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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Dill

The case of the missing poodle - Winston, Part 4

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

“Whoa, that was intense,” said Kenny. “I think I need a nap before our walk to think this through.”

“Fine, Kenny, you go nigh nigh while I plot out what we know.” Nigh nigh was the term the buddies used for naps and it helped to distinguish all the various time they would fall asleep throughout the day.

It was only an hour later since meeting with Otis, and the two human kids were ready to walk the dogs. Kenny and Larry had a plan to search the school, but it would require teamwork and tenacity.

“We’ll have to hurry before the fish fry tonight,” one of the kids said as he roped up Larry. “I don’t want to miss seeing all the other pets. These two better be good or they won’t get any scraps.”

Other pets? Kenny looked at Larry, but he was in the dark on the complete guest list. Gus and who else were coming?

They walked the few short minutes to the elementary school. They passed the Little Library and relived themselves on every mature tree they could find.

“Are you ready, Kenny?” Larry asked.

“I don’t understand why I have to do it,” Kenny said. “I feel bad about pulling on my favorite human.” Kenny was genuinely sad to betray his humans. He was a lover, not a fighter.

“It has to be you, Kenny,” Larry said. “They already suspect me of chasing anything that moves. You barely waddle a lap around the track so running away is the surprise that buys you time.”

Kenny gazed up at the sky, contemplating what he had to do.

“Fine, I’ll do it for Winston.”

Kenny took one more look at his human. She was distracted looking at the other kids playing on the playground equipment.

Larry nodded approvingly at Kenny.

“FOR WINSTON!” Kenny shouted as he pulled fast and hard, freeing himself from his human’s grip. He ran free and didn’t look back.

“KENNY!” the girl shouted as she chased after him. “Get back here, Kenny!”

He smelled around the building picking up on the hundreds of dogs and cats who all traveled this way, marking their territory in one way or another.

And then, a scent of something familiar and picked up the pace. It was fear mixed into the afternoon breeze. He kept going. Glancing behind as Larry completed the plan of distracting both kids by fighting his leash.

It was only a matter of time before the kids ran home for help.

He circled the loading dock but lost the scent. He kept going and a hint of old food wafted in the air. It must have been the cafeteria. Kenny had never been this close to the back of the school before. He barked to alert to Larry he was halfway through surveillance of the last sighting of Winston. He was going so fast around the perimeter, he trampled over a flower bush and a bumble bee angrily chased him away.

If he wasn’t in a hurry, he would have peed on that flower bush and showed the bee who was the boss around here.

He saw another entrance to the school and then a small building adjacent. Again, the scent of anxiety mixed with hunger. He climbed the ramp to the door of the small building and barked. And then he heard it...

A small whine emerged through a window not all the way closed. He barked and barked, and the whining increased. But Kenny was too short to look into the window.

“LARRY!” Kenny yelled into the void and pawed at the door. And like a white knight, Larry ran into the door all while pulling the young human with him to the small trailer.

Kenny huffed and puffed as Larry arrived.

“I heard a noise; I think Winston is inside crying,” he said.

Larry jumped up and opened the door handle with his paws. The group of them ran into find Winston tied to a radiator. He was alive but clearly injured. The kids sprang into action.

Good boy, Kenny! You did it, Larry! You saved this poodle,” the human girl said. The humans were clearly happy about the rescue.

Larry and Kenny reunited ran to lick Winston in the face.

“I’m ok, guys. But not for much longer.” Winston said. “I’m starving.”

“Who did this to you, Winston?” Larry asked.

Winston whimpered.

“The man who cleans locked me in after I caught him stealing packages from the school,”

Winston said, his eyes fluttering until he closed them. “I stole the shipping papers and left them for the principal to find. Stealing is wrong and I just wanted to help. I think the principle can piece together the rest. That’s a mean man! Then he tied me up and I was sure I would die. School doesn’t start for another month.”

One month without help and Winston wouldn’t be around the neighborhood. It was a sad fate and the two buddies cuddled Winston as he rested on the floor.

Then one of the kids came back with a parent. Winston was officially safe.


Back at the house, the fish fry went off without a hitch. The heroes of the moment were celebrated while Winston convalesced at home.

Even Otis paused at the back fence and waved.

All the best-behaved dogs were celebrating Winston’s safety while the humans ate fish. The human children who ultimately helped rescue Winston dropped two full filets for Kenny and Larry.

“You two are the bravest dogs around,” the human girl said as she patted their heads. “That poodle is so lucky you found him.”

Bella, a Cavalier King Charles breed was arrived at the party with her human owner, known as the crazy person on the street. Shortly after Baby and Angelo, two other pit bulls, came toward the end. It was a full house of friends.

“I’m so happy you found Winston, guys,” Bella said. “We all rely on him to keep the goods coming.”

The two buddies were tiring of all the praise, especially after they had their fill of fish. That was the real prize.

“We did what any of us would do, given the chance. Besides, Winston is one smart dog and he doesn’t like stealing. What a great friend!” Larry said. “We also have to thank Otis for giving us the information.”

Kenny looked around but couldn’t spot her.

“Cheers to Otis!” Kenny said. He kicked his water bowl over in a toast and show of gratitude to his new feline friend and neighbor for all the needed information.

“Maybe we should make this a regular thing, working with her” Larry said.

The other dog guests looked away. Cats and dogs didn’t usually get along. But this was Skylark Lane and the future belonged to all of them.


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