A Scene To Behold
He spontaneously pricked his ears up as he put his nose to the ground. This was something that Smith hadn’t ever seen his dog do before, not like this anyway. They must have stumbled onto something huge! His big paws pressed into the soft soil, he was as still as a statue.
He felt compelled to check out the tree that his dog was so interested in, but he knew it would be an ordeal alright. He could feel his pulse race as his palms became clammy. He wouldn’t have believed what he had stumbled on if he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes.
When the Smith family first laid eyes on kyle, the grizzled ex-police dog, they fell in love with him instantly. He had spent 8 years as a service dog and had just retired, he was ready to live out the rest of his life laying around being loved.
After they adopted Kyle the family loved nothing more than taking him on works every day. They would often take him to the woodlands close to their home. Kyle loved to chase the squirrels he found even though he could never catch them. But there was something else that caught his eye.
Something Was Wrong
It was like any other normal day walking Kyle until they noticed that something wasn’t quite right with him. He was acting strange, he was tense, sniffing around with purpose, maybe it was old reflexes from his days as a service dog? Either way, something was definitely off.
Kyle had been to two other families before the Smiths. The last two were only temporary because he hadn’t retired as a police dog yet and still had more crime-fighting to do.
With all of his police training, Kyle’s strengths were in information gathering, he was a real detective. But when it came to having to be aggressive, it just wasn’t in his nature. He’d still defend any officers he was with and now his new family if he needed to.
Once Kyle had gotten his new partner, Officer John, his training picked up and he soon learned to be more aggressive when the situation demanded it. He would often defend his new partner with his life.
A Great Duo
A service dog would more often than not go out on patrol with multiple officers, but when it came to Kyle, he just wouldn’t listen to anyone the way he did to Officer John. The two made a great team and shared a special kind of bond together. So the two were on permanent duty together, Kyle was even adopted by John.
When Kyle’s time on the force was coming to an end, John wanted more than anything to keep him but with him still on duty, he couldn’t look after him. Kyle deserved a loving home with constant attention and John knew he couldn’t give him that. He decided to do what was best for him, that’s why he gave him to the Smiths.
Every Dog’s Dream
The Smith family and Kyle were getting along really well. They ended up exercising way more than they used to because of the daily walks and they felt reassured that they had a new guardian that would keep them safe. Until they went for a normal walk in the woods one day.
Their house was in the countryside and had a massive woodland that surrounded it on all sides. It was a great perk for Kyle, any normal dog would have run rampant in the woods chasing after all manner of wildlife. But Kyle found something else.
A Drastic Change
The day started out as it usually did, they started their walk and Kyle bounded ahead of them. They walked the path that they always had, then Kyle insisted they go explore a different route. That’s when the family noticed that their dog was acting very strange.
Kyle had never been out of the city for this much time before. He loved his daily walks in the woods with his new family, but today there was something different, something they hadn’t anticipated.
For some time, when Kyle was at home he started acting strange, he didn’t want to eat and wasn’t as animated as he normally was. But on the walk, he was happy with his tail wagging and bounding about in the wood. They could see that this is how he must have been while he was still in service.
His old reflexes from his police days kicked in as he started burying his nose in the earth, following a trail only visible to him. The family tried to call him back to the path, but he was too focused on the scent.
Finding The Scent
It wasn’t out of the norm for a dog to sniff the ground sometimes on walks. Kyle would sometimes find all manner of wildlife while they walked. One time he had even found someone’s old clothes.
If this hidden trail had something to hide, Kyle would seek it out and find it. But the scent that he had found this time seemed to make him anxious, something the family had never seen before. They had to keep going now that they were invested.
The family felt that it was strange behavior for Kyle, maybe above them, there was something hiding in the trees? A small animal perhaps? It could have been taunting their dog knowing that he couldn’t catch them.
But as they looked up all they saw were twisted branches where leaves would be in Spring. Kyle had found something that so far, was invisible to them. What had he found? The family started getting nervous too.
What Is It?
Smith called him again but it was no use. Instead, Kyle lay down, frozen. Smith wasn’t sure what to do so he called John, Kyle’s ex-partner.
John explained that Kyle was trained to do this if he picked up a scent that was out of the ordinary or presented a danger. He told Smith to investigate the tree, but to be careful as it could be dangerous. “Is it drugs?” Smith thought. No, what he’d find was so much worse.
As Smith approached the tree, he saw that the bark was loose. Kyle began to bark loudly. Feeling encouraged, Smith braced himself and peeled it back, revealing the hollow inside of the tree.
After peering into the dark, suddenly his eyes focused and he jumped back. It wasn’t drugs. Kyle, on high-alert, awaited his follow up command.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Smith pulled out his phone and called the only person he could think to report it to — he shakily dialed John’s number.
With his voice trembling, he described exactly what Kyle had found in that old tree. John, highly disturbed and utterly incredulous, rushed to gather forensics experts before they all raced out to the scene.
On The Road
For John, the trip down to Kyle’s new home was excruciating and took far longer than he realized. After two hours on the road, they were still driving.
John had been so busy with work that he hadn’t been to visit Kyle since he had been adopted by the Smiths. He felt a stab of guilt about his old partner as they finally arrived.
As soon as he sees the familiar sight of the cruisers, Kyle can’t contain his excitement. He runs toward John to a reunion that would drive you to tears. But with a serious matter to attend to, John soon made his way to the tree.
He pulls back the tree bark. His heart races as Kyle urges him on with his barking. His eyes pop as he confirms the heinous sight Smith had described to him. What is it?
A Closer Look
Kyle had led them to a human skeleton that had been stashed within the tree. However, it was so well packed within the tree that they had to carefully chop it down to assess what they were dealing with.
As they continued their work, Smith was amazed at how lively Kyle became. It was like he was back to his normal self. Smith noted how much Kyle loved John. But while he was watching Kyle, new information was unfolding.
Out Of His Depth
Officer John felt completely out of his depth when he saw the remains stashed in the hollow tree. Ready to inform his chief police officer so that they could send more reinforcements out, he began to dial. But just before he could get hold of the station, someone stopped him.
The forensic experts he’d brought with stopped him before he could place the call. And it was a good thing they did. They unpacked their tools and began to analyze the skeleton to try to place its origin.
Usually, forensic investigators need at least a week to conclusively determine whose remains had been found and where or what they had originated from.
They had stopped John from making the call because what they had discovered meant that further investigation wouldn’t be necessary in this case. They already had everything they needed.
The skeleton was a life-sized human skeleton, but it was also a fake. Someone must have planted it as a Halloween scare or prank within the tree bark and forgot about it.
They laugh in relief but what they couldn’t understand is why Kyle would alert them to a situation like this. He would have been trained to learn the difference between non-threatening and threatening smells. Then it clicked.
An Orchestrated Crime Scene
Smith was the first to put two and two together. He realized Kyle just wanted to see John. His recent behaviors showed signs of loneliness, he was missing his best friend and former partner.
He knew John would come running at his police behavior. Perhaps that’s why he did this. Was it orchestrated? Kyle had been looking at John since he arrived.
John looked down at his ex-partner, who was still jumping around in excitement, licking his hands and nuzzling his legs. Then, it dawned on him that maybe this had never been about the skeleton.
John recalled that, in all their years of working together, there was only one quick and foolproof way to get his attention.
Kyle must have known that there was no quicker way to make John rush to him… all he had to do was sit and bark when he found something — just like he’d been trained to do.
John couldn’t help but laugh out loud when everything began to make sense. He bent down and scratched Kyle’s head and looked deeply into his brown eyes.
Kyle’s signal was a secret message for John, the partner he had missed so much. He’d missed him so deeply that he had to figure out how to see him again.
Even though Kyle hadn’t seen John since he’d moved to his new home, he remembers the days when they worked together and remains loyal.
John, still looking into Kyle’s eyes, was incredibly moved by his display of unwavering loyalty and love. He decided to stay at the scene for a little longer so that he could spend some quality time with his ex-partner.
As they walked around the woods alone, John could see how happy Kyle was. And, before leaving, John made a promise: he was going to visit Kyle as often as he could.
In Good Hands
Now, John looked back at him for a while and laughed wholeheartedly. He looked at Kyle wagging his tail with a goofy grin, still jumping up and down with happiness.
John felt a sudden pain of guilt and heartache but knew he had made the right decision. With Smith by his side, petting Kyle and laughing along with the ruckus he caused, he thought: “What a smart old pup!” This story illustrates how little credit we give dogs. But sometimes, a dog is smart enough to save an entire family…