reminded me of the doghouse I slept in at Master Bob’s house. I sniff everything. Her scent is everywhere on everything in the kitchen, the living room, and their bedroom. I went back into the living room and found an extremely comfortable couch I could sleep on that was much superior to the bare floor I was sleeping on. I curled up and closed my eyes.
“Oh my God! Mike get this dog off my couch!” I awaken rudely to her squeals.
Apparently she has domain on the couch and I immediately jump down and run back to the pantry. “You better go back where you came from!”
“What is it Mary?”
“That dog you rescued was sleeping on my couch,” she told Detective Mike. “Does he have a doghouse and kennel?”
“Yes, and this afternoon I will get that and bring it back here,” he replied.
“Good, because dogs belong outside don’t they?” She was talking to me. I nervously wagged my tail back in reply. Her hair is a blonde color. Her eyes show anger toward me. They are hard and blue color. Though being color blind it’s hard for me to tell for sure. I feel sad that I’m so disappointing to these people. I so miss Master Bob now. “Oh, it’s okay. Boomer right? You just can’t be on the furniture. You shed on the fabric.” Her voice is soft and apologetic. “When Mike brings your doghouse and kennel you can make friends with the other dogs he has
adopted. I wasn’t aware you wanted to have your own dog rescue as a side business, Mike.” She bent down and scratched my ears gently. “You are a pretty dog. What breed are you anyway,
“He looks like a shepherd and lab mix,” Detective Mike volunteered. I wagged my tail to inform him he’s half right.
“I take it the other dogs got introduced to him last night?”
“Yeah, I didn’t let him out though. The last thing I needed was a dogfight on my hands and a possible vet bill on top of that. I’ll get him integrated slowly so they get used to each other first.”
She moved her hand down to my back and rubbed it more aggressively, which I adore. Miss Mary is getting on my good side now. I smile up at her and close my eyes and stretch out and moan appreciatively.
She abruptly stops and raises herself up. “I need to get breakfast started. What do you prefer Mike?”
I’m not sure what this breakfast means, but I figure food must be involved. So, I raise myself up off the floor and wag my tail in anticipation. I was always outside in the mornings when Master Bob did this breakfast ritual and he usually added what he didn’t finish with my kibbles later. Sometimes it was tasty bacon or eggs, other times it was pancakes with sweet sticky stuff and sometimes it was cereal with milk. That was least appetizing of all though. The cereal was always soggy and the milk had a bitter flavor to it.
“Scramble eggs and hashbrowns works for me.” He then put me on a leash and opened the back door. “Come on Boomer. You will have to go outside while she makes breakfast.” I am reluctant but obey him, nonetheless. He secures the end of the leash to a fence post and goes back inside his house.
“Woof, woof, woof,” I protest to him and her. It was nice and warm inside the house. It’s early morning and cool with frost on the ground. I watch the sun rise above the distant hills. I see the other four dogs barking at me, telling me to shut up and behave myself or I won’t get any treats later.
I smell other animals on this territory. Cats! I smell many cats, mostly feral who are hiding where I can’t see them. I see the big cows chewing on grass in the field and in another fenced field are two horses. They stare at me with curiosity. They snort at me as if they are displeased by my presence. I bark back at them. I show them my displeasure by walking around the fence post and getting my leash wrap tightly so that Detective Mike or Miss Mary will come out and must untie me. I thought he was going to let me run. This isn’t running in my book.
I will show them though.
A while later, after I bathed myself and ignored the other four dogs in the pack Detective Mike comes outside and looks at me with a disappointment on his face. “Why you do that for?”
Why? You figure it out, human. You are supposed to be the dominant species after all. I wagged my tail and grinned with my tongue hanging out and slaver dripping off my tongue.
Detective Mike shrugged his shoulders and then went about untying me from the leash. I ran and ran and ran from him to the other side of the house and back again. Now this is running, Detective Mike!
“Stop! Come back here, now!” He yelled after me. The other four dogs, locked in their kennel, bark encouraging me to keep running. Obviously, I wasn’t realizing that they wanted me to get into trouble. I’m sure it made their day. “BOOMER!” His voice had changed and I knew it meant I had gone too far. I stopped and sat down in front of him.
He grabbed me by the back of my neck with one hand and slapped my nose with the other. I yelped in pain. The other dogs stopped as if in shock that he would do such a thing, but I suspect they knew all along what was going to happen by my disobedience. “You are a bad dog Boomer. When I bring that kennel and doghouse back, it will be where you will stay for two whole days while the other dogs are allowed to be free. That is your punishment. Stay put.” He commanded and I had no choice but to obey. He made me fear him. Something I didn’t like at all.
Master Bob was never like that. He was kind and gentle. He never raised his voice or so much as slap me for being bad. He never told me I was bad. He always said I was a good dog. I felt him place the leash back on my collar and then I was taken back to his car.
We drove back to this town called Gooding and back on the Main street where we turned up and then he stopped at a very unfamiliar place. It was a building made from a kind of square stone and painted a subdued tone that my eyes didn’t recognize. If I had to guess it was a lighter shade of brown. I sniffed the air to get an idea of what this building was, but nothing tangible came to mind.
Detective Mike parked the car and walked inside. He was there a long time There were other scents in the air, mostly food, so we were near a grocery store or restaurant. I smelled motor oil and gasoline. So, there was a store that pumped gas nearby too. I smelled a heavy odor
of rubber. A place that sells tires? I smelled those same places but from another direction from here, closer to where the sun comes up was where I lived.
Finally, he came out and he got back in the car, staring it up and going to a place I know all too well; the nice man who removed my pair of gonads I whined in protest. What is he going to take from me next? Detective Mike stopped the car and opened the back door. He tugged the leash and I reluctantly got out.
“Oh, so you know this place, do you?” He sounded happy at the expense of my misery.
We walked in together and the nice lady with white dress greeted us with, a smile.
“Boomer, what are you doing here? You aren’t due for your shots for another three months. Detective?”
I looked at her and wagged my tail submissively. Her teeth looked stained and her hair was white. Like the nice man, she also had an abundance of wrinkles with brown spots on her hands. I think she was an old human, but with very nice eyes.
“So, you are a regular then?” He asked me but looked at the nice woman. “Oh, yes, he is one of our star patients here. What is this about?”
“Mr. Bob Ang was murdered last night.”
“Oh, that is awful,” she told him. I decided to sit down and watched the back and forth of this uniquely human mode of communicating.
“Yes, the fact that Boomer is being taken care of is one less thing I needed to worry
“Oh, yes Mr. Ang was a very caring man when it came to his pets.”
“He had more than one?”
“He had a border collie mix for many years until we had to put her to sleep almost four years now, and a lovely calico cat named Frisky, who passed from a car accident three years ago. Boomer came just a month or two after that unfortunate incident. He refused to buy another car after he lost her,” she prattled. I didn’t understand what the words she spoke meant, I could tell by its inflection she was emotionally somber and sad by this Frisky and the border collie. I remember him mention Jasper a time or two when I was a puppy.
“Well, thank you for helping me with this. Come on Boomer, let’s get that kennel and your doghouse.”
“You’re going to care for him?”
“Yup, I feel I have to. I think he may know who killed Mr. Ang. He’s going to be my partner until we find the person responsible.”
“Well, Boomer is an exceptionally smart dog. If anyone could find his killer, he certainly can. Oh, before you leave, here’s a doggy snack for you.” She went to her desk and took from a can where pencils and pens were normally stored and pulled a dog biscuit. “Here you go Boomer. You be a good dog to the detective.”
I stood up and wagged my tail with enthusiasm. Obviously, our visit was over because that’s when the treat comes. I gently grasp the biscuit with my teeth and began crunching it with my back molars. It tasted like liver and had a staleness about it, but I ate it anyway. I wagged my tail back and forth faster, thanking her for the treat.
We leave and go back inside his car. He is talking to his wife on that phone contraption he has. “I need you to get the truck and meet me at that guy’s house. His name is Bob Ang. Use the navigator to get his address. I’ll see you in a few. Love you, bye.”
He looks at me and then turns around and starts the car. He drives up a familiar street because that’s the street master Bob takes me all the time for our walks and such. We go by the park and then up another familiar street to my house. He lets me out and he looks at the door and the walkway going from the street to the house and back again. It appears he lost something and is looking to find it. I sniff the ground and hope maybe I’ll find whatever he’s looking for. I still smell the man who killed Master Bob. I follow that odor out the yard and down the street.
“Boomer! Come back here,” Detective Mike calls out to me. I wag my tail and bark in reply, hoping he understands I’m following that killer’s trail he left yesterday. “No, Boomer.” He stares at me and his mind is thinking, thinking, thinking. He then comes up to me, grabs my leash by that leather handle and allows me to go forward.
“Woof,” I reply and put my nose to the ground and continue where I left off. We go down several houses and then suddenly the scent is gone. I turn back and then go left and then right.
It’s gone The killer must have left in a car, here at this place. I look up and down the street. I look across the street to a house there that has boards attached to where windows and doors are supposed to be and something written on the door but I don’t know what it says. “Woof, woof.” I tell Detective Mike in an apologetic tone. I then wail a long and mournful howl. A person, an older man wearing shorts and white t-shirt comes out.
“You keep that dog off my property, you hear?” He has a white beard and no hair on top of his head. His face is wrinkly.
“I’m Detective Mike Flowers, investigating a murder that happened down the street yesterday. Did you notice a car parked here?”
The old man gives him a questioning look, as if he doesn’t understand the question. “Now that you mention it, I was out here watering my lawn when I saw two men in a car pull up. One got out and went down the street while the other stayed inside the car.”
“Can you give a description of who they looked like?”
“Well, I think they were both white, but dressed shabbily. The one who got out and headed down that way had his pants down pass his boxers like them stupid gangbangers you see on TV all the time. I’ve seen that dog before, but you aren’t its owner are you?”
“No, the owner was shot yesterday. Do you remember about what time it was when that car came by?”
“I just finished lunch, so most likely it was around one or two.” He crooked his head to one side as he answered that question. “I think that car was one of them older Hondas, either late eighties or early nineties.”
“You didn’t notice a license plate, did you?”
“I didn’t pay that close attention. After that one guy left, my phone rang and I had to go back inside the house to answer it. I don’t have those fancy cell phones like most everyone else does. The next time I come outside, the car was gone, maybe a half hour later.”
“Walt Jones is my name. I did notice something else about that man who went down the
“What was that?”
“He had a very pronounced limp, like we was in car accident some time ago and it never quite healed right.”
“You have been more than helpful. Was there anything else? Like tattoos or piercings?” “Not that I can recall.”
“I’ll probably be calling on you further. So far you are the only witness.”
“Yeah well, I’m glad to help. I had hoped after that place over there got busted, these things would stop happening, but apparently not.” He seemed to look at Detective Mike a long time, apparently waiting for an answer.
“I’ll be in touch,” Detective Mike replied, and tugged on my leash for me to come. I went back to Master Bob’s house with him. When we got there a big blue truck was parked just up from where he parked his car. One of the dogs was inside with Mary the Mistress. She was smoking those white things, smoke blowing from her mouth just like Master Bob used to. It smelled different than what my master smoked; minty smell as best as I can describe it.
She got out and told Daisy the red Irish setter, “You got to stay put until we get that kennel doghouse in the back.” She opens the door, got out and closes the door quickly. “How you want to do this?”
Detective Mike appears preoccupied by the conversation he had with that Walt person. He didn’t answer right away and she looks impatiently at him. I sat down next to him. “Did you bring tools to break it down?” He asked.
“There are some wrenches and screwdrivers in the truck in case she breaks down. What do we need?”
“Either 7/16 or 9/16 wrenches, preferably sockets and a ratchet.” His voice sounded distant and I was afraid she was going to get mad because her face took on a red color and her eyes got hard again. I whimpered.
“What is going on? I thought you wanted to do this!”
“I’m sorry, but something’s come up. I just got a lead on who might have killed Bob Ang. It’s important.”
“Fine, I’ll call Carol and get her to help me with this. I doubt I got any ratchet or sockets in that tool box anyway. I’ll have to go home and grab the other tool box. Go ahead and do your job.” She threw her cigarette—I think that’s what they’re called—on the ground and stomped on it, opens the truck’s door and got inside. She grabs her phone gadget out and began talking to someone. “It’s me I need your muscles to get a kennel and dog house brought up to the property. Yes, he’s more like a headache than a dog right now.” She started the truck and drove away. I heard the engine rev up and then it seemingly went into another gear or something, but then it went a bit faster and revved up some more. The truck took a right at the intersection at the end of the street and disappeared. I almost wanted to go with her and hang out with Daisy but then I remember that Detective Mike needs me to help him find Master Bob’s killer.
I didn’t understand what Walt said to Detective Mike, but when I was sniffing the sidewalk in front of me I notice the man who made those tracks had something wrong with his left leg. He was limping on it and in great pain. That would make him an extremely dangerous animal.
That’s what my father and mother warned me about all animals who are suffering. They are hurting which means they don’t care about the consequences of what they do.
We got into Detective Mike’s car and drove back to that place we went to first. I wonder if that’s the place he goes every day to do what they call work. I’m still at a loss as to what that word truly means because Master Bob stayed home all the time since he had that accident that one summer after I was adopted.
Detective Mike got out of the car and headed into the building. He suddenly stopped in his tracks. I see he’s thinking again because he turned around and stared back at the car. He did that for the longest time as if deciding. Then it seems he made up his mind and came back, opened my door and grabbed my leash. It was starting to get warm inside and maybe feels I was getting thirsty, which I was. “Come on. I don’t want you my number one witness to get heat stroke and die on me,” he tells me. I obey his command and jump out, wagging my big tail back and forth, grinning from ear to ear. I get to go inside this building.