The Callowwood Canine Caper

A Callowwood Pack Short

Aaron Wulf is a loner, an alpha werewolf. And he’s content with his life until his roommate brings a champion Cocker Spaniel into his home to protect it from dog-napping while its owner is out of town.

Detective Rhiannon Mulvaney has a real dog of a case. Someone’s dog-napping Kennel Club champs, and she’s determined to catch the culprits. But when she meets Aaron, the case gets much more interesting.

Maybe police work isn’t just for the dogs.

Previously published as The Cocky Canine Caper in The Cocky Cockers anthology in 2018.

Tyler rose, his hand tight on Sandy’s leash. “Yeah, well, here’s the real reason we’re dog sitting.” He rubbed the back of his neck with one hand. “Turns out Sandy’s a championship Cocker Spaniel, real name Sands of Time, and she’s worried he’ll be dog-napped.”

Aaron stopped as he shoved the milk into the fridge. “Dog-napped?”

“Yeah, apparently there’s been a slew of dog-nappings, mostly of championship dogs of various breeds. Adele doesn’t want Sandy to be the next one taken.”

Aaron shook his head. “That’s nuts. Who wants to steal mutts?”

“They aren’t mutts, Aaron. They’re representative of their breeds, and they’re expensive dogs. It’s a big deal.” Tyler stood up. “Sandy’s been microchipped with a GPS chip just in case anything happens to him. But Adele trusts me with him. What was I supposed to do? Turn her down?”

“You were supposed to ask your roommate, and the owner of this place, if you could bring a dog—any dog—into the house.” Aaron scowled. “I don’t want the dog here, Tyler.”

“Oh, come on. Don’t be a dick. It’s just for a couple of days while she’s out of town.” Tyler shook his head. “It’ll be fine and nothing will happen. It’ll be over before you know it, and the dog will be back with his owner.”

“I have an idea. Why don’t you stay at Adele’s place? That way you can keep an eye on the little ankle biter.”

“I don’t have a key to her place and seriously, she’s not my girlfriend or anything.” Tyler tugged on the dog’s leash. “I’m gonna take him for a walk while it’s still light out. Get a grip, man. It’s just a dog.”

“I don’t want a dog in my house, Tyler. While you’re out, don’t bring it back!” Aaron shouted as his roommate stepped out the door.

Tyler didn’t bother to answer, and Aaron hoped he wouldn’t bring the dog back. Seriously, someone was dog-napping? What the hell was the point? He shook his head. Probably money of some kind. Humans were obsessed with money as if it was more important than family or connection.

Not that he could talk. He preferred being a lone wolf on the fringes of the Callowwood Pack of Moon Singers. He’d checked with the Alpha, Jeff Lightfoot, to be sure he could settle in the area without being a card-carrying member of the pack because he didn’t want to be influenced by pack politics. But what few connections he had, he valued over currency.

Now he wondered if he needed to live alone without a roommate. Tyler wasn’t a bad sort for a human, but this dog thing had crossed a line Aaron hadn’t even known he had. He didn’t need the rent money and he didn’t need the company. He definitely didn’t need the dog. Nobody pisses or shits in my backyard but me. He’d have to figure out a way to get the damn animal out of his space.

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