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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Dill

The case of the missing poodle - Winston, Part 3

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Otis snuck in the yard and observed the two canines. They were obviously slower than she could have imagined. But this wasn’t about these two. It was about Winston. A dog she was surprisingly fond of when it all came down to it. was one of the smartest dogs who also lived with an elderly cat named Dashy. Winston could adapt to his surroundings and had learned that endlessly barking wasn’t going to get anything done in this world.

She needed to get this conversation over with before her colleagues from the Outclaws, an organization for local cats, found out she was consorting with the other side. Sora was half cheetah and she was not going to understand helping a dog. Bones, the shadiest cat in the group knew his territory well and would understand they had to grease the wheels of the animal kingdom to thrive in the neighborhood. They had to grow, and relationships were an important part of it.

She had just met with Buddy the Corgi. Her suspicions were confirmed once she heard Buddy’s extra information. Buddy saw Winston only an hour before he went missing. The timetable works because Buddy was out on his daily walk at the exact same every day. By pinpointing when Buddy was out, Otis put together at least part of the story. Now she just had to pay her debt to Simon and talk to the amateur sleuths.

“Hi Guys, I was told to meet you here.”

Kenny and Larry’s both turned to the back fence backing up to their house. Both were stunned on how easily Otis had snuck up on them.

“Hi Otis! Thanks for coming here,” Kenny said, his eyes lit up and he showed his appreciation by lightly bowing.

Larry saw what Kenny was doing and was instantly embarrassed.

“What are you doing, Kenny, you’re gonna make us look bad,” Larry said.

“Don’t worry about it, Larry. Thanks for showing reverence, Kenny,” Otis said, and she jumped to their tree for a better angle.

Kenny barked his approval. “It’s always nice to see a lady.”

“Oh, Kenny. That is where you are wrong. Otis isn’t a lady,” Larry continued.

“Yeah, Kenny. I’m no lady, I’m a legend.”

“A legend. Please...a legend among bird-watchers lady. You are one heartless cat. The neighbors are always crying about your exploits with their precious goldfinches. A trail of bird bodies awaits everyone after Otis leaves.”

“Like I said, a legend. And by the way, you need me, not the other way around.”

“OK, ok, guys, can we get back to Winston. I need my Amazon packages. There’s a bone in one of those boxes.”

“Oh, are you that selfish Kenny?” Otis said. “A dog with a bone, same story, different day.”

Kenny ran in a circle for no reason and Larry decided to join in. Otis looked into the distance trying to gauge how much of her time she had to waste on this until the debt was paid.

“Winston is as good as dead if you two are on the case,” Otis said, to no one in particular.

After a few rounds of laps and both dogs showing their prowess of running fast around the yard, Larry stopped abruptly and remembered the task at hand.

‘Ok, Otis, jokes aside. What do you know about our missing poodle,” Larry said?

“Winston is not just another missing dog. He’s my friend, so that is enough motive for me to want to help,” she said.

“What did you have for us?” Larry asked.

Otis considered what she heard and the gaps she still needed to fill in.

Kenny waited beside Larry, all business after the initial bluster of their meeting.

“I met with Buddy earlier. He confirmed at precisely three pm, he saw Winston with a delivery guy at the school loading dock. I saw Winston on his way to the park and he confirmed he had a shipment coming in around two-thirty. He usually keeps his stuff somewhere around the school and takes things out, one by one to give to different dogs on their walks. He can usually make it look like a chance encounter if an adult human does the walking. But if it is a kid on the walk, he can get anything to the dog who ordered it. Cats are much easier because we are clever in getting stuff back to where we rest our head. I had a pound of catnip coming in shipped from Russia, so I was tracking Winston’s movements more than usual. I know Winston has morals but sometimes a deal can fall through.”

“So, what you are saying is you heard Winston was around the school? what a big development,” Larry said, pawing at the ground. “I thought you had something real.”

“That’s a lot more than we had, Larry,” Kenny said, interrupting his tirade. “We have so much more to go on now.”

Otis nodded to Kenny, “Listen, I need my catnip, but we have bigger fish to fry. I can’t work on the Winston case until tomorrow because I have a thing but if you two can pick up where I left off, that could be useful. When is your next walk?”

Kenny chimed in, “We sometimes go around 5 pm, right before dinner. Then we might go out later if the kids still have the energy.”

Larry said, “I think it’s been over a day since Winston’s been missing and the last sighting doesn’t necessarily mean Winston will be around the school. We need to face the facts that we don’t have much to go on.”

A silence fell over them and Otis turned to go. She jumped back onto the fence that separated their two houses. “One more thing, Winston mentioned a few weeks ago that someone at the school had stolen a load of laser pointers. I didn’t believe Winston because who would know his routine, but now that’s he missing. I’m rethinking what he said.”

“What’s a laser pointer?” Kenny asked.

“It’s something irresistible to felines. In fact, you can really control a cat army if you had a few of those,” she said.

“Oh, good, then put laser pointers on our next order, Kenny,” Larry said, He laughed dryly.

“There won’t be a next order unless you find Winston.” And with that Otis was gone.

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