There I was in the pound and with no tags! And, it was getting later and later. I heard the attendants coming around with the food dishes - at least I wouldn’t go hungry. I might as well settle in. Just then I heard a voice in the pen next to mine.
“Hi my name is Brandi, what’s yours?”
“Boomer J. Foxworthy, but everyone calls me Boomer”, I answered.
“What are you here for?”, Brandi asked.
“I’m not sure, I was doing some detective work at the locksmith’s, next thing I know I was attacked by a strange dog, a net was thrown over me, and here I am with my tags missing”.
“I came in with my tags on, so my owner is on her way, it happens to me all the time, I get busy following butterflies, leave the yard and next thing I know I’m picked up and back in here” She wagged her tail and added “They know me by name” She laughed at the last statement, and gave me a cute little smile.
That sweet looking little gal was a habitual visitor to the pound! I told her the whole story as we ate our dinner.
“Wow Boomer that is really some story, maybe your collar was lost at the locksmith building. You said it was an orange Chicago Bulls collar right?, That should be easy to see”
“Yes”, I answered. It didn’t matter when no one knows where I was. Then a thought came to me.
“Brandi, do you by any chance know Calvin, the Shar-Pei?” It was a long shot, but in a small town maybe she did know him.
“Why yes I do” She answered excitedly. “We went to Obedience School together” Brandi moved over to the side of her cage next to mine.
“If you and Calvin could get to the locksmith’s building maybe you could find the collar” I was trying not to sound to concerned but when your life may be in the balance it is hard not to let your voice waver.
Just then Brandi’s owner came to get her. I waved my paw in a half hearted manner as she left and settled down for a long night. I slept fitfully as I dreamed about locks, Alyse, warm beds, and home.
The next morning early, Brandi slipped out of her house, then through the back fence and headed for Calvin’s. She told Calvin what Boomer had told her and he agreed to help their friend.
“Let’s go find Booker T. Bird, the African Gray Parrot, I think he will be a big help”, Calvin told her. And off they trotted.
Across the street under a hedge was a silver shadow.
The trio arrived at the locksmith’s and since no one was there they started moving around the building looking for the collar. Just as Calvin spotted it and picked it up, a large dog came around the building with teeth barred and growling.
“RUN” Yelled Calvin to Brandi. But she had been behind some bushes and was having a hard time getting out. “Calvin and Booker T. I can’t get out of here”, Brandi cried.
Just then Booker T. yelled “SIT, good dog, stay”.
Well that old mean dog stopped dead in his tracks and sat down.
That gave Brandi and Calvin the chance they needed to get away. Booker flew to Calvin’s shoulder and away they went as fast as they could go to Boomer’s house.. Brandi thought she saw a silver form watching them but they were running and she didn’t dare stop.
Brandi scratched on the door of Boomer’s house and his mom came to the door. She looked very tired and worried; she had been up all night looking for Boomer. Calvin dropped the collar at her feet and Booker T said “Boomer’s at the pound”. Boomer’s mom petted the dogs and stroked Booker T. She also gave each one a treat as a reward, dog bones for Brandi and Calvin and a piece of fruit for Booker T. and thanked them over and over. She told them to be careful going home and left to get Boomer from the pound. Boomer was so glad to see her he gave her lots of lurpy kisses.
During the night Boomer had plenty of time to think out what had happened but wasn’t sure what his next step would be. The locksmith seemed to be the answer to both what had happened to Mom and to Alyse’s friend Harvey. This was some mystery - could they be related? First the lock that wouldn’t work on Mom’s door and then the missing guard dog. And who was the dog that looked like Harvey, but wasn’t? Where did Alyse fit into this ? What was going on here?
The next morning Boomer got up even before the paperboy arrived, ate a big bowl of kibble, and then left for his office. He wanted to see if there was any mail and sort out what had been happening the last two days. When he got to the office he found a stack of mail on the floor in front of the mail drop. There were the usual flyers, an ad from Big Lots about a sale on dog bed cushions (he kept that thinking he would go over later and see what they had), a card from his veterinarian telling him his shots were due (that was put into the important mail pile), a store ad saying that there was a limit on the number of dog snacks that could be purchased (that was strange, he thought ) and at the bottom of the pile was a plain white envelope without any printing on it. The envelope had a lingering scent of Orange Creme Rinse. It’s from Alyse, thought Boomer has he tore it open. Inside was his fee and a note that read:
In came Brandi, she was panting very hard and had mud on all four paws. There was a streak of mud over her left eye, and a wet tattered newspaper in her mouth. She was out of breath and she looked like she had been running from something.
“Brandi, what’s wrong?”, asked Boomer.
“Oh Boomer. I was bringing you this morning’s paper and as I was running down Pearl Street that big dog at the locksmith’s started after me so I ran through a small hole in a fence, the people were watering their yard and I had to go through the sprinkler... and then I ran up the back of the yards in the alley and it was all mud..... and .... and..... here’s the paper Boomer. Read the story for yourself.”
Brandi gave Boomer the paper and went to get a drink of water. Just then she saw the note from Alyse and caught sight of herself in the mirror. She tried to get some of the mud off her paws and face but just made it worse.
What would Boomer think?. He had a nice beautiful friend who always was clean and smelled of Orange Creme Rinse and here she was. I really will make an impression on him won’t I? Oh well what is done is done, Brandi thought to herself.
Boomer sat watching Brandi and couldn’t help smiling as he saw her trying to clean her fur. She was such a sweet little pup, real cute, and so helpful. He picked up the paper, straightened it out and read the headline and story:
As of last night no one had been able to get into the Dog Snack Warehouse. The lock seemed to be broken and would not open with any keys or tools. No new dog snacks can be sent to the stores. The Town Locksmith is missing as is his faithful watchdog Harvey, neither have been seen since last Sunday. All town stores will limit the number of dog snacks that can be purchased starting today.
The mystery was getting deeper, thought Boomer.
“Brandi, let’s go see if Calvin and Booker T. want to help us with this mystery. I sure could use you help if you want to come”.
Brandi was thrilled that Boomer wanted her to help him and forgot she looked so messy.
“I would love to help you Boomer and I know that Calvin and Booker T. will too”.
“Let’s go then so we can find out just what is going on”.
When Boomer and Brandi arrived at Calvin’s, Booker T. was already there visiting. They told them about the newspaper article, that Boomer had gotten a note from Alyse; but, he hadn’t seen her although she seemed to know all that was going on. All of them agreed they must hurry over to the Dog Snack Warehouse as quickly as possible. The group got down to business and came up with a plan on how to proceed. Before they did anything else they had to get into the locksmith’s back office to see if they could find any clues.
When they got to the office they found that someone was there and the shop door was open. They had to get past the man to the back office. But how?
Booker T. flew to a bush near the door and started yelling “ Help, I need help, over here, someone, anyone, come and help”. The man ran out the door to see what was going on and Boomer and Calvin ran in.
The room didn’t have much in it, but in a trash bin they found a map of the town with the Dog Snack Warehouse address marked in red and the time 11:30 P.M., Thursday, written on it. That was tomorrow. Taking the map they slipped out the door while Booker T. kept the man busy trying to find out who was calling for help.
The warehouse was on a back street by the waterfront. A time and a day were written on a map, but why was it in the trash? What was going on?
The group would have to make more plans before going to the warehouse and the best time would be under the cover of darkness.
Just after dark the group met and headed for the warehouse. They felt someone or something was following them; but, kept on with one thought in mind - trying to save the Dog Snacks.
The building was dark and there was no sign of anyone around so they crept up to the door. The lock looked familiar to Boomer. It was the lock the locksmith had taken from the door to his Mom’s office when he replaced it with another new one. Boomer remembered that’s what had happened at the office. For some reason this lock had been used in place of the real one. He remembered how the locksmith that had worked on his mom’s door had popped it out and was able to do it here with ease. The group moved carefully into the warehouse with Calvin in the lead, Booker T flew up to a shelf to get a better look and Brandi moved carefully with Boomer at her side. Just then a sound came from the office to the left of the entrance. Boomer and Calvin carefully opened the door and found Harvey, the watchdog bound and gagged, and tied to a steam heat pole. Calvin freed him and he told them what had happened.
He had been called by a friend while he was at Alyse’s party and told that the locksmith shop was open and another dog was there not letting anyone in. He left the party and immediately went to the shop. When he got there he was hit on the head and the next thing he knew he was in the back of a truck being taken to this warehouse. The robbers tied him to the pole and left. Later they returned and started unloading boxes of Dog Snacks. They did make sure he had food and water but they kept him tied to the pole and gagged him when they left the building. Harvey had heard them as they changed the lock on the building to one at would be hard to open if you didn’t know how. This was to fool people into thinking it wouldn’t work but would allow them in to move the cargo out of the warehouse to a waiting ship when the time came.
So that was it! They had taken all the Dog Snacks in town!
Why?? and how did Alyse fit into this mess? Where was the real locksmith? Boomer’s head was spinning with all the this information and he knew they all were in danger. They had to get more help and fast or all the snacks would be taken to some other location and time was running out.
Just as they were about to leave, a truck drove up - They were trapped?? Boomer, Calvin, Brandi and Harvey all hid in a dark corner. Booker T was still on his high shelf and was trying to think of a way to help his friends. The robber came rushing into the building, when they saw the broken lock, and started a thorough search to find out who was in the building and what was going on.
“We have to get these boxes out of here now!” One of the men said to another.
“Get Spike, he’ll find them!” And with that they let the other watchdog out of the truck and he began racing through the warehouse.
Now what? The group was trapped? Booker T couldn’t help this time, or could he? He swiftly flew out the open door to go to Boomer’s house. Just then Alyse came out of the bushes.
“There is no time to get someone from home” she told Booker T.
“I’ll go with you and help at the pay phone on the corner - I can flip the phone off the hook with my paw and hit the 911 and you can tell the police what is happening and where we are”.
Booker T didn’t want to believe her and started to just fly by. But, they were running out of time so he decided to let her help. They found the phone, called the police, and hurried back to the warehouse. Just as they got to the door, Spike started his wild growling and barking and the men raced to the back of the building to where the group was hiding.
Alyse called to Spike, and he stopped to see what lovely young dog has called his name.
At the same time Booker T. yelled “It’s the police, get your hands up, and get against the wall”, as he flew around the warehouse as fast as he could.
The robbers stopped and did as they were told, very confused about all that was going on at once. Just then the police arrived.
Two days later I was resting in my office when Alyse walked in and jumped on the couch.
“Hi Boomer” she said in her husky voice. “Thanks for finding Harvey. You and your friends were so brave and saved the Dog Snacks from being sent out of the country and all”. “You’re welcome” I replied.
“I am sorry I wasn’t there to help, I... I... guess I was just to timid to be part of the group”.
“ That’s okay Alyse, you were there when it counted the most.”
“ They found the real locksmith tied up on the boat. I guess they were going to take him and Harvey with them when they took the snacks. Thank you again for all you did Boomer”.
She jumped from the couch, came over and gave me a big lurp and was gone.
Calvin, and Booker T. came by later and we headed out to see what we could find to do. On the way to the park we met Brandi chasing butterflies.
“Don’t get caught again Brandi” I yelled to her.
“ If I do I know who will help me” She called, as she hurried after a Giant Monarch.
Thanks to The Woodro and Raubyn for the great cast picture.
Last updated: 15 March 2001