Faith’s Christmas Surprise

1931032_36129957313_9434_n-impChristmas carols played while Ken wrapped the last of the gifts that were to be distributed at the children’s hospital later that afternoon. This was Faith’s favourite time of year and best of all she was allowed to visit the children again with Ken.

It had been a busy year with many visits to hospitals where children needed a distraction from their pain, recovery or just the plain old boredom of their every day routine. Faith always looked forward to seeing them. It was their smiles and squeals of glee that made it all worthwhile.

Ken had made a silly elf hat for Faith to match his. She shook her head. Nope it’s not going to come off. Oh well, I guess the children will like it. At least it’s better than last year’s reindeer antlers.

‘Almost done, Faith,’ Ken said clutching a red ribbon between his teeth as he talked.

Faith tilted her head to one side and ruffed. It’s about time. Curiosity had set in so she wandered over to the Christmas tree and sniffed a sack of gifts.

‘You’re not going to find anything under there for you this Christmas, Faith girl.’

Faith whimpered and hung her head.

‘It’s not like that,’ Ken laughed. He knelt on one knee as he often did and hugged her.  ‘Your gift will arrive sometime later tonight. ‘Actually, it will be our gift. We’ll be sharing this one. Those gifts under the tree are for my parents who are coming for Christmas lunch tomorrow.’

Faith wagged her tail. She loved Ken’s mum and dad. I wonder if our gift will arrive by sleigh or maybe it’s being delivered in a fire truck. She nudged Ken’s elbow with her nose knocking him off balance. Come on! It’s time to go.

Less than an hour later, Ken was busy handing out gifts to the children in the burns unit while Faith nuzzled the hands of any child, parent or nurse reaching out to her. The ward was noisy with excitement—oh what fun it is! One child was almost totally covered in bandages; blue eyes, a little nose, hands and feet protruding. Faith looked up at a male nurse standing nearby.

‘Go on. Mandy will be thrilled’ he said nodding at the patient.

Faith cautiously stepped toward the child and licked a dangling hand before carefully lifting both paws onto the side of the bed. She was within inches of the little girl’s nose.

Mandy lifted her hand slowly and placed it on Faith’s head. There they remained for what seemed a very long time. But, Faith didn’t mind.

The afternoon visit included ice cream for everyone except Faith, as usual, but Ken had a few doggy surprises in his pocket for her to enjoy.  It had been a great visit.

It wasn’t until later that evening when she curled up on the mat near the back door that Faith thought about Mandy again. She whimpered a moment before resting her head on her paws. And, I wonder what our surprise will be…yawn.

 

It was just after dawn when Faith was aroused from a deep sleep by a faint scratching noise. She opened her eyes slowly anticipating a possum trying to steal the remaining few biscuits from her bowl. To her surprise, another pair of doggy eyes met hers across the porch. Faith blinked, not just to clear her eyes but in response to the handsome canine who lay opposite.

Both dogs lifted their heads in unison. Oh my, Faith thought. Her tongue slipped over the side of her jaw. A slobbery drool slipped down to the tip of her tongue before she could prevent it dripping to the floor. Fortunately, those amber eyes before her didn’t seem to notice. Time seemed to stand still.

The glass door gliding along its track brought Faith out of her daze. Ken stepped out and knelt to stroke Faith’s ears. ‘I see you two have met.’

Well, sort of.’  She shook her head throwing drool over Ken’s clean shirt.

‘Faith, meet Shield. Shield this is Faith.’

Shield rose to his feet in what seemed to Faith as a graceful bow.  Faith followed suit and approached the longhaired Border Collie before she shyly turned her head and nudged Ken instead.

With a chuckle, Ken picked himself up of the floor. ‘Ok you two, how about breakfast?’

Both dogs wagged their tails eagerly and waited in anticipation.

The two dogs spent most of the day playing and walking in the back garden. They soon became the best of friends. Ken’s parents had been and gone. Lunch was fabulous. There had been plenty of gifts to go around and the doggy treats were extra special on such a wonderful day of the year.

Merry Christmas from Faith and Shield… Oh, and Ken too of course.

© Chrissy Siggee – 2019

This is a work of fiction. Except for Ken and his dog Faith all other characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Archived in
Short Fiction by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

Faith Loses a Friend

Parents please note: Because this is a story about drug detection this particular fictional story about Ken and his dog Faith, may require parental guidance for your child.

1931032_36129957313_9434_n-impThe day began with rain setting in just after dawn. The roof over the back porch where Faith slept leaked with a constant drip echoing through her dreams. Breakfast was unappetizing. She washed it down with mouthfuls of water from her bowl.

Ken met her at the gate and opened the front passenger door of his twin cab utility. His Australian Border Security uniform looked impressive as usual but it somehow saddened her this morning. She sighed heavily.

‘Come on girl, you’d better sit up front today, I left the back window open last night.’

Faith kept her opinions to herself during the fifteen-minute drive to work. She just stared out the front window oblivious of the usual excitement of the windscreen wipers swishing back and forth.

‘OK, let’s go.’

Faith and Ken’s responsibility was to track down drug couriers, find hidden narcotics sent through the mail and check newly arrived shipping containers at the wharf. Today was different somehow. Faith wondered why Ken held her back from the work truck parked behind the security police offices. Instead, they headed into the lunchroom where she greeted the other officers. They joked together and tossed a ball around when the telephone was quiet. Faith particularly liked Jonesy who always brought biscuits.

Ken knelt down and rubbed Faith behind her ears. ‘We’re not going out today, girl. Sorry’.

Chief Barrymore stuck his head around the doorframe.

‘Ken, Faith,’ he called out. ‘My office.’

Faith followed Ken obediently into the office before the chief closed the door.

‘Ken’, Barrymore began, ‘it’s a sad day when I have to keep you two from your work but this is important.’ He motioned to Ken to sit before handing him a file.

‘You are aware that we had stored those drugs from last night’s bust in our unused vault here for safekeeping.’

Ken nodded his reply but didn’t look up from the file opened in his hand.

‘Some vault. The stuff vanished overnight. It’s the last time I listen to Headquarters.’

Ken head jerked up. ‘ You’re kidding?’

‘No, I’m afraid it’s no joke but something’s strange about this whole thing.’ He paused… ‘Like there had to be a tip off. How would anyone know that it would be stored here until Headquarters could pick it up this morning?’

Ken closed the file. ‘What do you want us to do, Chief?’

‘I want you and Faith to track down the culprit. Our overnight visitor didn’t leave any clues that I can see. Come with me.’ He stood and led them out the door and down a long hallway to the vault.

After Barrymore open the safe Ken peered inside and examined the dark chasm.

‘There’s no damage to the front of the safe but there’s seems to be another room… or space behind it.’

‘Yes, that is odd. I thought the rear of the vault was the outside wall. Hard to tell in these old buildings.’

‘It’s too small a gap for me.’ He turned to Faith and clicked his fingers at the opening.

With the light of Barrymore’s torch, Faith moved forward and crouched down onto her belly to crawl the short distance. She started to whimper and paw at the rear wall. Suddenly, there was a thin strip of light.

‘Stay girl.’

Ken and the chief raced outside and around the building where they saw a couple of bricks laying on the ground between their building and the next.

As they approached, Faith’s pushed her nose up against another brick causing it to fall at their feet.

Ken rubbed his finger along the mortar line around the immediate area then pulled a few more bricks aside and helped Faith through.

‘Good girl, Faith.’ Ken said before giving her a hug.

‘Clever,’ the chief said. ‘They must have balanced the bricks after removing the mortar to give the appearance that it was still intact.’

Thunder rumbled overhead as Faith sniffed  the ground around them before heading back up the path. Barrymore diverted toward the rear door of the building where a few old umbrellas leaned against the wall before following Ken and his dog.

Alerted senses led Faith to the cracked concrete car parking area before circling a place where signs of fresh oil mingled with rainwater. The murky liquid dribbled on to an area where a car must have recently parked for some time. She continued to sniff around a small puddle of oily water.

Ken appeared behind her. ‘What did you find, Faith?’

Without waiting for his pat she continued on, her nose close to the concrete. It was still raining. In fact, it was becoming a heavy downpour.

Ken wiped his hand across the top of his head and followed.

Barrymore came up behind them with an umbrella held high and shrugged. ‘It’s got to be too wet for…’ he yelled.

In the next instant she had raced off towards a car that was parked opposite the police vehicles. It was Jonesy’s car. Faith was all over the old Ford V8 in seconds. Chief Barrymore and Ken hurried over to the rear of the car where faith was barking and scratching at the boot lid.

Ken twisted his penknife into the keyhole before kicking it with the heel of his work boot. Concealed inside were the missing bags of heroin. Chief Barrymore turned and raced as fast as he could against the driving rain toward the rear door of the offices. His umbrella turned inside out with a violent rip, flew from his hold, and lodged into the fence, narrowly missing Ken struggling with the duffle bag.

In the confusion, Faith noticed Jonesy creeping around the side of the building toward one of the police cars. She bounded after him, leaving Ken to deal with the now-soaked bag.

Faith dived onto Jonesy, bringing him down hard onto the concrete. Chief Barrymore and two other officers arrived as he hit the ground. Jonesy was handcuffed and taken back inside.

Ken called to Faith as he passed carrying the duffle bag over his shoulder.

Once inside, and the drugs guarded in Barrymore’s office awaiting armoured collection, Ken wiped his face with a towel then dried Faith.

‘You did great,’ he said.

Later, when they were finally home, Ken put in an extra handful of dried biscuits into her dish and gave her a pat before heading inside to get out of his wet uniform.

Faith ate her tea hungrily and wandered off to her bed where she dreamed of biscuits that she would no longer get at coffee breaks. She would miss them and her friend Jonesy.

© Chrissy Siggee – 2018
This is a work of fiction. Except for Ken and his dog Faith all other characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Short Fiction by Chrissy at Riverside Peace