Chapter 2, Part 4
Just as Emil predicts, we pop out in the public yard in the back of Cowdogs Bar and Grill, bristling weapons. Lucy the Pug is on my left hip and my stun gun out in my right hand. I’ve promised three times not to stun her by accident. The bar is completely empty, no police dogs waiting as we feared. It’s very anticlimactic. I set Lucy on the floor, her paw activated laser powering down with an odd humming noise.
“Plan B?” I ask no one in particular. I like plan B. It’s nice and calm and doesn’t consist of me stun gunning anyone. I get to wait in the car! Yay car! Plan B is by far, my favorite.
“Plan B, it is.” Tasha replies, pulling her special pillows out of the way, holstering her Glock and pulling out her cell phone. Ten minutes later, we all pile into a cab. An hour later rent a car and then head to animal control for our first reconnaissance.
A weaponless Tasha is to go into animal control and see if she can spot Parson. I can’t go in because I’m too well known in the celebridog world. Emil is worried I’ll be recognized. If Parson is there, she’s to try to adopt/retrieve him on the spot using persuasion and an enormous (in my mind) donation/bribe/fine payment to smooth the way. If this doesn’t work then it’s on to plan C. Bad, bad plan C. Plan C is the night time raid to free Parson under the cover of darkness.
We park and I get in the back seat with the dogs.
“If all goes well I won’t be long and we’ll be back in Vancouver in two hours.” Tasha says smiling, handing me her mag belt. Tasha has promised to teach me how to use the rapid load mags with a real gun when we get back. It sounds like camp! Criminal camp!
“Don’t take any unnecessary risks, Tasha.” Emil starts, leaning out the window.
“I won’t Emil.” Tasha says, and bends down to give the top of his head a kiss and adjusts his little jacket.
“Listen for Parson’s voice. He’ll be the one that sounds smart. Well, smarter.”
“I got it Emil.”
“Let Parson know what you are if you can. He’ll warn you if anything unusual is going on.” Emil keeps going. I can tell he’s nervous; this is the third time through Plan B.
“If the animal control people look at you funny, you better run.”
“Emil! Shut up. Stop stalling” Lucy barks, impatiently head butting Emil from the window. “Stop kissing him or he’ll never be quiet.” She says sternly to Tasha.
Tasha smiles and gives Lucy a kiss instead and that shuts her up.
I lie down in the back seat to wait. The dogs pile on top of me. Snuggly but I’m smooshed flat. Within a minute, all three dogs are trembling, a clear indication something is wrong. Lucy starts crying, weird puggy crying.
“What’s wrong guys?” I ask, petting all three bodies in a group hug. I’m confused as I expected some impatience and crabbiness while waiting for Tasha but not this group emo meltdown.
“It’s the voices.” Michalene says, pointing his nose in the direction of the dogs in the runs. “They know they’re going to die if someone doesn’t take them home. Even though they are 100% dog we can pretty much understand everything they say. It’s kinda upsetting.” He finishes, burrowing his muzzle into my sweaty armpit. It’s the second day in my stretchy white polo and green pleated mini. I can’t imagine I am too fresh but Michalene doesn’t seem to mind.
The kennel dogs are too far away for my human ears to hear.
“Bawoooooooo!” Lucy starts howling an eerie, sobbing howl. “Bawloooooooooo!” She continues, launching off my belly to press her nose against the partially lowered rear windows. It takes me a moment to translate what she’s saying because the crying jag is distorting the words.
“Holy Crap Lucy! You can’t tell them that!” I yell at her, sitting up, Michalene and Emil go flying. I try to pry her away from the open rear window. There’s no moving her as her front paws are hooked firmly over the open window edge and I get a finger snap for my trouble. Michalene, climbing from the floorboards where I accidently flung him, tries to talk to her with no avail.
“Baaaaaaaahooooooooooo!” Lucy continues. “I can tell them anything I want! I hate this place. I’m frying the next person out the front door!” Emil crawls under the front seat. Michalene gives up talking to Luce and comes back to me.
“Turn on the radio medium loud, pick Luce up and give her a good squeeze and roll the windows up so we can’t hear the despair.” Michalene says, coming to my rescue as I am pretty much reduced to staring dumbfounded at my trio of furry tormenters.
Ten minutes later, while listening to some really bad Menuedo, emotions are under control. Lucy’s not talking to me. She is laying in a huff in the floorboards with Michalene next to her. She’s now into those hiccoughing type of sobs as she recovers from her crying jag. Emil is lying on my petite special pillows. He’s commenting every two minutes about Tasha’s pillow superiority. In the 21 minutes since launching Plan B I’ve tired of all three of my furry pals. I can’t help thinking I am NOT making 200 grand a year to escort these yahoos around.
Tasha knocks on the rear window causing all of us to levitate about a foot off of the upholstery; we never hear her coming with that damn Meneudo blaring. She slides into the front passenger seat to talk.
“Well the good news is Parson is there but that’s the only good news.” Tasha begins, plucking Emil from the back seat and cuddling him. “The animal control workers are adamantly keeping Parson. He isn’t ‘adoptable or retrievable’ in any way.”
“What do you mean ‘not retrievable’? Lucy snaps from the back seat, teetering on her emotional puggy rollercoaster. She’s busy pretending I don’t exist for yelling at her. Michalene isn’t though. He’s joined me on my lap.
“Animal Control was very clear. They consider Parson a biter and a vicious dog. He’s got a cocker spaniel next to him that I expressed some interest in so I got to talk to Parson without raising any suspicion. He is very glad we’re here.”
“You can’t pay his fine or whatever?” I ask. I can almost see the red flag waving.
“No, and we need to upgrade Plan C. Parson is pretty sure they’re coming to put him to sleep in about an hour.”
“What! We need to get in there now! We just need to go get him.” Lucy howls, standing on her hinds with her fronts on the back of the front seat.
“Certain celebridogs, that will remain nameless” I say, using my eyes to point to Lucy, “are having a tiny emo meltdown.”
Tasha nods sympathetically. “I could hear them in the building. It’s pretty horrifying.”
Lucy ignores us. She slaps a paw to her chest and I hear her laser weapon powering up. “I’m going in to get him. You bums can sit on your hairy asses in the car.” Lucy says, a low growl permeating every syllable. Her hackles are up and poking through her sundress. It is not a good look.
“Sit down and put a cork in it, Lucy!” I say, giving her left ear a sharp tug. “I’m sure Tasha has a good plan C and we need to hear what she uncovered. So sit tight and listen.” For the life of me, I’m not sure how to diffuse the situation. Michalene is Lucy’s ‘yes’ dog and dove to the floorboards the second he heard the laser power up. I can’t see Emil.
“Let me out of this car or I’ll blast my way out.” Lucy says, growling at me and spinning around, looking for an exit. Her laser is at top hum and now she’s snarling between every word.
“I’m not letting you out!”
Both Lucy and I stop arguing and look to the front seat. Tasha’s Glock is pointed at Lucy’s head.
“Power down the lasers, Lucy.” Emil says, his head finally popping over the front seat.
“You’re not gonna shoot me, bitch!” Lucy says to Tasha. “And, when we get somewhere safe, I’m biting your tiny Chihuahua ass!” This is directed at Emil’s head, which promptly ducks below the front seat.
“Power down Luce! You go in, lasers blazing; the police dogs will hunt you to the ends of the earth. You’ll disappear.” Emil says, his disembodied voice coming from the front seat.
I think about stun gunning Lucy but I’ve never stunned anything in my life and I’m not really sure what to do. Besides, my stun gun is now in my handbag on the opposite floor board. Dang.
“I can’t let you put Emil at risk, Lucy.” Tasha says, her implications clear. Tasha’s blue eyes never leave Lucy’s little round head. “And, you’re wasting time. We need to get Parson out of there.”
Lucy hesitates another second then harrumps a final growl, gives up and slaps her laser power pack. The ominous hum peters out. “Book your flight to Bite Your Ass City, missy. Tour guide, Lucy the Pug.” Tasha wisely lets Lucy bluster for a second and order is restored. I’m thinking Lucy needs some doggie Prozac and a Livertini or four. I know I do. Tasha lays out the plan and we go in.