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Dog Diaries

The Holiday Hounds Bring Christmas Cheer - part 4

by Ron Powell

~~The news traveled far
and the news traveled fast.
The changes were big
But how long would they last?

The people warmed up
to Christmas’ fire,
but what Christmas Events,
would the stories inspire?

Somewhere in the city, a man opened the morning edition of the City Paper. He read three of the articles, refolded his paper and put it back down on the desk in front of him. He reached for the phone and made a call.


My editor called me early, waking me up way earlier than normal. Bo hadn't even started whimpering for his breakfast yet and his stomach was a very reliable alarm clock indeed. "hellowhaddyawant?" Did I mention that I'm not exactly a morning person?

"You're not going to believe this. The phones are ringing off the hook. Your story about the Greyhound and the Angel? We're getting calls about huge anonymous donations to charities in the name of the Angel and the Greyhound, stories of kindness to strangers, sightings of the Greyhound and the Angel, it's amazing. This sort of thing doesn't happen much. The mayor called a press conference today. He wants to name today the official "Greyhound and the Angel Day" in the city. But here's the kicker. I got a phone call asking to speak to you. Some Lawyer. Only, I don't give out my office line so I figure this guy is pretty connected, right? He wants to talk to you. Didn't say why. I wouldn't give him your number, but I took his down and told him I'd talk to you about it. You game?"

All I really got out of the conversation was that some hotshot lawyer wanted me to call him. "Yeah, ok. Send me the number."

Bo decided that early breakfast would be just fine by him, so we both got up and headed to the kitchen. While Bo was daintily drinking his water, the phone beeped. The boss texted me the number to call. I did what came naturally to me, just then. I dialed the number.

"Hello. You're the reporter, I presume?"

"Yes," I replied. Eloquence isn't a strong suit of mine before 9am.

"I read your articles this morning, as did my client. My client contacted me and wished to know from where you adopted your Greyhound."

I told him all about my adoption group and gave him contact info. "Does your client want to adopt a Greyhound?"

"He didn't advise me of his intentions. Thank you for your help."

And the line went dead. It was kind of weird, but I had certainly had weirder conversations in the past. I shrugged and decided that maybe I'd try to contact the guy later and see if he was more forthcoming. For now, though, Bo had that distinct look that said it was definitely potty time.

When I returned, I had a text from my boss saying the national syndicate wanted to reprint the story. I was going coast to coast.

A short while later, I got a last text from my editor. The BBC was going to launch the story all over Europe tomorrow. Not bad for a beat reporter and a Greyhound.


"Lilly, I do hope you will forgive me for calling you so early and at home. Normally, I'd never take such a liberty, but I must ask, have you seen the morning paper?"

"Dr. Stern? No, it's fine you called me. Paper? I don't get the paper. I have the internet for news."

"Well, Lilly. You and Jack made the front page and a couple more besides!"

"Wait, what?"

"A reporter picked up your story and it's not only headline news, there are three articles about you and Jack. They're calling you the Greyhound and the Angel."

"Is this some sort of prank?" Lilly asked. "It's too early for jokes, Dr. Stern."

"It is certainly no joke, Lilly. Get the paper, read it for yourself. I encourage you to contact the paper and tell them you're the one they're talking about. They think you're a hero, you and Jack, and you should be recognized for your good deeds!"

"I'll get a paper, but I will absolutely not contact anyone. I don't need or want that sort of attention. It probably isn't even us they're thinking about. We didn't do anything but help a few people out."

"May I..."

"NO. I mean NO. ENN OH. NO. This will be our little secret. Ok?"

"Yes, Lilly, I will respect your wishes but I don't agree with them."

Lilly hung up the phone, opened her front door and stole her neighbors’ newspapers. She was nearly panicking at the thought that someone might think she was some sort of hero. Then she read the paper.


The phone rang at GHC. Ms. Lisa answered. After a few pleasantries, Ms. Lisa learned that a ballroom had been rented and that an anonymous donor wished to throw a Black and White Masqued Ball in honor of the Angel and the Greyhound. All of the adopters were invited, could she provide a headcount and guest list for invitations? Also, if any of the adopters needed tuxedo or dress rentals, they had been arranged with several locations, a list of which would follow by email - the costs of which were, of course, already handled. Of course, their Greyhounds must attend, too.


Over the next couple days, invitations showed up in mailboxes. Dad opened theirs and immediately handed it over to Mom. "Well, honey, looks like we need a babysitter. We're going to a Black and White Ball!"

"Um, did we want to talk about this?"

"Nope. Get a babysitter for the kids, we're taking Prince and Lady for a night out on the town!"

Prince and Lady signaled their acceptance of the plan by changing places on the couch.


Lilly opened her invitation. She began to feel a level of panic, the likes of which she hadn't felt since before starting sessions with Dr. Stern. She quickly typed an email to him. His reply said that even though it was highly irregular, since Lilly had specifically asked him to be present in his role as her therapist, he'd be honored to accompany her and Jack if they decided to go, but Lilly should embrace the night and use the experience to further her already astoundingly good progress. Her one line reply was "pick me up at 6:30pm."


I opened my invitation. I asked myself if this could be related to the call I made the other day. I dialed the number. It wasn't in service anymore. Something was up, and Bo and I were going to be in on the scoop. I called one of the listed tuxedo rental places and arranged for a fitting, post haste.

That wondrous things had occurred,
The world over soon knew.
Christmas Spirit was growing
But there were things left to do.

The game was afoot,
the ball was in play.
Christmas Cheer waxed
With each passing day.


Greyhounds aren't just dogs, they are a way of life!