“Hang on there, Bonnie.” Neal’s voice. Tense but not afraid.
The flashlight beam swept past her, down the slope and into the stand of young maples surrounding the Grotto’s clearing, beyond where she worked. Buried within their low-hanging cover, something big moved. Something really big. The light stopped, steadied, and two huge eyes, level and unblinking, glittered in the beam. Pojo’s snarling rose an octave.
“I’m gonna fire. Don’t jump.”
Good thing Neal hadn’t gone far. “Sounds like a plan.”
The Mossberg cracked like a metallic whip. Behind her but not over her shoulder, aiming off to the side. The eyes blinked, vanished. The motion behind the saplings stilled. Of course Neal wouldn’t kill the cougar, only drive it away. She sucked in air. At some point she’d quit breathing, and her throat ached as if she’d been throttled.
Pojo hadn’t flinched at the shot. Hands shaking, she set the green plastic in her lap and stroked his big head. Soft fur under her palm, gritty with dust. “Good dog. Good soldier-dog.”
“I want you to know that was disgusting.” But at least it hadn’t been across her face.
“You okay, Bonnie?”
“I’m good. One more minute here, okay?”
Oh, yeah. They're good. Slurp.
Shakedown has a five-star average rating on Amazon, including some reviews from former soldiers. Fifty percent of all proceeds go to benefit ThePetFund.com, a charity that helps pay for veterinary expenses when an owner cannot afford them. And in case you're hesitating for that reason — the dog does not die in the end.
Thanks for stopping by. Cheers,