The Rocket: Page 183 Of My Spiral Notebooks

Search warrant signed.

Entry team in place.

Canine excited.

Ready to go to work.

Bark, bark, barking.

Car rocking.

Ninety pounds of bundled energy

Jumping from side to side.

This is what he lives to do.

To please me.

Door’s kicked.



“On the floor, now!”

More scuffling.

Then quiet.

Team leader out.

Followed by two masked officers.

Man handcuffed.

Head down.

Long, oily hair.

Dirty jeans.

No shoes.

Sad expression.




Worried eyes.

Team leader approaches.

“You want to let the dog search first?”

“Sure. Let’s go to work, boy.”

More jumping. Barking. Anxious eyes.

Leash taut. Ready to go.

“Find it,” was the command.

The only command needed.

He knew what to do.

He’s the boss.

Off, like a rocket.

Searching. High. Low.

Nose twitching.

So fast.

Kitchen cabinets.





Like a rocket.

A blur with fur.

Under the bed.

On the beds.

Under the covers (his favorite).

Wallowing beneath the sheets.

A dog’s personal jab at a drug dealer?

Finally, an alert on a bookcase.

Scratching, scratching, and barking.

This is it.

Remove books.

E.A. Poe, Dr. Seuss,

And tattered, worn encyclopedias.


A puzzled look at the dog.

He’s sure. Never more sure.

His eyes tell me so.

But nothing.

More scratching.

Looks at me.

Waiting. Watching. Wondering.

Why don’t I do something?

That’s what his eyes say.

Glancing back to the empty bookcase.

The empty bookcase.


What is it about an empty bookcase?

Has he finally made a mistake?

Take him outside for break.


So puzzled.

He’s never been wrong.


Back inside.

Straight to the empty bookcase.

Barking and scratching.

So excited.


A heating vent behind the bottom shelf.


“Where’s the furnace?”

“In the basement, I guess.”

“Let’s go, boy!”

Heart pounding.

Now it makes sense.

Down the steps.



Who cares.

Pulling me, hard.

Crazy with excitement.

And there it was…

200 pounds of marijuana.

Right beside the furnace blower.

He looks at me as if to say,

Now who’s stupid?

Can we please go play with my toy?

*In memory of the best partner I ever had. He was always on the smart end of the leash.

5 replies
  1. Falcocop
    Falcocop says:

    Excellent Lee, Don’t you just love these dogs. There has hardly been a time in my life when I have not had a Lab.


    “I see dead people”

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