Back to Tricia (Treesha?, Trisha?) the QA queen. Notice that the girls didn’t know she knew about dogs. But yes she does. Or did.
As a child, her first beloved book had been /wild animals I have known/. Ernest Thompson Seton. A few things stayed with her: all wild animal stories end in tragedy; Seton said that repeatedly. And implicitly Seton said something else: animals are sentient. They’re feeling beings. They’re individuals. She’d always remembered that.
Whenever she saw a squirrel in the park, or a pigeon on the street, knowing it must be unique, she searched for the qualities which defined its individuality.
By the time she was in her teens birds and rodents all looked no less different than people did. Later, she’d honed her perceptions volunteering at the Humane Society.
All in all, yes. She knew dogs.
So when she met Lou-lou, he knew she knew him. He sighed and leaned into her. She felt him relax, and then she scratched behind his ears.
He was perfect.
Her girls knew it too. They realized as he leaned in that he would follow them home. He’d be theirs.
Of course the girls wouldn’t be the ones walking him, or taking him to the vet, or making sure he was housebroken.
So here we go, she thought. I have a dog.
We have a dog. I hope I can remember how to train them. I hope we can afford the vet.
He sighed again. He licked her hand. He licked again.
Tricia picked up the leash. Reeny and Pam smiled at each other. It had taken til just this moment for it to hit them. They had a dog.
Here’s another thought:
There are neighbors. Not actually in the building ; as we know most of the building was empty. Maybe all of it. But there are neighbors. They are in the nearby buildings. They are all over Pleasant Village.
And back to Grace Stroud.
She’d been married to a woman, who died a few years back. Not ten, that’s too long ago. She’d retired from teaching.
Grace had adopted Loulou as a puppy. She’d taken a cruise to Alaska. She’d stayed a month longer than she’d planned. She met a woman who raced dogs every now and then. They weren’t lovers, the woman was too young, she wasn’t any of Grace’s types. Having dogs around though, that interested Grace. When one of the bitches gave birth, Grace asked for a pup. “That one,” she said, “the curious one.”
Mind you, all huskies are curious, but “that one” was advanced. He walked almost immediately. It was impossible to keep him in with the other puppies.
Even his mother couldn’t keep him penned.
The month turned into two, then three. Finally Loulou was old enough to wean.
Grace took him home.
A day after the murder. The police will call Tricia. They’ll ask her why she took the dog. They’ll ask whether she knew Grace Stroud.
They’ll accept her answer, they won’t bother her about the dog, but they’ll give her the vet’s number. “Miss Stroud left a letter. She wanted the dog taken care of, and it seems like you’re doing that.”
Grace’s letter. To whom it may concern: You’ve found this, so something has happened to me. I have no money except for the accounts you’ll find in my desk. My will is there too.
If Loulou (he’s my dog) has not been harmed, please try to find him a home. He’s better with women than with men.
Please find him a home.
I have some jewelry. It’s in the top drawer of the chest in the large bedroom.
The gist: Any property to the Humane Society. The dog’s stuff to his adopter. The jewelry and silverware is among the property that the Humane Society gets. It’s probably worth selling.
The furniture isn’t valuable, it’s IKEA. Not very interesting. The clothing isn’t valuable either. Clothing, furniture, dishes – all can be donated or sold.
The insurance assessment: Silver gravy boat Silverware service for 20 Silver salad fork and spoon
1 Platinum and emerald necklace 1 Platinum and diamond ring inscribed Grace and Jen, now and forever 1 emerald and gold bracelet 2 large squash blossom necklaces 1 bracelet of three strands of gold: all reddish 1 large platinum cuff
4 Navaho rugs, each 4 feet by 6 feet all four wool, all four gray.
1 rug, cream and black zig zags on gray 1 rug, stick figure people 1 rug, cream, red, black 1 rug, cream, red, black
Glassware – 2 reidel white