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Pudel & Cie. – Problems Solved


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Some problems need professional help to solve. Enter Pudel & Compagnie, international problem solvers for over 300 years. Methods unique, results guaranteed…usually. Mom and Dad Pudel retire, passing the business along to their offspring— Antonio, Belvidere and Callista. Can they solve a problem for the billionaire dowager, one of whose wayward wards is being blackmailed? But why haven’t they been hired to locate the missing Carlos, the man everyone loves and no one can find? Dogs, gangsters, Sheriffs, perverts, Valley Girls, crooked doctors, well trained hounds, and nut cases romp through the case in the oddest mash-up of characters this side of a circus. If you’re a dog lover, join the team of Pudel & Cie. as they paw over the evidence and sniff out the truth to solve the problem of ‘Moroney Baloney’.

Want to know more?  Here is how it all begins.

CHAPTER ONE:   Magnus’ Magick

Once upon a long time ago, at least three hundred years before the present time, there lived a man named Magnus Pudel.

Magnus was the local wizard of a small village perched precariously on the side of a high peak on the French side of the Pyrenees, the Basque Country.

A man way ahead of his time, Magnus experimented with chants, spells, chemicals, potions, mirrors, and all forms of magic.

Since he wasn’t a farmer, shepherd, blacksmith or knight, in order to support his family he became expert at removing warts, birthing stubborn calves and babies, making love potions and getting rid of pesky spells cast by black magicians.

Magnus only believed in white magic, as he called it.  But in fact, he was a healer, knowledgeable in herbs and roots, natural medicines, setting broken bones, reducing fevers, and whatever he could possibly do to keep his patients healthy.

The local priest was his uncle, and turned a blind eye when the Catholic Church frowned on the sort of skills Magnus was famous for.  He knew Magnus was a man of good intentions and shouldn’t be punished for his kindness.  The people from the neighboring farms and villages were sorely in need of his medical skills.

But Magnus had a motive hidden behind his medicines, potions and spells.  He was sure he could create a magic elixir to prolong life.  It would bring him untold riches to help support his family.

One night he had a dream.  A deep voice spoke to him, saying, “Your name is the clue to what ye seek.”  It seemed strange to him to believe ‘Pudel’ could be the key, but he was willing to try.

Magnus read every book he could find that might mention the word or name ‘pudel.’ He finally found a reference to ‘pudelhunds,’ German hunting dogs with curly coats perfect for retrieving game from cold waters.

Gathering up what little money he had, he made the long and dangerous journey across the Pyrenees and the breadth of France, all the way to Germany.  After months of searching, he returned home with four healthy and playful pudelhund puppies.

He raised the puppies into beautiful strong dogs, then bred them again and again, sometimes adding in other dogs he found with qualities he liked, such as strength, endurance, intelligence, and kindliness of disposition.

The dogs were so funny and sweet, he couldn’t harm them, so he only took tiny samples of their blood and skin scrapings to use with his spells, elixirs and magic.

His family fell in love with the good tempered animals. Then the villagers and farmers saw how smart the dogs were and wanted them too.  Soon Magnus found he could support his family by selling the puppies.  In a few years, he had many dogs, and a booming business. People were willing to travel miles to buy Magnus’ pudels.

Still, he kept on his quest.  After years of unsuccessful experimentation, he finally had a breakthrough.  One of his concoctions actually worked, but not quite the way he expected.

He drank some of his latest attempt, a truly foul smelling liquid, and said a chant  in Basque to complete the spell.  Auto bikoitza naiz, ispilu aldatzeko me nire beste auto bat.

An odd feeling came over him—his legs changed.  Something began growing in his back nether parts.  His nose and mouth elongated together, his sense of smell became more acute, as curly hair grew on his bald pate.  When he looked in the mirror, a very large grey muzzled poodle looked back at him, and wagged its tail.

Available on Amazon and Kindle November 1, 2015

 

The Pudel family joins 5-star rated novels of A.R.Donenfeld-Vernoux.   http://bit.ly/aliceauthor

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Bad Saturday


It’s Saturday afternoon, as I begin, 3:48 in the afternoon. When I opened facebook it asked me what was on my mind. BIG mistake! Luckily, I am fortified by a XX Amber.
My plan was to leave California at 7 AM this morning, and head home to Mexico, miss the weekend beach traffic, the racetrack or any other events planned for noon on.
When I awoke, the clock said 6:48 AM. Maybe snooze until 7? I stretched out my arm and felt something odd that shouldn’t be there. Damn! One of the dogs had barfed on the bed. Not just once. Three times!
Now this is not just an ordinary bed. No, it’s the bed in the home carefully staged for sale. The home I spent the last five weeks working on. The bed with the fancy comforter and matching pillows and skirt, over which I had carefully put a sheet to keep clean. It’s summer, the dogs and I sleep with the fan on and window open; top of the quilt is fine for us.
Sigh. Nothing to do but deal with it. As I rolled over to get up, I was greeted by a floor filled with spots and mounds of poop. Either the same dog or another one had a bad case of the runs during the night. OMG! Next would be locust, I thought. I was almost right.
An hour later, the comforter and all sheets were in the dryer, the floor once again pristine. I packed the car, intending to leave when everything was dry enough to put back on the bed. Let me tell you a secret, comforters do not dry quickly. They ball up and hide the wet part inside so it never dries while the outside part of the coil looks perfect. You open it to spread on the bead, et voilá, the center part hasn’t even given a thought to drying.
It was 10:48 when I got on the road. I checked. Four hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic later, on a trip that usually takes an hour and forty-five minutes, I arrived home. When I opened the door, all was well, but I had forgotten something. When I left, I’d set off bug bombs all over the house.
Greeting me was my kitchen floor looking suspiciously like my late husband had thought it was a Caesar Salad and had his way with his beloved Moulin au Poivre. Wall-to-wall tiny black bugs—floors, counters, tables, tops of canisters, chairs—everywhere.
Okay, survived the poop and barf, bugs ain’t no big thing! Got out broom and dustpan and swept all the little buggers up. Didn’t want to put them in the house garbage so I went to dump them in the outside garbage. A five gallon empty paint pail was by the patio door. I keep it in case of fires, and took it out a few days ago when they were burning brush in the area. As I pushed it out of the way, I noticed something inside. Without my glasses it looked like a large dead leaf.
Well, no dead leaf is going to stay in my clean pail. When I reached in to toss it out, the leaf began to move in disturbing non-leaf ways. Shrieking at the top of my lungs I leapt back before it could use my arm as a ladder to freedom. A freaking mouse!
Now I’m not a little woman, and I don’t mind living alone. I’ve traveled the world for business on my own and I’ve faced armed soldiers in various countries and managed to keep my cool. But I am scared shitless of mice, and snakes. Spiders, I can deal with.
Using all the willpower I could gather, I calmed down. Alice, I said, you have alternatives. You’ve sold the shotgun so that particular one is out. You could knock the pail over and let the mouse run free. I shook my head. No, that wouldn’t work. Lorenzo, the little Yorkie-poo, has too much ratter in him. He’s already terrified friend Patria doing victory laps around the living room with a dead mouse hanging out of his mouth. She had to call me in Corsica to get instructions on how to de-mouse him with rubber gloves and barbeque tongs. I was in no mood to try and prise a dead and bloody mouse away from him, at least not today.
The next alternative was to put the pail outside the patio and hope for the best. Like the mouse would maybe get out and run the other way. As soon as I went to pick up the pail by the handle, the mouse went ballistic, flinging itself around the pail and trying to leap up and over the sides. In my direction.
Another shriek from me and a violent urge to use the facilities had me fleeing. But I have fortitude, I went back into the fray. After a little experimentation, if slowly nudged, the pail moved without making the mouse frantic. I managed to get it onto the sidewalk. That was it. Mousie was on his own.
I went back inside, finished cleaning the house, put the groceries away and made a package of garbage to take outside. As soon as I opened the patio door, there was the pail. The mouse was sitting hunched against the side looking up at me. I could almost read his mouse-thoughts, daring me to move the pail again. No kidding, I was scared. I went back to the kitchen with the garbage, and left mousie to his pail.
So, for all intents and purposes, a mouse has now laid siege to my house and I am trapped. In case you don’t see me around for a few days, you might come and take the pail away, that is, if you’re braver than I. Or, you could just look in the pail and see if the mouse got bored and left on its own. In that case, I’m certainly available for lunch as long as XX Amber is on the menu.

Mexican Patio Concert


The sliding glass door opens to my patio. Dog beds scatter the cracked stone floor while leaves skitter across, stopping only for a detour around a chair, a table, anything in their way.

Seconds ago rude birds intruded on the mornings silence in cacophony almost painful to the ears. Now it’s quiet. Cat on the prowl? The birds have no respect for the four small patio dogs, knowing their jumping skills are limited to the dining room table when no one is looking to guard a cake left in the middle, a wedge cut out perfectly for a snout to forage in.
There once was a Jack Russell Terrier on the patio who, in his youth, could snag a bird mid-flight, faster than an eye could blink he’d have a grin on his doggy face and feathers out each side of his mouth. He’s long gone, beyond bird memory, and when he was on this patio he was too old for bird-snagging, slow with arthritis and half blind with age.

No, must be a cat on the prowl.
The school across the street is quiet. No singing, no children’s voices lilting “Frere Jacques” over the fence and across the street. Quiet. Where have the birds gone?
A car passes in the street. One of those non-bird-catching dogs jumps on a tarp protecting the outdoor loveseat. It’s plastic creaks and crumples in complaint. Somewhere close, maybe a block or so away, a loud bang breaks the silence left by birds. Backfire? Firecracker? Gunshot? Neighbor dogs bark up and down the fraccionamiento, but the patio dogs are silent. They save their voices for skateboarders. The bang must be too far away, outside their zone to protect.
An electric saw rumbles nearby. Could be home repair. Maybe a new roof to brave the winter rains? Maybe a new house bringing a new family to a once empty lot. New dogs to join the Hound Chorale as they stake their verbal claim.
But cats challenge both birds and dogs in the contest of who or what makes the most noise. Late at night, on the verge of sleep, lights out and two patio dogs snuggled close, the howling, yowling, crying, screeching begins. Generally close—outside my bedroom window. For some reason unknown to me, my corner attracts skateboarders and fornicating cats. The skateboarders own the day, the cats the night. Thankfully, the dogs remain respectfully quiet when the cats sing. Perhaps they are jealous or maybe enjoy vicariously the thrill of mating. Perhaps they don’t give a fig about cats.
One day we had a feral kitten in the bushes. It was thrown there by someone. To feed the dogs? Maybe they thought with four dogs one cat wouldn’t be noticed?
Two days, two friends, many scratches and several cat traps later this three-quarter pound angry soul was out of the planter and into a home where it was appreciated. Neither the dogs nor I appreciate cats. It was cute, as kittens can be. No thanks.
Still no birds. An occasional car. Children’s voices chatter far in the distance. A loudspeaker on a truck chants its presence in and out of hearing. The saw quiets.

My coffee cup is empty. Time to take a shower. No patio concert to miss.