Supervising kidnapped fourlegs at Freddy’s Kennels is rewarding work, so sez ThreeLegs, the fearsome bully-boy terrier who runs the place with a firm bite. However, his world is quickly turned upside down with the sudden arrival of fleet-footed Βία, a gorgeous ex-racing greyhound. Soon finding himself caste out, broken-hearted, and on the wrong side of every fourlegs in Swallow, ThreeLegs is set to learn the tough-love truth of who his real friends are, the hard way. Unreasonably, it’s all thanks to his arch enemy, that tough-snouted Thames Valley K9 trooper, Duncan.
Listen up fellas, it’s all about power and speed
That’s right, because it’s all about tim-
I thought you said-
If you put a stopper in it and listen Shadow gives Jax the eyeball I said, it’s all measured against-
When’s lunch? Jax starts drooling.
Duncan stares dispassionately at Shadow and Jax Ah, good spot, that will be the beef and potato kibbles I’m sniff–
Beef? exclaims Jax
Potato? pants Shadow
..that’s right, in soft white rice, smothered in-
Smothered in what? both Jax and Shadow yowl.
In something noshable isn’t it, yer pair of muttwits Duncan flaps his earflaps.
The three K9s are sitting with their hindlegs handlers at the side of the training ground, facing ten different obstacles they are gonna be expected to jump up, balance over, crawl thru and generally zig-zag around – expeditiously. The trouble is, it’s looking depressingly and increasingly likely they’ll be doing all this flip-flopping nonsense before lunch.
We’re service fours, dog-dammit, not bleedin’ civvy fours growls Shadow.
It’s just not normal, not even natural agrees Jax.
Doing police work without doing police lunch first, is, frankly, 100 percent not normal Duncan shakes his earflaps.
“rightthenDuncan,you’refirstboy,let’skillit” and before Duncan can even dig his toes in and demand his police lunch…he’s forced off his backside and onto the field of battle.
Own that bitch encourages Jax.
Yeah bitch, own it adds Shadow, generously.
PC Andersen packleader leads Duncan to the starting platform. In a sort of mild protest, the big K9 Doberman cocks a token squirt on the corner of the platform before jumping up. He sniffs the ten obstacles around him, fully aware of the order he must bust his ass getting ‘round them. He sniffs the eyeballs of the two GSDs watching him.
PC Andersen packleader unclips himself from Duncan’s lead. “goDuncan,goboy” and they’re off.
Duncan bursts off the platform
Two leaps forward and overrrr the hurdle….flat out towards A frame…climbing up, up and over…instant right turn underneath it and crawl, crawl, crawling through the tube…
..and out! Turning right, picking up speed, two leaps and….through the tyre hoop…straight onto the cat-walk…up, whoaaa! careful across the plank, mate! ..and down into a hard right ‘round the marker post…full thrust over the bush jump….
..back across the starter platform…whizzz…and zigzag, zigzag, zigzag through weaving flags…erh, bit dizzy, where am I?
Duncan catches the movement left of PC Andersen packleader towards next obstacle.
Ah, that’s it…turn to towards see-saw…up, wobble wobble, down and fast towards…SLOW DOWN!…control speed to…
..scramble up the vertical wall and through the window jump…turn hard left and power down towards the canvas tunnel…
Through the tunnel, don’t like it in here but…keep going…keep go – OUT at last and final hammer down towards platform. Jump up. Stop!
“ataboy, Duncan, goodboy” PC Andersen packleader slips Duncan a beef jerky button “goodboy”
“fortyfiveseconds” some hindlegs shouts out as Duncan is lead back to the side of the field and flaps his earflaps at Shadow and Jax.
Right then lads, set you the bar…feel free to fall under it!
Yeah royt spits Shadow.
Let the professionals thru and Shadow is up and away with his companion, PC Patel packleader.
A streak of black lightening, straight off the platform, across hurdle, over A-frame and through the tube, fast and flawless. Shoots through the tyre, powers away to cat walk and…misses it.
What a muttwit! Jax coughs/laughs in mirth.
“getbackhere,Shadow!” his companion yelps.
Power and speed comments Jax, yawning.
Not forgetting intelligence notes Duncan, wryly, watching Shadow complete the remainder of the course.
“fortynineseconds” the hindlegs shouts.
Say nothing Shadow threatens the two fourlegs as he returns to sit beside them nothing!
Absolutely they both grin.
I got this, I got this Jax leaps away from the platform. Indecently fast, the black and tan Shepherd is soon happily trotting back to his fellow K9s.
“fortythreeseconds” the hindlegs shouts.
Wat der fuk! Shadow spits out.
Now it must be police lunchtime Jax looks around, all innocent like, before flopping down for a well-earned bit of nit-picking under his plumb-bobs.
“notwiththefemales,Checkers” black sniffing Freddypackmate growls at ThreeLegs “barnnumbertwo,specialcage”
ThreeLegs raises his snout in surprise trot on then, yer highness hobbling off towards an adjacent barn, sniffing of male fourlegs.
He waits at the door of an open cage, larger than the others Hope this pied-à-terre is more to your liking?
Βία ignores him as she slinks past, sniffing out the cage, earflaps drawn back at the proximity of all the other males. They’re all standing at the doors of their cages, tongues lolling
I sniff you…
Can taste you an ‘all…
Is that you, my sweetness, is that me?
Shut it all of yers, basking four-legged pond life snorts Threelegs at the caged fours be grateful I’m blessing yers with royalty!
Freddy kicks ThreeLegs out of the way, slamming the cage door behind Βία. “thatshoulddoyoufornow,moneybuttons” he stomps out, leaving ThreeLegs to stare at the sleek greyhound through the bars.
Howdy doody calls out Scroggy to Βία from the cage next door.
Don’t talk to the incarcerated snaps ThreeLegs at Scroggy.
Cos you’re slime, that’s why
But I’m a person too whines Scroggy.
ThreeLegs raises his cone-shaped snout and sniffs at Scroggy no you ain’t he retorts.
Whether he is or whether he ain’t, doesn’t stop Scroggy pushing his snout through the bars to get a closer sniff at Βία. Finding a female, and a fit one, attracts all the other fours to strain their snouts as far through the bars as possible, anything to get a closer delicious sniff of greyhound colours.
Where’s the track? Βία asks Scroggy, indifferent to the others.
The circuit, racing course, arena, or whatever…
I know where it is? another voice grunts lustily
Yeah, right here, darling from another, cocking his leg and fragrantly squirting into the corner of his cage.
Enough of that snorts ThreeLegs, not entirely happy that Βία, his Βία, is surrounded by a barn load of testosterone-sniffy over-dosed male fours. Bee-Ahh don’t appreciate your lurid attentions…do yers, Bee-Ahh, my sweetness? He swivels his head around the cages, ensuring the ‘my’ is firmly understood by all.
First off chump, it’s Veeyah says Βία not bee-ahh… and secondly I ain’t anyone’s sweetness
Keep her top on Fiyyaa repeats ThreeLegs.
Veeyah she corrects him.
Phia….Beyar….foyer…aww, fukkit! and he stomps off, hobbles off actually, to the general derision of all in barn number two.
What’s a circuit, Veeyah? Scroggy asks, sitting down, his short brown fur pressing through the bars, ignoring the jealous interest of all the other fourlegs.
Βία sits beside him, her side of the cage and they touch snouts.
I sniff you Veyaah says the Redbone Coonhound.
I sniff you, too, Scroggy the greyhound replies before proceeding to tell all the assembled muttwits that she’s a Derby-winning champion who’s only interested in getting out of this cage in barn number two, sniffing out the track, and winning her next race.
(ThreeLegs part.3 follows next week…)
Copyrighted work by Julian Boyce