New Year’s Greetings

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

2013 was a big year here in Crystal Haven. Clyde’s book, Pall in the Family, hit the shelves and our tourism numbers went through the roof! We are so pleased that people want to spend time with us in our little town. And although I don’t like to be the kind of person who says, “I told you so,” I knew that Clyde’s story would draw new visitors. Who doesn’t like a story of secrets, murder, mayhem, and dogs?

Some of my clients were kind enough to share their holiday spirit. You might remember these two from the Webkinz affair. I still haven’t quite cracked that case…

And here is Astrid, wishing everyone a Happy New Year! She’s thrown the party of the year and must have gotten some help with those hats…

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Stay tuned in the new year for more pet stories, and some follow-up with old friends.

Thanks to Barb and Melissa for sharing their pictures! ~de

Canine Conundrum Part 3

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This is Ollie. He has lawyered up. That’s Jasper whispering in his ear telling him not to talk.

“I have no comment,” Ollie said.

“Stop harassing my client!” Jasper said.

I explained that no one was in trouble and I just wanted to talk to them about what they may have seen.

“That’s an old trick, lady.” Jasper said. “I’ve seen it a hundred times before. First they say they just want to talk and the next thing you know, you’re in the dog house – literally.”

“Yeah, yeah. Remember that time we dug up the garden, Jasper? That did not go well…”

“Shut it, Ollie! She can hear you and you aren’t supposed to say anything.”

I’m pretty sure I have found the culprit, or culprits, at this point. Any dog who needs a lawyer is probably guilty of something. The problem is, I don’t have any proof and I can’t get any of them to tell me what happened. This is a tight-knit pack and I’ll have to be smarter than they are if I want to crack this case.

Right now, I’m thinking about consulting the pendulum…

Who do you think is the Webkinz thief?

Thanks to Melissa B for her photos! ~ de

Canine Conundrum Part 2

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This is Crystal. When I told her I wanted to talk to her, she ran away and hid under her blanket. I’m not sure I need an actual confession. She’s obviously the perp.

“I didn’t do it!”

I asked what it was that she didn’t do. I thought I could trick her into admitting to something.

“Whatever you think I did, I didn’t do it. I don’t know anything about it, and I don’t want to talk about it.”

I casually mentioned the Webkinz.

“Webkinz? Nope. Don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I told her about the missing stuffed animals.

“Ohhh, that. Yeah, I didn’t do it.”

But she obviously knows who did! I tried to question her further, but she burrowed under the blanket and refused to look at me. A sure sign she was hiding something.

“I don’t know anything about those nasty little toys. They don’t belong to me and I don’t like them anyway.”

I felt that I was on to something. Clyde doesn’t like me to interfere when she’s investigating, but I have very good instincts. And this is my investigation. It’s my very own cozy mystery.

“Are you still here?” She peeked out from under her hiding place. “You’re wasting your time with me.”

After that I got nothing more out of her. Sometimes dogs just start thinking about food and then I can’t compete. I still have another suspect to interrogate before I get to the bottom of this, but I’m pretty sure I already know who did it.

Thanks to Melissa B for sharing her photos! ~de

Canine Conundrum Part 1

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This could be the face of evil. Or at least a guilty conscience. I was called to consult with this family after multiple Webkinz stuffed animals went missing. They were later found, soggy and a bit traumatized, in various locations throughout the house. Because there are multiple dogs in the household, the family didn’t know who was the Webkinz killer.

My first suspect was Willow. According to the family she is very obedient, likes to cuddle, and usually gets whatever she wants. I became suspicious when she turned her big-eyed innocent look on me. The tongue was over-kill.

“Webkinz? What’s a Webkinz?”

I told her someone has an issue with those stuffed animals.

“Stuffed animals? You mean those off-limits toys? No one has an issue.”

I told her that the whole gang would be in trouble if we didn’t get to the bottom of this.

“Oh, no. I don’t think so. I don’t get in trouble. And I’m not a snitch.”

Hmm. She seems pretty sure of herself. I was a little surprised that she didn’t tattle since dogs usually do. They don’t tend toward deception. So, if Willow is not the culprit, then she’s protecting one of her cohorts. It might be difficult to crack this case if the gang sticks together. I’ll have to find the weak link and apply some subtle pressure.

Next week we’ll meet suspect number two.

Thanks to Melissa B for her photo! ~de

Happy Halloween!

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

Our pets can tell when there is a celebration afoot. Often they are only too happy to join in – even if it means wearing a costume.

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Sometimes they feel left out if they can’t join the fun.

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And some would prefer not to get involved.

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Some show their true personality.

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And some just enjoy the festivities.

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Thanks to Melissa B., Stephanie V., Ann and Bob E., and Barb L. for their photos! ~de

Uninvited

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

Have you ever lived in a neighborhood where there is one kid who comes over all the time? He shows up at your door, asking for snacks, or just wandering in as if he lives there?

Rowdy claims there is a dog like that in his neighborhood. I went to see him for my routine visit after his surgery and bad grooming recovery. The family was shocked that he told me this story. They say every word is true, but can’t believe I heard it from Rowdy. I have to ask myself why they are paying me if they are surprised Rowdy tells me things, but that’s a whole other subject.

Rowdy said, “I was out for my usual walk with my girl. She likes to go around the park and even though there’s something wrong with my leg, I go with her. It seems to make her happy.”

“We were heading back home, when out of nowhere this dog shows up. My girl noticed he wasn’t wearing a collar and she talked to him and petted him. I didn’t care for that and I backed away. My collar came off because my neck is thinner since the grooming. Well, she freaked out and picked me up to take me home. I didn’t really mind because my leg was hurting by then.”

“The other dog asked me if I had had dinner yet and what kind of treats did I get after a walk and he followed us home! When we got there, the alpha human let us in and the other dog just trotted in the door like he owned the place! The humans laughed and called the dog to come back because he was all over the house. Sniffing my toys, checking out my food bowl, stepping on my bed. THEN, he picked up my chewy and came and stood in front of the door. Can you believe it? And THEN, the humans just let him out and walked him back home. They seemed to know where he lived and they let him keep my chewy! It’s an outrage! I had worked for a long time to get it just the way I like it and he comes into MY house and walks out the door with it.”

I could understand Rowdy’s frustration. Dogs are very territorial. We used to have a kid down the street who would just knock on the door, and come in and rummage through the pantry. I asked Rose if maybe his mother didn’t feed him, but I don’t think that was the problem. Some people are just overly familiar, just as some dogs don’t recognize their own or anyone else’s territory.

I told Rowdy I understood his indignation. He said his stomach felt fine, but there’s something wrong with his leg.

Thank you to Ellie for sharing this true story ~de

The Power of Denial

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This is Tanner. We’ve met him before, here. You would think that being caught “red-handed” as they say would guarantee an honest confession. You would be wrong.

Me: What happened to the bag?

Tanner: This bag? I thought they left it for me to play with. Those kids hide all my toys and all I have left is an empty bag.

Me: What happened to the food?

Tanner: Food?

Me: There was food in the bag.

Tanner: No.

Me: You’re saying there was no food in the bag?

Tanner: Food?

Me: Tanner did you eat all the food that was in the bag?

Tanner: Bag?

This started to feel a lot like conversations I have had with my niece, Clyde. It’s a clever technique designed to frustrate me to distraction. I have found the best way to deal with this is to step away and come back to the topic when they least expect it. I will try to get a confession at a later date, maybe after a walk and some treats…

Thanks to Kris and Tom for the photo! ~de