I awoke suddenly. I must have heard something that woke me up. I rolled over and extended my nose in the air. Nothing unusual to smell. Then I heard it. A rustling noise downstairs, near the back door. I growled, letting my alpha know something was amiss. No reaction. I barked loudly. My alpha said “Shut up, Bonnie. Let me get back to sleep.” I knew just what he meant. I had to handle this on my own; he was too busy right now. So, I raced toward the door, howling as I ran, barking while I raced down back steps and then growling as my paws hit the first floor. It was too dark to see well, but I caught a faint scent of a female human being.
She was extending her hand through the open window toward the back door knob. No way was she getting inside the den on my watch. I leaped toward the window; she pulled her hand back. I jumped up and down using my most savage voice that I save for extreme circumstances. She stood there, hands on hips, looking a little frightened as I lunged repeatedly at the window. I heard my alpha come down the steps, saying “calm down, Bonnie. Is someone there?” I knew exactly what he meant: don’t let that person anywhere near the house. Thanks for protecting me.
He turned on the light, looked out the window and saw her. My alpha was a bit startled, but recovered quickly and said, “Monica, what the hell! You scared me. What are you doing here at 4 am?” My alpha was thanking me, encouraging me to keep her away, which I did with more deep-throated growls. “Bonnie, stop it. It’s my friend, Monica.” Alpha then said, “Hold on Monica, let me get Bonnie in her crate. Alpha turned toward me and said, “Bonnie, crate!”
I loved hearing the word crate because it meant I was getting a treat, but I did not want to let this dangerous stranger anywhere near the door, and she was walking toward it as my alpha spoke. “Bonnie, get in the crate.” What, I thought? Sometimes my alpha makes no sense. I whimpered a bit, but I obeyed. I always obey, but sometimes I manage to do my own thing before doing his. I scooted past the crate door, the treat appeared, and I laid down as the door of the crate was shut and the latch turned. Alpha let Monica in. I growled a bit, but my alpha gave me that look which I knew meant be quiet.
“What are you doing here, Monica? It’s nice to see you, but its been years.” Monica said, “Will you let me in, Matt?” “Of course,” my alpha, Matt, said. “I’m in trouble,” she said. “I did not have anyone else I could trust.” Matt nodded, acting sympathetic. I’ll get you some coffee, but first, let me introduce you to the world’s smartest dog, Bonnie. Don’t be afraid; once I let her know you’re okay, she’ll calm down.” Alpha approached the crate. He said, “Bonnie, this is Monica. She is an old friend.” I gave Monica a tentative sniff. I was keeping my eye on her, but alpha was not in combat mode, so she must be a friend. I gave her another sniff as she moved closer to the crate. “Your dog is beautiful,” Monica said. “When did you get her?” Matt replied, “I found her a couple of years ago. She was all bloodied. Looked like she has been in a fight. I was out at the factory where we used to work. I was there a couple of days after it closed. You left before I got a job as an insurance agent. I actually investigated the arson claim. The police said the fire was suspicious, but I could never find any proof of wrongdoing. I’ve been back many times, even though the case was closed and the money changed hands.” Matt continued, “Bonnie was wet, tired, hungry and injured. I took her home and cared for her, and she’s been with me ever since.” He continued, “Here, give her a treat.” Yes, I thought, more food. I liked anyone who gave me food. I was drooling. I hate making a mess, but people need to give me food faster. Monica dropped the treat through the top of the cage. Got it. Thanks, Monica. Yum. “Good girl,” Monica said.
As I wolfed down the treat, Monica said, “She sure likes her treats.” I let her pat me on the head after alpha opened the door to the crate. I stretched, then laid down on my pet bed. “So,” Matt said, “let me put that coffee on.” I could tell my alpha was interested in her. He didn’t bring many females to the house, but when he did, his voice got deeper, he talked more slowly, and he moved differently. I didn’t like having those women around, but he seemed happier. Matt motioned for Monica to sit at the table as he prepared the coffee. “Still drink it black?” he asked. “Yes, please,” she replied. “About that fire, Matt,” she said before pausing a few seconds. “Yes,” he said. “I set it,” she confessed.
I didn’t know this at the time, but Monica and Matt went way back. I could tell that they were familiar with reading each other’s facial expressions. They were relaxed, but there was a tension in the air.
“What!” alpha replied. “You’re kidding me. You haven’t broken the law since you stole that candy from Woolworth’s in the second grade. Why would you burn down the shoe factory?” Monica looked down at the shoes she was wearing, obviously not proud of what she had done. “It’s a long story,” she said. “It’s why I am running now. I need your help.” I could see her batting her eyes at him with her head tilted slightly. Alpha was a sucker for females who looked interested and submissive. “Okay,” he said, “tell me what happened.”
This morning I took my dog Bonnie for a walk. I took a few photos of her, including the one of her standing by the hollowed out tree. The photo reminded me of a Hardy Boys title. “Bonnie and the Hollowed Out Tree,” sounded like something Dixon would write. I used my phone to take a few more. “The Mystery of Bonnie and Wooden Bridge” was the next shot. “Bonnie and the Way-station,” was the last of the Hardy Boys/Bonnie shots. As we finished our walk, I thought about writing a teen mystery series starring my dog written in the style of the Hardy Boys. I haven’t read a Hardy Boys book in years, but I loved them long ago. Bonnie, in these books, would be smarter than the humans. She would solve the mysteries, even though she could not generally understand what the humans around her said. Bonnie could read people’s nonverbal messages to sort out the good guys from the bad guys and make deductions using animal sense, not human powers of reasoning.
My work above is the start of the first Bonnie novel. It is probably also the last time I’ll work on the novel too, but it was fun to try to figure out how a Bonnie series would be written. It needs some humor to work. A simple, fast-moving plot is required as well. I’ll give it some thought. What do you think?