The Lost German Shepherd is the sixth novella in the Lost and Found Pets series. Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.
Alex’s world has been turned upside down. Her new-found siblings have invaded her life, her boyfriend has mysteriously left town, and someone has been following her. When her own dog disappears, she knows something dangerous is going on.
Alex calls in every favor and uses every resource to gather clues that will lead to her cherished pet. She will break all the rules to solve the mystery of the lost German Shepherd.
Sitting at the desk, I checked messages. Our office hours are nine to five Monday through Friday, but pets go missing at all hours of the day. I check messages even when we are closed. We hadn’t had any all weekend, so I was surprised to find we had three.
I was working on putting the information in our database when the door opened, and Claire walked in. Claire is everything I’m not. She’s short, blonde, and a little chubby while I’m tall with auburn hair and a lean runner’s build. Claire is also friendly, supportive, and outgoing. Words no one would ever use to describe me.
“Morning,” she said in her chipper voice.
I nodded and continued working while she bustled around talking about her kids and the drive to my house. A few minutes later, the door opened again, and Eddie walked in carrying his King Charles cocker spaniel, Daisy. I frowned.
Eddie is in his late sixties. He had retired a couple of years ago but started working for me part-time because our caseload had increased, and he was bored. Normally, Eddie only came in when we needed the extra help. I hadn’t called him yet.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
Eddie grinned, sat Daisy on the floor, and continued over to his desk. He was a stout man with deep-set brown eyes and a square face. He shaved his head and had a scary smile. Eddie looked tough and was handy to have around.
“I asked him to come in,” Claire said in her mom voice.
It was a tone she used when she expected an argument but wasn’t willing to engage. I wasn’t one of her kids, so it didn’t work on me. I gave her a look and sat back in the chair.
She huffed out a breath. “You were in a car accident on Friday, Alex. I checked the messages this morning before I left the house. Three cases are a lot for one person especially one who is still hurting.”
“I would’ve called him myself,” I muttered under my breath and returned to the computer.
Claire returned to hers and silence reigned for a few minutes. Claire took over inputting the information from the messages and called the first client. Eddie took the second, and I contacted the one who had requested Hero.
Our agency offers two types of searches. The basic search is where we canvass a neighborhood, call vets, animal shelters and rescue groups, post on social media, and supply a flyer and ad campaign. Things a pet owner could do themselves but either don’t have the inclination or the time. The advanced search is when we do all that and add Hero into the mix. Hero is my specially trained search-and-rescue dog.
The woman who wanted Hero to search for her missing cat had a doctor’s appointment and wouldn’t be available until ten. She asked me to meet her at her house at that time. Eddie left to conduct the neighborhood searches on the other two animals, and Claire started making calls.
As I had some time before I needed to leave, I started going through my email backlog. I had been in and out of the office most of last week and had only answered or read emails that needed my immediate attention. I was scrolling through the list when I came across one from with the subject Zack Conner.
Recently, I had hired a woman by the name of Yvonne Diaz to paint several rooms in my house. Yvonne had been friendly and professional. I had felt a kinship with her. Two women trying to make a living in a male-dominated profession. She and her team had done an excellent job, but toward the end, Yvonne had started acting differently. On the last day of the job, she had confessed that her ex-husband had been asking questions about me. Very point questions. She claimed she hadn’t told him anything confidential, but she had refused to give me his name.
It had sounded to me like he was casing the place, so I had asked Halie to do a search. I could have found the man’s name with a little digging, but Halie is a computer genius, and I would get better results from her. I had already read the email but hadn’t had time to view the attachments. Halie had written that she hadn’t found anything in his background or financials indicating he was a criminal or had criminal intent.
Skimming the email one more time, I agreed Zack Conner seemed like a law-abiding citizen. That was until I opened the attachment.