Detective Dog

I recently pet-sat for my daughter’s four dogs: two large boxers (Titan and Hazel) and two small mini pinschers (Rubble and Remi). They’re all friendly and affectionate, but each has its own personality, as well. Remi is the youngest and just turned one. She still exhibits a LOT of puppy-type behaviors, like pottying indoors on occasion, grabbing things to run away with them, and chewing on anything she gets her paws on.

When I went to their house, I took my laptop to work on freelance editing and also made sure to pack a few books I’m reading. One was an early Christmas gift from my sister, Terri. We both love mysteries and like many of the same authors. One of our favorites is UK author, Elly Griffiths. She has three mystery series, and I especially like the two featuring Ruth Galloway and DI Harbinder Kaur. Knowing for sure I’d like it and hadn’t read it yet, Terri sent me the latest Harbinder Kaur book, Bleeding Heart Yard. It’s a great story and pulled me in immediately.

One evening, I had the book set well back on the nightstand, thinking I was being careful. But I hadn’t considered that jumping up on the bed to reach interesting objects was easy for Remi. The next thing I knew, the sound of ripping paper met my ears. My wonderful new book was flung to the floor with pages 321/322 ripped out and lying in several pieces. (Sorry Terri!) I rescued the book right away and set the pieces aside, realizing the pages were from later in the book and wouldn’t be needed right away.

The next morning, I decided the best way to make sure I hung onto all the pieces was to tape them together and back into the book. A few were too small and mangled, so I certainly hoped enough of the print remained to get the gist of the paragraphs. With tape in hand, I began reconstructing, while matching up words.

Suddenly, to my horror, I realized my eyes had landed on a section with an all-important sentence…”X X has admitted to the murders.” What are the chances that in those 30 seconds of jubilant grabbing and chewing, Remi would choose one of the few pages that revealed the killer?! I had to laugh, though. It was almost as if she were playing detective and sharing the solution to the mystery with me.

Lucky for me that my main goal in reading a mystery isn’t just to solve the puzzle, although I do that to a certain extent, of course. I love the way mystery series authors weave their interesting characters into suspenseful plots and reveal more about the people in each book. Will I finish reading Bleeding Heart Yard even though I know the name of the culprit? You bet! That doesn’t make much difference to me, except that I’ll be reading from a somewhat different perspective. I’ll be looking to see just how artfully the author reveals the rest of the clues and keeping an eye out for any red herrings.

So Remi wasn’t “in trouble.” But I certainly was reminded to be even more careful about where I set things when she was around!

Remi’s 1st Birthday

83 thoughts on “Detective Dog

  1. I’m holding my hand in front of my face, so you won’t see me laughing. Can you believe the dog did the damage in the most inopportune spot? That would never happen in a million tries. Thanks for sharing your story. 🀭

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  2. Dear Becky — We’re puppies until we’re three. Your pal, Teddy Bear T. Dog

    Martha here — I had a dog who would get angry at me if I left them for a week or two. TWICE that demon destroyed books, both were precious to me. My dad’s Shakespeare and a copy of the English Hexapla I’d gotten incredibly cheap at a used bookstore and can never afford to replace. I wonder if Remi misses his people and exacted revenge?

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  3. Oh, Becky! Everything has to go into drawers or the house needs to be baby proofed…puppies. Your new book. But then the look on his face, and all is forgotten…including the name of the murderer. I hate to say this was a fun story to read, but it really was and anyone who has had a dog…understand it completely.

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  4. Oh, my! I was already intrigued by the fact you were caring for four (!) dogs and thought that would be the gist of this post. But for one of those dogs to lead you directly to the murderer was a whole new twist! I admire your attitude to read the rest of the book and look for how the author weaves in clues and red herrings. It’ll be a learning experience…for you. Now, that naughty little Remi…

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  5. And he looks so innocent. That “Who, me?” expression is priceless. I’ve never had a dog, but the stories of the silliness they can get up to seem endless. At least Remi didn’t chew up money, as one of my friend’s dogs did. On the other hand, revealing a key plot twist is its own kind of irritation!

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  6. Puppies will be puppies. There was no malicious intent so you can’t be angry. Four dogs is a lot to take care of and a puppy adds to the crazy mix. Could not have been boring. I’ll have to check out that series of mysteries.

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  7. That’s so funny, Becky! Spoiler by dog. Our dog is a Newfoundland. She’s a big dog, but fortunately not apt to jump up on things, even as a puppy. I do remember quite a few incidents from when there were kittens in the house. They go everywhere!

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  8. Four dogs in the same houseβ€”must never be a dull moment. One of our labs destroyed everything when he was a puppy. She would rip up her dog bed and shred it to pieces. Thank goodness they eventually grow out of that stage.

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  9. Remi with the big reveal! Imagine the suspense if you’d waited until you got to page 320 before piecing the next page together. It is an interesting way to read the book now though – you may see more clearly how the writer does it!

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  10. Ah yes, exuberant young dogs! How funny that Remi discovered the murderer. I guess she thought that you were taking too long to get to the “good part”, so she’d help you out. LOL I would definitely keep reading, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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