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“Ma’am, is this your dog?”

Standing in front of me, with me clutching my bathrobe slightly more tightly than needed around myself, was a slender, pleasant-faced officer holding a sausage-linked, lackadaisical dog on a stout leather chain. As soon as Yowzer saw me, he started yodeling.

“Shush, Yowzer,” I said immediately, kneeling to give my roommate immediate affection- digging a little extra under his tags and collar. I was hoping to assist in silencing him before his yodels awakened the entire neighborhood. “Yes, officer.” I stood back up.  “I had not noticed he was missing. As you can see, I am just getting up. I usually take Yowzer for a morning walk … but not this early.”

“Well, ma’am,” the officer was smiling at my discomfort, I hope as a way to make me feel a little more comfortable. “This morning it looks like Yowzer had the ‘up-and-at-ems’ before you were ready to start the morning.” He paused. “We received a disturbance call about four a.m. this morning. When we arrived, we were surprised the disturbance was being caused by this small dog. We found him howling and a jumping at the dumpster behind McCrainy’s Butcher Shop. We found you by the address on his tags.”

“McCrainy’s,” I said. “We often stop by there on the way home from the park. Mr. McCrainy finds a bone or meat scraping for Yowzer on our visits.”

“How well did you know Mr. McCrainy, ma’am?” Immediately, I noticed the past-tense turning of our conversation. The officer blushed. I suspect that he had just realized he had revealed more information in his question than he had first desired. “Is everything O.K. with Mr. McCrainy?” I asked.

“I’m sorry ma’am. I should have been more careful with the wording of my question.”

“How is Mr. McCrainy?” I asked again.

“He is deceased. Ma’am.” The officer hung his head and ceased making eye contact with me. “We found him … or rather, Yowzer found him lying behind the dumpster behind his establishment.”

“Oh, my.” I knelt once again a stroked around Yowser’s collar. A sight like that should not have to be seen by man or beast.

“May I come in?” the officer handed me the leash holding Yowzer. “There are some questions I hope you can assist us with in our inquiry.”

And with that, Yowzer and I lead Officer Stanford into the back kitchen, clicked on the percolator for a warm cup of coffee to ease the tension, and I began to hear the sordid details that Yowzer had discovered.

Written for FanStory Competitions. 

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