Bessie Attends a Wake:
The pastor finished his prayers and the procession of mourners, went down the line, shaking hands with Viola’s family members. When they all were through, the crowd started to leave so the undertaker could finish his job.
Bessie kept standing, staring at the foot of Viola’s casket. Finally the undertaker said, “Ms. Buemiller, I understand the love you had for your good friend Viola Godspeed, but I’ve got to finish my job now. Can I call someone to come and help you to your car?”
“No, you cannot. But, what you can do is explain how you managed to bury Viola in a casket made in China.” Bessie said as she moved the flowers over so the tag on the end of the casket could be read.
“She had a prepaid funeral plan, Ms. Buemiller.”
“I know that, but no way would she have selected, ‘made in China,’ to be on her casket. A final farewell to a red blooded American? No way Jose! Viola didn’t know that, and I’m telling everyone I know to check out where their prepaid funeral casket is made. And I’m telling you right now, you do that to me, I promise I will come back and personally, kick your ‘made in China,’ undertaking ass.”
“Are you sure, Deputy?” The dog groomer was talking to Bessie.
“Yes, I’m sure. I’m paying for this out of my pocket, so don’t worry about what the county is going to say.” Bessie said.
“I know Deputy, but this is a male dog. You want him groomed with puffs around his legs and a top knot that’s fluffy and then you want him to have ribbons in his hair? Have I got that right?”
“Blue ribbons. He’s a male, so yes, blue ribbons and bathe him in that good smelling shampoo.”
“Very well, deputy. He should be ready by about four this afternoon.”
“Thanks, I’ll see you then. Should you get through earlier, give me a call. Here’s my card.”
“Yes, Ma’am, I surely will.” The groomer answered.
Bessie went on about her patrol hoping she wouldn’t need her partner until after he was groomed. She had said nothing to the Sheriff or anyone about having Max groomed. Since they weren’t paying for it, Bessie didn’t really think she needed to ask.
Fortunately, the afternoon was relatively quiet and when Bessie’s cell phone rang, it was the Dog Groomer.
“Max is ready, Deputy Buemiller.”
“Thanks,” Bessie said as she turned the patrol car around and headed for the dog groomer’s.
When they brought Max out you could tell he was so proud of the way he looked. He pranced up to Bessie as if to say, ‘look at me.’
Bessie bragged and bragged on Max and told him how pretty he looked. He wagged his well groomed tail, now with a pom pom at the end and all but smiled at Bessie. She swore sometimes she just knew that he smiled at her. She was falling in love with this dog, something she thought she’d never do.
The next afternoon, Bessie and Max were patrolling the south side of Hawkshaw County when a call came in that a bank robbery had occurred and they had the suspect cornered and they were engaged in a gun battle. They requested that Bessie get there with the dog.
Bessie whipped the patrol car around, flipped on the lights and sirens and headed for the location. When she pulled up she could see that the robber was inside the car and would fire his pistol every now and again randomly at the officers. She assessed the situation and walked up to the Sheriff.
“Do you want me to have Max get him?” She asked.
“Do you think he can take him down?”
“Without a doubt.” Bessie replied.
“Then do it.” The Sheriff said.
Bessie walked back to the car and told Max, “I need you to take this man down, Max. Take him down.”
She opened the back door and a black streak was all that could be seen as the dog covered the ground between the patrol car and the suspect with a speed of lightning. He cleared the car door, went through the window and had the robber screaming for help within seconds.
When Bessie and the others walked up to the car, she had to tell Max to ‘hold,’ as his teeth were just above the suspect’s throat. Max was growling a low gurgling growl that meant, ‘ I’m going to tear your throat out.’
The robber was visibly shaking and begging them to call the dog off.
Bessie walked up to the car and said, ‘easy, Max.’ The dog backed off until another officer got the cuffs on the man and then Max started wagging his tail.
“Good dog, Max. Good dog,” Bessie said.
After the suspect was in a patrol car and on his way to jail the other officers in the group started laughing out loud. Bessie turned to see what they were laughing at. The only thing she saw was Max standing beside her. With her hands on her hips, Bessie huffed out a, “What?”
The Sheriff had joined the others in laughing, he said, “Bessie, when did you have that dog groomed?”
“Because he looks like a sissy with those blue ribbons in his hair and his pom pom tail. He looks like everything but a vicious dog.”
“Well, Sheriff, you know what they say about looks. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. And imagine what that robber is gonna have to tell his friends, ‘Yeah a big black dog with blue ribbons in his hair and smelling like French perfume, jumped through the car window and had me by the throat before I knew what was happening.’ Don’t you just know he’s aching to tell that tale.” Bessie laughed.
They all rolled with laughter and Max just stood there, smiling.