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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Dill

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas – A Kenny & Larry Special

Updated: Dec 26, 2020



“I wish they would turn that music down!” Larry said, whining to Kenny. Kenny rolled over onto Larry’s side, straddling both beds and stretching out.


“I kind of like it,” Kenny said, as he adjusted his red Christmas sweater. “But I’m an old soul.”

Larry shook his head in disapproval. “Do you even know what that means?”


Kenny turned on to his belly to face Larry.


“No, but that’s what Otis said,” Kenny said. “She’s a wise one, even though she’s a cat. Anyways, I want more BTS instead of the Pentatonix Christmas stuff.”


“So now you are music fan,” Larry. “It’s bad enough you let the girl dress you up in that…outfit.”


“Yeah, yeah,” he said. “You’re just jealous, Larry. You ate so many of their presents I had to let the girl have her fun. Otherwise, no holiday bone cookies.”


Larry acquiesced. Kenny was right.


The doorbell rang. Both dogs jumped and ran to the door while barking. It was imperative they were there to greet every guest or random stranger. A show of strength and love for all the visitors.


“I bet it is this Santa character,” Kenny whispered to Larry. “They’ve been talking about this guy all month.”


“Oh, Kenny,” Larry said. “You have so much to learn.”

The old lady neighbor stood at the entrance talking to their man owner. She handed over a red plate as Kenny and Larry slipped through their legs.


Both buddies started playing in the snow while the man was distracted by commenting on the neighbor’s gift.


“This snow is way better than the snow in the backyard,” Larry said. Kenny was positively giddy with holiday spirit. As he peed on the tree, as was customary, a strange thing occurred a few houses down.





“What is going on there?” Larry asked. Kenny turned as a white warehouse truck parked in front of a house.


Two men in workman uniforms jumped out. They returned each with two different dogs in hand. It was too far away to see more, but Larry was confused.


“Is that Bella’s house?” he asked Kenny.


“Yeah, it is.”

“I wonder what that’s about. I haven’t seen that truck before.”

“Well, maybe it’s like a mobile groomer or something. I saw that on Queer Eye,” Kenny said. “It looked like a lot of fun. Pink and purple fur.”


Just as they were getting back to laying around, the man grabbed the two by the collars and escorted the dogs back inside.

“You two need a bath,” he said. “This sweater is cute, but it’s a little snug on you, Kenny.”

Larry looked at Kenny as he shyly looked at his girth coming out of the seams of the sweater.

“It’s all muscle, buddy,” Larry said.

Kenny smiled.


***

The next day on Christmas Eve, the two dogs were freshly bathed and were getting dirty all over again in the backyard.


The dog next door who officially had no name was back to barking and shouting conspiracy theories.


Through the wooden fence, someone had left the poor old canine on repeat.

“Taking us… families. Lock us up….radio signals on the houses…taking us…families.. radio signals on the houses…”


Larry chewed on the bone, trying to drown out the crazy.

Kenny wasn’t having any luck.


“He goes on and on,” Kenny said. “All day, what can we do to shut him up,”

Larry didn’t respond. It was better Kenny learned that nothing they did or said could make the neighbor dog ever be quiet.


“I mean, in theory, he’s right,” he said, talking to himself. “They do take us from our families and lock us up. And there are radios on the roof. But could he be on to something…”

The yelling continued throughout the morning.


“Experiments, animal experiments, puppy experiments.”

Just as Kenny was getting used to tuning out the noise, Otis interrupted.

“What’s going on over here, and what’s with the animal experiments?” she asked. “I was trying to sleep in the pool house to no avail.”


“Merry Christmas to you too, Otis,” Larry said.

“What’s new with you two?” she asked. “Feliz Navidad, both of you. But the real day is tomorrow. And I’m a stickler for only celebrating on the actual day.”


“Oh, you are one of those types,” Kenny said. He adjusted his freshly washed sweater. “I prefer to celebrate all month long.”


The pets chatted by the fence for awhile. Kenny struggled to try and pull the holiday lights off the outside pine trees. He needed to know if they tasted as good as they looked while they twinkled throughout the night.


“Well, I did come over here for a reason,” Otis said. “I noticed a lot of commotion at the park with a few pet owners.”


“Oh, that’s nothing new,” Larry said. “It’s a whole hierarchy about dogs trying to claim certain trees and stuff.”


“No, it’s more than that,” she said. “I saw a couple calling for their dog Angel and Baby. And I think I heard Bella. Pudding told me later that they are all missing and it’s all over the pet social sites.”


“Missing?” Kenny asked. “How can they be missing?”

Otis petted Kenny’s sweater. “I like this fuzzy thing. But back to your question, I really don’t know much. I came right over when Pudding said it could be a conspiracy or fake news.”


“We don’t really know anything, Otis,” Kenny said. “The only thing that happened here was that yesterday we were forced to take baths. And that was rough.”


He stared at the ground, remembering the assault as the boy ripped the sweater off his back in a hurry.


Larry watched as Kenny recalled the bath, then he remembered why they needed a bath.

“Hey, we had to take a bath because we rolled in the snow. And remember what we saw, Kenny?”


“Cookies?”


“No...remember the two workmen over by Bella’s house?” Larry asked. “We saw them take two pets away. We thought it was weird but it could have been for a legitimate reason.”


“Yeah, Bella is heavy into the grooming and fashion stuff,” Kenny said. “It could have been a mobile groomer or something.”


Otis gave Kenny a nod. It was plausible.


“But a mobile groomer the owners don’t know about?” Otis asked. “Now, that is suspicious.”


Later on the evening walk, it was full blown chaos for the missing pets. Larry counted at least ten posters of different missing dogs on the telephone pole reserved for the neighborhood patrol. Some of them looked familiar but it was the three showing Bella, Angel and Baby that made Larry’s heart sink into his chest. Those were his friends.


The two human children were worried too. It was a shock to them to see their friend’s pets missing.


As they walked back home, both buddies were stunned and disoriented at so much devastation in their area. It had all happened in the past few days.


Otis surprised the dogs once they were in the backyard following the evening stroll.


“Listen guys, Pudding has something to say.”


Pudding attempted to hop on to the lower part of the broken fence, but like so many attempts to jump up on things, he failed.


“I hate this stupid thing,” he said. “My diet isn’t really on track right now but whatever. I’m here to help. Pudding to the rescue!”


“Hey, Pudding. I know what it is like not to fit into my Christmas sweater,” Kenny said, grinning to the orange ball of fur. “What’s up?”


“Thanks for the support, Kenny.” Pudding said. “I have some news on your missing friends and I needed to warn you. For some reason, this group is only taking dogs. So it’s a dognapping situation 101.”


“But why,” Larry asked.


I spent few hours on the dark web to find this all out,” Pudding said. “It’s the company who sells the dog food brand called “Loyalty”. It’s for really rich dogs or something. I had never heard of it because like why would I care what you guys eat…”


“Get to the point, Pudding,” Larry said. He was anxious and worried about his friends.


“Go ahead,” Otis said to Pudding whom seemed offended at Larry cutting off his heroic tale of glory. “They need to know.”


“I found some emails between the company and a team of rogue dog catchers. The clinical trial for dogs went bad, all of them were sent away. Now the company is trying to replace the dogs and falsify the paperwork on the new product it is testing. The dog catchers just have to deliver twelve dogs by Christmas and the contract is complete.”


Kenny couldn’t believe what he was hearing. His breathing was shallow and he started hyperventilating.


“Kenny, are you ok?” Larry asked.

He couldn’t breathe.


“This is all too much,” Larry said. “Kenny is freaking out like when he was a puppy.”

Pudding and Otis jumped off the fence to see if they could help.


In the stillness of the night, with Kenny breathing heavy, they heard the neighbor dog yell even louder.


“Animal experiments, twelve dogs of Christmas, twelve dogs and we’re done…”


“Oh my gosh!” Pudding said. “How does the neighbor dog know everything already?”


After a few minutes of singing Kenny’s favorite carol, “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree”, Larry was able to calm him down.


“It’s just too much,” Kenny said. “We can’t find them in time. Christmas is tomorrow!”


Pudding said. “That’s where you are wrong. I traced the location using Bella’s collar to a ping in the outskirts of the city. Close to where the OutClaws barn is headquartered.”


“But there isn’t enough time to get all of us out there,” Kenny said.


Otis said. “Pudding and I have an idea, but we’re not sure if you two are into working with another team.”


“What team?” Larry asked.


“It’s too late, I already called them” Pudding said.

“Called who?” He asked.


The crazy neighborhood dog stopped barking and screaming. Pudding didn’t answer. He just looked past the two dogs to something behind them.


A small Scotty dog appeared in the buddies’ backyard. She wore a blue sweater that barely held up a carry the large shiny brass badge.


The older dog smiled and turned to the neighbor’s house. “I see you are still keeping the whole neighborhood up, Rufus!”


“Yes, I am. Good to hear your voice, Midge," whispered the neighbor dog, apparently named Rufus.


“He called us, Kenny and Larry.” Midge said. “Now will you kindly allow my colleagues to come through the gate.”


Otis wandered to the side of the house and held open the gate as three uniformed identical German Shepards, a yellow lab and Winston, the poodle strolled in to the yard.


“Did someone call the canine cavalry or what?” Winston asked. “Hi guys!”


“Winston, what is all of this and what is that uniform you are wearing?” Larry asked.

“Oh, I went straight, you could say,” Winston said. “I’m part of the K9 unit. We work with our human handlers to make this city a lot safer.”


“What’s your names?” Kenny asked, greeting each of the German Shepards.


“Oh, my colleagues don’t speak much English,” Midge said. “They are actually from Germany so we keep them on a need to know basis. They are triplets named Gunther, Katja and Franz Ferdinand. ”


All three of the triplets nodded in unison with eyes straight head.


"Oh, wow!" Kenny said. "I hope Larry and I can learn how to do that."


He turned to the other part of the K9 crew.


“My name is Erin, but the crew calls me Ducky “ the yellow lab said. “I round this crew out. I’m the team leader. Midge here is our sergeant. Winston just joined last week after a careful selection process. He told us about you two. Way to go on his rescue.”


The canines chatted about the mission at hand while the two cats got bored. Pudding and Otis tried to say something but then decided on an Irish goodbye. It was getting late and both of their owners would expect them inside. As they walked home, Otis felt extremely proud of her new bestie, Pudding for helping to find out so much information about the missing dogs.


“That was some mystery,” Pudding said. "I can't even believe all of it."


“Which one do you mean? The K9 unit or the dognapping in general?” Otis asked. “It’s a whole big mission now.”


“No, the mystery name of the neighbor dog,” Pudding said. “I never would have guessed him as a Rufus. That made all my research worth it.”


“Oh the idea of rescuing the dogs wasn’t enough,” Otis said, laughing at her friend.


“I always love the idea of the big reveal. And that was exactly what that was,” Pudding said. “Who can blame me? I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic.”

***

Later that night, Kenny yawned repeatedly in front of the large warehouse next to a snow-covered corn field. He was bone-tired after a long day of celebrations and it wasn’t even officially Christmas yet.


“Is it time yet, Larry?” he asked, for the fifth time in the last fifteen minutes.


“No!” Larry said. “It’s not our call anyways. The K9s are calling the shots. We’re here for support.”


Midge came up from behind, surprising the two buddies for the second time that night.


“You sure are a quiet one,” Larry said.


“I learned the art of surprise a long time ago in this job,” Midge said, her eyes bright with adrenaline. “It’s go time. The team is entering the building now.”


She wandered off. Larry and Kenny waited and watched the road. A few minutes later, a white truck arrived and parked close to the entrance. It was obvious to anyone the fence was breached. The van sat for a few minutes before it's driver decided to leave.


“We’re caught. They know something is off.” Larry said.


Kenny responded, “I don’t think we should stop them. We’re not here for them. We just need to get the dogs and get out.”


“Yeah, but we can’t let them get away,” Larry said. He started running over to the truck. He stopped and started barking.


One of the two dognapers yelled “Get out of the way!”


“Oh just run him over!” the other yelled. “What is one more dead dog anyways?”


The truck stopped. “I want to catch this one..," the driver said through the window. "He’s much bigger than all the other little runts we got in there. Didn’t they say they wanted a Husky?”


The two dognapers got out of the truck carrying an electrified net.


Larry started running, giving chase. As the two men ran behind Larry, Kenny took his chance and leapt at the slower of them, biting his leg.


“What tha…..” the man screamed out in pain and fell. “Another dog! Oh no, it's a pitbull.”


Larry ran in the other direction and both Kenny and Larry bit at the first dognapers leg.


In a few seconds, they were two and O. Both dognapers down.


Just as they plotting their next move with the men frozen on the ground in fear, the K9 unit rounded the corner with eleven dogs trailing behind. They were a true motley crew of big and small dogs.


“You did it!” Kenny exclaimed to the K9 crew.


The team and their rescues celebrated quickly as the men were surrounded by all the pets they had stolen from their homes.





“Check the truck,” Larry said. “There’s only eleven?”


“Good call,” Midge said.


One of the German shepherds open the back. Inside was a Golden Retriever named Sunny. He breathed a sigh of relief.


“That’s the twelve dogs of Christmas,” Kenny said.

“And it’s finally here.”


Police sirens followed as the dogs ran off into the snow-covered field. Both criminals were down for the count after Kenny and Larry ensured they would pay for being horrible to the pets of Skylark Lane.


But thoughts of revenge were in the hands of the actual police officers, their missions was complete.


It would be a long night to get back home in time for a well-deserved holiday.


***

As dawn broke over a perfect Christmas morning, Kenny and Larry along with the K9 crew escorted each dog home to be discovered, safe and sound.


“Thanks again, team” Midge said, beaming at the success. “And as for you two heroes, you will be hearing from us again.”


For the whole morning, Kenny slept in a totally destroyed holiday sweater while Larry buried as many bones as the kids could unwrap for him.



From the Kenny & Larry crew, Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Stay safe this holiday season! Please donate to your local animal shelter to ensure there are many more Christmases for animals in need.

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