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By Thomas F. O'Neill

Officer Cujo

John Pittman would never consider himself as being exceptional because in his minds eye he knows he is average. When it comes to sports, grades, and his appearance he does not standout. He is the guy that everyone overlooks because nothing he does gives people the impression that he is an outstanding person. The reason being deep down inside he believes he is average and everyone around him concurs with those beliefs. He cannot understand or he failed to learn that you are what you think you are in life.

He is also pressured to live up to his family name due to his grandfather being a retired Captain on the local police force and highly decorated. His father is a Lieutenant on the same police force and also decorated for exceptional valor. John has always felt as if he has been a disappointment to them and that he cannot live up to their expectations of what they would like him to be in life.

He told his father after graduating high school that he would like to be a police officer and although he had mediocre grades his father and grandfather helped him get accepted into the police academy. On the day he entered the academy he felt as if he was walking in the shadow of his family name and in the back of his mind he wondered if he was cut from the same cloth and if he could live up to his father and grandfathers heroic reputations.

On his first day in the academy he walked down a long corridor and along the walls were photographs of police officers that sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. He read the small biographies under each picture outlining the heroism of those brave and exceptional officers.

John was moved to tears by the valor and heroic act of Officer John O’Conner who pulled a little girl out of a burning building. He was so severely burned that he died two days later in a hospital burn unite. The little girl only had minor burns due to Officer O’Conner covering her with his coat while working his way through the burning flames.

He read and was moved by the exceptional valor of Sergeant Jonathan Cruze who threw himself in front of a shotgun blast to save a woman and her two children after responding to a domestic disturbance call. The women’s husband then took his own life with the same shotgun after attempting to kill his wife and children and fatally wounding officer Cruze. He wondered after reading the biographies of 21 fallen officers if he truly had what it takes to give up ones life to save the life of another.

The academy instructors saw something in John that he did not see in himself--his desire to go the extra mile to help others and his ability to be a team player. They did not care about his family ties and they went out of their way to help him get through the academy because they knew he had what it takes to be a good police officer.

The first five years on the police force went quickly for John and he only had a few minor infractions. He did not do anything that caught the eye of his superiors as being all that extraordinary or exceptional. He took the sergeants exam twice and was turned over and he pretty much accepted the fact that he would never rise above the rank of corporal.

He got along with all of his partners who pretty much viewed him as kind of a jokester and a bit of a comedian at heart. He enjoyed making people laugh and he had a tendency to make the shift go by quickly. His best quality was his unique ability to rise above adversity through humor. His being a bachelor showed due to his habit of showing up for work in an un-pressed uniform which he was written up for on several occasions by his superiors. He rarely landed dates; it was as though he was entering the arena with the expectation of failing rather then winning, and that was what he communicated to the opposite sex and those around him. His deep seated belief was that he would not amount to much in life.

He also lived from paycheck to paycheck. Going out with his fellow officers after the 3pm to midnight shift to hit the local establishments made it even more difficult to get by. He heard rumors of police officers being on the take to help make ends meet, but he figured he was never approached by those officers because of his father being a Lieutenant with an impeccable reputation.

“We need someone to volunteer to be a K-9 officer,” said Captain Hammand during roll call. “If anyone is interested, see me at the end of roll call.”

“So you think you can handle being a K-9 Officer, Pittman,” said Captain Hammand in his office. “You have difficulty ironing your uniform--what makes you think you have the responsibility to care for a German Shepard? That dog is going to be your partner--it is going to eat with you, work with you, and you are going to have to care for that dog's needs.”

“I will do that sir,” said Officer Pittman. “I won’t let you down, Sir, I am single, and I could use a companion.”

“Alright report to the academy tomorrow at 8am sharp for nine weeks of training with your new partner,” said the captain.

John immediately bonded with his new partner and he named him Cujo. During the nine weeks of training, Cujo learned various commands and how to apprehend suspects with appropriate force. John was impressed by the sheer power and strength of Cujo as he was being trained to bring down suspects. “He is being trained to put the fear of God in people who are dumb enough to resist arrest with Cujo as your backup” the instructor told him.

His new partner was trained to grab the suspects’ arm or leg with his mouth without continuously biting the person to force the person to the ground. When the person is forced to the ground Cujo would then place a non-deadly grip on the person’s throat to frighten and to hold the person in place. This maneuver forces the suspect to comply while being placed under arrest. “The thought of Cujo’s teeth on the person’s throat holding the person to the ground would send shivers down anyone’s spine,” the instructor told him. “He could easily kill the person by ripping their throat out but he won’t do that because he is a police officer.”

The nine weeks went by quickly and Officer Pittman had a dog door installed on the back door of his home so that Cujo could go out in the back yard. Their bond also grew stronger as he took Cujo everywhere with him even to the local bars at night after his shift. The bar owners made an exception due to Cujo being a Police dog.

“You take Cujo to church with you?” Officer Jones asked John. Officer Jones, a new officer fresh out of the academy, was being trained by Officer Pittman. They were in a squad car responding to a Domestic call. Cujo was lying in a dog crate secured by a seat belt in the back seat.

“Yea I take him everywhere, we're Partners,” John said.

“Does he go into the confessional?” asked Officer Jones

“The Priest doesn’t mind. Cujo can do everything but receive communion because he is not confirmed,” said John.

“You need serious help, man,” said Officer Jones.

“Yea, I bring him in there, but he doesn’t have anything to confess,” said John.

“You need to get yourself a woman, man,” said Officer Jones.

John gets along well with is neighbors and they like the idea of a police officer living near them. Cujo is always the topic of conversation especially among the young kids who like to pet him as he gets in and out of the squad car. Little Lindsay, his neighbor who just turned seven was fascinated that a police dog lived next door to her. She liked coming over to John's house to play with Cujo in the back yard.

John knew his house needed a lot of work when he bought the place but he ignored it because he didn’t have the money to put into fixing the place up. He was living from paycheck to paycheck and so he had to put up with the electrical problems, the lack of insulation in the basement, and the furnace going out every winter. John also had a used washer and drier in his basement and he noticed that the washer leaked every time he washed clothes which would leave a puddle of water on the basement floor.

One day he was drinking a cup of coffee after his shift while the washer and drier was running in the basement. The lights began to flicker on and off. The power then went out completely in his home. Like many times before, he walked out to his squad car grabbed a flash light from the trunk and went into the basement to check the fuse box.

John was stunned “Oh God no!!!!” he screamed. He saw Cujo lying in a puddle of water not breathing. He started doing chest compressions and then he quickly got up and ran to his neighbor’s house pounding on their door.

“Please help me get my dog to a hospital,” he asked as tears streamed down his face.

His neighbor continued chest compressions on Cujo in the back of the squad car. Lights were flashing and sirens blaring as John raced to the nearby hospital. Little Lindsay was in the front passenger seat, “Breathe, Cujo,” she kept saying as tears rolled down her face.

“This isn’t a Veterinary Clinic,” said the emergency room Doctor.

“You have to help him he's a police Dog,” said John.

“We’re not equipped to take care of a German Sheppard,” said the Doctor.

“He’s not breathing” yelled John’s neighbor, “can’t you at least try, and save the Dog it is a Police Dog.”

“Please help him, Please,” said Lindsay.

“Do you know what’s wrong with the Dog?” asked the Doctor.

“I think he was electrocuted in my basement,” John said.

“This is going against my better judgment,” said the Doctor.

In the emergency room they placed a tube down Cujo’s throat to help him breath and they shocked his heart. Slowly his heart began to beat and he took a breath on his own.

“He was without air for a long time he most likely suffered some permanent brain damage but he is breathing on his own now,” said the Doctor. “You are going to have to get your dog to a Veterinary Clinic because he is still unconscious and he my never regain consciousness.”

“Thank you for everything you done,” said John.

Lindsay, walked over and gave the Doctor a hug.

John drove an hour to a Veterinary research Hospital and explained to the Veterinarian assistant what happened to Cujo and he stayed there all night with him. The next day a Veterinarian told John that he is better off putting his Dog down.

“He is a Police Dog Doctor can we just see if he comes too,” said John.

“It is very expensive to keep an animal here for that amount of care,” said the Doctor. “He most likely has severe brain damage and it would be cruel to have him suffer like that.”

“Please let’s just wait and see if he comes to,” John said.

John telephoned his lieutenant and explained to him what happened to Cujo. His lieutenant telephoned him back a few hours later. “The Captain said if Cujo doesn’t come too in a few days you are going to have to put him down,” the lieutenant told John.

John disobeyed direct orders because he didn’t have the heart to put his Dog down. He went back to work and gave his superiors the impression that Cujo was dead and buried. Every morning he got up early and drove an hour to spend time with Cujo and a few weeks later Cujo came out of his coma. John noticed right away that Cujo was not the same Dog. It took Cujo a few weeks to respond to verbal commands and he would growl and bark for no reason.

“He most likely has suffered some sort of brain damage but we won’t know that for sure until we run tests,” said the Doctor. “How are you going to pay for the tests?”

“Run the test I will see what I can do,” said John.

A week later the Doctor told John “we waited to see if there was any changes in your Dog’s behavior before we ran the tests.”

“He is still not acting normal,” said John. “But I am noticing improvements every day.”

“Your dog will never be the same dog, but with your permission we would like to use him in our research facility and it won’t cost you anything,” said the Doctor. “You won’t have to worry about the cost of his medical care for the time he has been here either.”

“What is going on and what is the catch,” said John.

“Come with me and I will show you,” said the Doctor as they walked down a long corridor into a back Office.

The Doctor placed a large image of a brain scan on a large florescent light fixture. “This is an image of a normal brain of a German Shepard,” the Doctor began to point to red areas on the image. “These area’s are active in a normal dogs brain the areas are red because they are the most active. The other areas are not as active and we are not quite sure what these less active areas in a dog’s brain are used for. Normal dogs rely on their senses like, smell, hearing, and eyesight, and that is why these areas on the brain scan are red. Most dogs are able to pick up their masters emotions and understand their owners intuitively but we don’t know what areas in the dogs brain causes that.” The Doctor placed another brain image on the light fixture, “this is your Dog's brain,” pointing out that most of the brain image is red.

“What does that mean,” said John.

“The reason we want to study your Dog is that he is using most of his brain,” said the Doctor. “We've never seen that before and we would like to see what your Dog is capable of and what changes are going to take effect in your Dog.”

“I thought the shock damaged his brain,” said John.

“It did but if we can understand what happened to him we might be able to help your Dog better,” said the Doctor. “it might be an asset because your Dog is using more of his brain than a normal Dog, and over time he will be able to do more then a normal dog.”

“How long will you keep him,” said John.

“We would like to run more tests next door in our research facility,” said the Doctor.

Over time changes began to take place in Cujo changes that seemed quite remarkable.

“We think the reason Cujo is acting differently is because he is like a receptor he is picking up peoples thoughts and emotions in a super charged and a super heightened awareness state,” said the Doctor.

“Is there anything I can do to help him,” said John.

“Well you are going to notice things, remarkable things, and I would like you to keep a Journal of everything that takes place out of the ordinary,” said the Doctor. “Every two weeks bring him in for further tests.”

One of the Doctors assistants came over and said to John, “Keep in mind that our thoughts, emotions, and what we consider as consciousness is energy. Cujo is picking up that energy and he is getting confused because he doesn’t understand what it all means.”

“But over time Cujo will learn what it all means that is what we are hoping to study,” said the Doctor.

“Take him back to work and let him learn through trial and error,” said the Doctors assistant.

“Well that is if I still have a job once my Captain finds out that Cujo is still alive,” said John.

John knocked on the Captain's office door, “Can I talk to you, sir?”

“Yea make it quick,” said the Captain. “Why are you wearing your K-9 overalls?”

“That is what I wanted to talk to you about sir,” said John.

“Look I know the loss of your Dog was traumatic and all, but it is going to be awhile before you get assigned back to the K-9 Division,” said the Captain. “Look, what happened to your Dog was partially negligence on your part.”

“Sir, Cujo is alive, sir,” said John.

“Cujo? You mean your Dog!? Where the hell was he for two months? on vacation!!!?” said the Captain in an angry voice.

“Sir, he was recuperating in an animal hospital,” said John. “He is ready to come back to work now.”

“Well that is just dandy. He could come back to work in two weeks,” The Captain yelled in an angry voice.

“Two weeks, sir?” asked John.

“Yea, he could come back to work after your two week suspension for lying to your superior Officer,” said Captain Hammand.

As John was taking Cujo out of his squad car little Lindsay came running over, “Cujo you're all better!” Cujo jumped up, put his paws on her shoulders, and licked her cheek. “I am glad you’re ok, Cujo, I was worried about you,” she said giggling from Cujo licking her. “Can I take him to the park?” she asked John.

“Sure but be careful because he is not completely better,” said John.

“Come on Cujo,” Lindsay turned and ran towards the road as a car was speeding by. Cujo grabbed the back of Lindsay’s pants and pulled her back from running into the street. “Hey now, cut that out,” she said.

Lindsay father who witnessed the whole thing yelled “Lindsay you know better than to run in the middle of the street!!”

“That is one hell of a Dog you got there, John,” said his neighbor, “I am glad he is ok.”

Two weeks later Captain Hammand announced in roll call that Cujo was back from medical leave.

“I need yas to keep an eye open for a blue Van because we have been receiving reports that a blue Van has been following school Buses and going into housing developments where there's a lot of children,” said the Captain.

“So Cujo’s back,” said Officer Jones as he and John were responding to a Domestic call. “I thought he was dead?”

“No, he was hurt really bad electric shock it took him a long time to recover,” said John.

John moved Cujo into the front seat and put the window down part way “I will be back, Cujo,” John said.

John and Officer Jones went into an apartment complex to check out the address from the Domestic call. “How many of these Domestic calls have you responded to since you been on the force,” Officer Jones asked John. “A lot,” said John. “Most of the calls we get are Domestic calls.”

As they were walking up a flight of stairs in the apartment building a young teenager looked down the flight of stares and thought Officer Jones and Officer Pitman were conducting a drug raid in the building. The Teenager ran into one of the apartments and told a gang of teenagers, “It’s the Police.”

At the same time Cujo was restless in the Police crueser and he took his paw and used it to pull the door handle inside the car and he pushed the door open. At the same time a mother was walking her little boy down the street. The little boy was looking directly at the police car when he saw Cujo get out of the car and push the car door closed.

“Mommy, that doggy opened that police car door and closed it," said the little boy.

“Come on, I don’t have time for this nonsense, Dushan,” she said to her son grabbing him by the arm.

Officer Jones stopped to tie his shoe lace and John said to him, “You know the whole time I had Cujo I think I only used him about three times.”

Cujo ran to the back of the apartment building and up the back stairs. A man stepped out of an apartment with a shotgun and right when he was about to blow Officer Jones away Cujo jumped him from behind and clenched his teeth into the back of the man's neck.

The man screamed in fear, not knowing what was happening to him and feeling Cujo’s teeth clenching the back of his neck. He screamed, “I’m sorry please don’t kill me.”

A young teenager holding a pistol stepped out of the apartment and just when he was ready to shoot Cujo, Officer Jones with his Pistol raised said, “You shoot that Dog I will blow your head off.”

Officer Pittman radioed for back up. It was a huge bust--about three hundred thousand dollars in drugs was seized and four hundred thousand dollars in cash.

“Why didn’t you call for back up before you raided that apartment,” Captain Hammand asked Officer Jones and Officer Pittman in his office the next day.

“Sir, we were responding to a domestic at a different address and the guy jumped out of the apartment with a shotgun,” said Officer Pittman.

“If it wasn’t for Cujo we would both be dead,” said Officer Jones.

“Well I am putting accommodations in both of your personnel files. That is good police work,” said Captain Hammand. “Since you guys work so well together, I want you two to be partners permanently.”

“Sir, what about Cujo?” said Officer Pittman.

“He can partner up with yas,” said Captain Hammand.

On a Saturday afternoon Lindsay came to John’s home and walked into his bedroom and woke him up from a deep sleep.

“Can I take Cujo to the park to play Baseball,” she asked John.

“Sure but don’t give him any food,” John said to her.

At the park a group of kids broke up into teams but they noticed one of the teams was a player short. “Take Cujo,” one of the kids said, “he could be an outfielder.”

Billy Upstand, a fourth grader, hit a fly ball and Cujo ran back in centerfield turned and caught the ball in his mouth. He then raced to third base tagging a kid out and with the ball still in his mouth he raced to home plate and sat on it. The pitcher Jimmy Stuart, a fifth grader, stood on the pitcher's mound staring at Cujo in disbelief of what he just witnessed.

Johnny Highland, who is a heavy set sixth grader and who was the oldest kid, said to Billy the Pitcher, “Cujo sure is fast.”

“Too bad he can’t bat,” said Billy.

“We can make him a designated runner,” Johnny said.

When it came time for Johnny to bat he said to Cujo, “When I hit the ball, Cujo, you run, Ok?” Cujo barked and sat down behind the catcher. Johnny hit a ground ball and Cujo took off and ran to first base then around to second. The center fielder picked up the ball and threw it to the pitcher who in turn threw the ball to the Catcher. Cujo took off from second and stole third base and when the Catcher threw the ball to the pitcher Cujo once again took off and stole home.

“You’re sure a good baseball player Cujo,” Lindsay said to him as they were walking home.

As Billy was having dinner with his family he told them about Cujo. “He plays baseball and he’s good,” said Billy.

“That’s nice dear,” said his mother as she was putting food on the table.

“There is nothing wrong with a good game of baseball,” said his father while reading the Newspaper.

“A Dog?” said his older brother laughing at him.

“It's true I tellya!!!! he plays baseball,” said Billy upset at his brother for laughing at him.

A few weeks later Officer Pittman stopped at a bank before going to work and he told Cujo to wait in the car. A beautiful woman with a designer handbag walked passed the car and a man snatched her purse and ran down the street. Cujo opened the car door from the inside with his paw and ran out of the car after the purse snatcher. He caught the man and forced him to the ground. He then forced the man to let go of the purse. Cujo then picked the purse up with his mouth and returned it to the women, “what an amazing Dog you are,” she said to him.

As John returned to the Car, the women asked him while petting Cujo on the head, “is this your dog?”

“Well he is my partner; he is a Police Dog,” said John unaware that Cujo retrieved the woman's purse.

“He is amazing,” she said.

As John was getting into the car he said, “Cujo, why can’t I have that effect on women.”

A few weeks later in Roll call Captain Hammand once again reminded the Officers to keep an eye open for a blue Van that might be tied to Child Abductions.

The next day was John’s day off and he rented a few movies to watch that day. While watching a movie little Lindsay came by to take Cujo to the Park. On the way to the Park Cujo started growling and he barked at Lindsay and took off running. He ran three blocks and jumped on a man standing near a blue Van. The man started screaming, “get him off me.” Cujo pinned the man down to the ground by the throat.

A neighbor hearing the commotion and the man’s scream ran into his home and grabbed a shotgun out of his closet. The driver of the van seeing his friend being mauled by a large dog grabbed a gun out of the van’s glove compartment. One of the young kids told their uncle holding the shotgun “that’s Cujo, Uncle Bill, he's a police dog.”

The driver of the van came running around the side of the van to shoot Cujo. “Drop the gun,” said the man holding the shotgun, "he’s a police dog."

Lindsay ran back to tell Officer Pittman that Cujo had some guy pinned to the ground. John put Lindsay in his Police Cruiser and he drove to the scene. “I stopped that fella from shooting your dog,” said the man holding a shotgun.

“Cujo plays baseball with us,” said Johnny, the man’s nephew.

“Do you mind if I take a look inside your van,” said Officer Pittman to the van driver.

“Not without a warrant,” said the driver.

“Cujo, let him up,” said John.

“Have you ever seen this van before?” John asked the man holding the shotgun.

“No, I don’t know them,” he said.

Cujo started barking at the rear van door and as the driver walked around to the rear of the van, Cujo jumped up and grabbed the driver's arm to stop him from shooting Officer Pittman. Officer Pittman cuffed the two men together and radioed for back up. Inside the van was a little girl stripped down to her underwear with duct tape on her mouth. She was chained to the inside of the van. There was a digital camera inside the van with numerous photographs saved on the cameras memory card. The little girl lived two blocks from where the van had been parked, and she was traumatized.

“They told me I could play with their puppy,” she told Officer Pittman crying.

The little boy Johnny who played baseball with Cujo recognized the little girl because they go to the same school. He ran down the street and got the girl's Mother. When she saw her daughter sitting in the Police car she grabbed her and said “thank god, you’re all right, sweetie.”

“Cujo saved her,” said Johnny.

When Officer Pittman went over to his Cruiser to get plastic bags and gloves to bag the evidence from the van, other Police cars arrived including his Captain. When the officers were talking to the Captain, Cujo chomped down on the abductor's legs, one at a time.

“Hey!!!” they screamed, “get this dog away from us.”

“Hey, shut the hell up,” said the Captain.

“The dog bit us,” said one of the abductors.

“I’m standing right here I didn’t see him bite you,” said the man holding the shotgun and winking at Cujo.

“Whose gun is that?” the Captain asked the man holding the shotgun.

“It’s my gun, officer,” he said.

“Well put it away, we don’t want anyone getting shot,” said the Captain.

“What are you doing out here?” the Captain asked John.

"I only live a few blocks up the street and Cujo spotted the van," John told him.

“This was Cujo’s arrest,” the Captain asked him sarcastically. “Even though it’s your day off, I still want the arrest report on my desk first thing in the morning,” said the Captain. “Overall good job, Officer Pittman.”

“Sir, I can’t take credit for this it was Cujo that nabbed them,” said John.

The girl's Mother came over to John and said, “thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“Thank Cujo,” John said

The women went over to Cujo and petted him on the head and thanked him.

The next day two detectives told John that he made a good arrest but they were concerned that the abductors have another girl. The digital camera that was recovered in the van had a picture on it of a little girl chained to a wall taken one hour before they were arrested. The detectives told John that “the perps lawyered up and they are not cooperating.” The detectives told John who the little girl is in the picture and he found out later that the little girl is in his neighbor Lindsay’s class.

The next day was a Saturday and John asked Lindsay’s father if he could take Lindsay to the missing girl’s home with Cujo. He told him that Cujo might be able to pick up the missing girl's scent. His neighbor didn’t have a problem with his daughter helping him. When they arrived at the girl's home, no one was there. Cujo walked around to the girl's back yard and sniffed a pair of the little girl's sneakers on their back porch.

“Do you think Cujo can find her,” Lindsay asked John.

“I sure hope so,” said John.

That evening Cujo went out into the back yard and barked. Lindsay hearing Cujo, went over to her bedroom window and opened it. “What's wrong, Cujo,” she said. Cujo barked again and she said, “I will come down.”

Lindsay went out the back door of her house and let Cujo out of his back yard. She followed him for two hours. “Cujo” she said “I am really tiered. Do you know were Amy is?”

Cujo barked again and continued walking; they came to what looked like an abandoned house. Cujo barked and entered the house with Lindsay following him. In the back of the house was a room that was locked and Cujo once again began to bark. Lindsay unlocked the door with the key that was tied to the door handle and when she opened it she saw a little girl chained to a wall. “How am I going to unchain her, Cujo?” she said.

Lindsay saw keys hanging on a wall in the kitchen and she tried each key until one worked on the little girl's shackles. “How did you find me, Lindsay?” Amy asked her.

Cujo started getting restless and he barked and led the two girls out of the abandoned house. He then led them towards a pay phone a block away. A man called out to Amy, “What are you doing out, Amy?”

“That is one of them that grabbed me,” she said.

Cujo remained calm and when the man walked over to the girls he Jumped up and grabbed the man by the throat. The man pulled out a knife and stabbed Cujo and he let out a loud yelp. Cujo bit down on the man’s neck harder and the man dropped the knife.

Lindsay got on the pay phone, “I don’t have any change, Amy.” Cujo barked and began pulling on the man’s pants pocket. Cujo clamped back down on the man’s throat and Lindsay went over to them to pull change out of the man’s pocket.

Two men came by and saw Cujo on top of a man holding him down by the throat with blood all over the ground from Cujo’s stab wound. Lindsay at the same time was pulling change out of the man’s pocket. “It's ok, he is a Police Dog and this guy is a bad guy,” Lindsay told them. The two men turned and ran down the street in fear.

“I don’t know where I am, Daddy,” Lindsay told her father on the phone. “Cujo is hurt and Amy is with us. Cujo saved her, Daddy, and he has a bad guy on the ground.”

“Don’t hang up, Lindsay,” he told her. Lindsay's father ran next door to get Officer Pittman. Officer Pittman got the Phone number off of Lindsay’s father's Caller ID and the Phone Company gave him the location of the payphone.

John got in his cruiser with Lindsay’s father and he radioed for backup. He apprehended the suspect and he handed him over to another officer so that he could take Cujo to the Veterinary Clinic. The Veterinarian stitched up Cujo’s wound and he told John that Cujo lost a lot of blood but he should pull through.

Lindsay's father asked her “Lindsay, how did you wind up all the way out to where Amy was?”

“I just followed Cujo he brought me to her,” she said.

Lindsay’s father asked John “how did he do that?” “He has never been the same since he was electrocuted,” John said.

The next day the Captain told John in roll call, “I want to see you in my office after roll call.”

“This is Amy's mother--the Mother of the little girl you found,” said the Captain to John in his office.

“I wanted to thank you for finding her,” she said.

“It was her friend Lindsay and Cujo that found her. I got there after she was found,” he said.

After Amy’s Mother left the Captain’s office the Captain asked John, “How was that little girl found?”

“I am telling you the truth, Captain, it was Cujo. I can’t take credit for it,” he told the Captain.

“Look the press is all over this story,” said the Captain. “You’re the K-9 officer, you have to take credit for it,” he told him. “How will it look in the press? Our top detectives couldn’t solve this case but a police dog went out on its own and solved the case with a 7 year old girl. I am not going to have our detectives made a mockery in the Newspapers.”

“Captain, you hear about cases like this all the time--dogs have heightened senses," said John.

“Get out of my office,” the Captain said to him.

A few weeks later in roll call the Captain again told John, “I want to see you in my office after roll call.”

“Did you catch the morning edition,” the Captain asked him in his office.

“No sir, I usually catch it online after work,” he told the Captain. “Anything interesting, sir.”

“Oh yes, it’s about a Police Dog that plays Baseball. His picture is right on the front page,” he yelled. A couple officers stopped what they were doing outside of the Captains office as the Captain began yelling louder. “That little girl Lindsay gave her account of how Cujo saved the little girl in the van and Amy at that abandoned house. There are even pictures of Cujo catching fly balls and stealing home plate,” he yelled.

“Captain, I can’t stop Cujo from recreating on his own time,” said John.

“Are you being a wise ass with me,” the Captain yelled.

“No sir,” said John. “Look at it this way, Captain, it is good PR for the Department.”

“Since when are you the Public Relations officer,” he yelled.

“Captain, I didn’t know they were going to do a story on Cujo. I wasn’t even notified,” John said.

“You better keep a tight leash on that Dog of yours if you know what’s good for you,” the Captain yelled at him.

Cujo’s abilities have only increased over time and the Department had no choice but to promote Officer Pittman to the rank of Detective due to the Department's inability to explain how cases were being solved. Detective John Pittman was forced to take credit for Cujo’s remarkable abilities and he and his partner have become a media favorite. The media exposure helped John land dates and several marriage proposals. He eventually met and married one of Cujo’s baseball fans. He married the Newspaper reporter who did the story on Cujo for the local newspaper.

National news stories about Cujo’s Baseball abilities led to Captain Hammand taking an early retirement. John’s partner is still with the Police force and playing baseball with the neighborhood children on his off time. John and Officer Jones are now senior Detectives with the special cases unit which was set up due to Cujo’s knack of solving difficult cases. John and his wife have two children and they are currently working on a book which has become a family project.

With love,
Thomas F. O'Neill

Click on author's byline for bio.

Yahoo Screen Name for chatting online: introspective777


Other writings of Thomas F. O'Neill can be found at the links below under the Screen Name Introspective:


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