“Sure hope Borders emerges from this bankruptcy thing somehow still selling books,” says Spence.
“Didn’t they do an interview with Bernie before Dog On It came out?” Admin says.
“Maybe it’s around somewhere,” says Spence:
Having read Dog On It, I have the feeling we may not get much out of you in this interview.
This is just an impression – by the way, are you armed right now?
Bernie: I’d rather not say.
Just an impression, and no offense, but would it be fair to say that your approach to people is guarded?
Bernie: Fair to whom?
Good point. But what I’m leading to is the idea that the only being you really open up to is your dog Chet.
Bernie: I don’t think of him as my dog.
How do you think of him?
Bernie: We’re partners, Chet and I.
In the Little Detective Agency?
Bernie: That’s part of it.
Tell us about the Agency – how you got started, what kind of cases you take on, the highs and lows.
Bernie: I worked in law enforcement here in the Valley after I got out of the Army, and after a few years went out on my own.
You’re a graduate of West Point?
And you played baseball there?
Did you harbor any dreams of playing in the Majors?
Bernie: Not realistic ones.
I understand you fought in Desert Storm. What can you tell us about that?
Bernie: I came back in one piece.
Let’s get to Chet. I take it you first encountered him on that notorious final day of his at K-9 school.
The day Chet flunked out of the program. Perhaps we can say “eventful.”
Bernie: All right.
What were the circumstances?
Bernie: I just happened to be there, as a guest of Lt. Stine of the Valley PD.
A close reading of Dog On It suggests that a cat and blood were involved in Chet’s failure.
Bernie: I wouldn’t use the word “failure.”
But were a cat and blood part of the story?
Bernie: I couldn’t say for sure. It all happened very fast.
And you took Chet home that night?
You were married at the time. Reading between the lines, it’s my impression that your then-wife Leda didn’t bond quite so closely with Chet as you did.
Bernie: Now you’re getting into personal territory.
This is a promotional-type interview, after all.
Bernie: Maybe for you.
Uh, could you talk about your finances a bit? It’s repeatedly suggested in Dog On It that they’re “a mess.”
Bernie: We’re doing all right.
But what about the problem of those private school tuition payments you’re obligated to pay for your son Charlie even though you’re not the custodial –
Bernie (interrupting): Nothing about my son is a problem – and he’s off-limits for the purposes of this discussion.
No need to get up, Mr. Little. That’s better. Mind if I ask you your height and weight?
Bernie: six-two, two-oh-five.
And you seem to keep yourself in pretty good shape.
Bernie: Not really.
I’d imagine Chet’s in good shape, too.
Bernie: The best.
What makes him such a good detective? His hearing? Smelling ability? Strength? Endurance?
Bernie: Chet understands people. That what makes him such a good detective.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Bernie: Solving cases, missing children’s cases especially, when we bring them back safe.
And the worst?
Bernie: Seeing what some people will do to other people.
You seem to have taught Chet many things. He can open certain kinds of doorknobs, for example, and find buried evidence.
Bernie: Chet picks up some things pretty easily. But what I’ve taught him doesn’t compare to what he’s taught me.
Oh? Like what?
Bernie: The most important thing Chet taught me – and it’s something I’m still working on – is to get everything you can out of life. But that’s him barking outside. Nice meeting you.
Welcome Gracie, Blind Dog Sparky, Ginger the protector.
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