Janeâ€™s new tenant, Frank, works for Uncle Bob. He discovers Uncle Bob isnâ€™t the
jolly fellow he pretends to be. But before Frank can quit, Bob is murdered.
Frank is arrested, and Josie has to fight to clear Frankâ€™s name.
â€śYou want Stuart here for a full day, correct?â€ť Beverly asked.
â€śYes,â€ť Josie said. â€śDaycare in the morning, grooming and spa services in
â€śYou lucky dog,â€ť the short, sturdy receptionist said.
â€śHere are his papers,â€ť Jane said. â€śStuartâ€™s shots are up to date and heâ€™s been
neutered. I brought his food.â€ť She pulled a ziplock bag of kibble from her big
â€śGood,â€ť Beverly said. â€śWe recommend that. Some dogs donâ€™t tolerate different food.â€ť
Stuart seems very tolerant, Josie thought. Heâ€™s on his third treat.
â€śI donâ€™t want Stuart playing with other dogs,â€ť Jane said. â€śHeâ€™s too shy. But
he needs exercise.â€ť
â€śI know this handsome fella,â€ť Frank said, and Janeâ€™s tenant took Stuartâ€™s red
leash. â€śI've finished my morning chores, so Iâ€™ll give him personal playtime.â€ť
â€śThatâ€™s six dollars for fifteen minutes,â€ť Beverly said.
â€śWeâ€™ll take half an hour,â€ť Josie said, and Jane nodded.
â€śGourmet cookies are three dollars each,â€ť Beverly said.
â€śHeâ€™ll take two,â€ť Josie said. An hour gone, she thought.
â€śOur pool is chlorine- and chemical-free. Thirty dollars for thirty minutes,â€ť
â€śDone,â€ť Josie said.
â€śA light workout in the gym is thirty dollars,â€ť Beverly said.
Jane interrupted. â€śWhat if Stuartâ€™s too tired?â€ť
â€śThen heâ€™ll sit with me in the small dog park,â€ť Frank said. â€śAfter he naps,
heâ€™ll have lunch.â€ť
â€śHis grooming starts at one oâ€™clock,â€ť Beverly said.
â€śWe want a full grooming,â€ť Jane said. â€śHis coat washed and cut, ears cleaned
and plucked, nails trimmed, and er, glands cleaned.â€ť
Josie knew her prim mother couldnâ€™t say â€śanal glands.â€ť Especially in front of
â€śThatâ€™s sixty dollars,â€ť Beverly said.
â€śYour groomer will take special care with the hair around his eyes,â€ť Jane said.
A tiny worry wrinkle showed between her eyes.
â€śKaren is the best,â€ť Beverly said.
â€śHeâ€™ll be fine, Mom,â€ť Josie said.
â€śStuart is a bugeyed dog,â€ť Jane said. â€śIf you donâ€™t groom the hair right, it
can grow into their eyes. Some poor dogs go blind.â€ť
â€śThatâ€™s terrible,â€ť Josie said, eying the brown fringe hanging in Beverlyâ€™s
cute pug face. She focused on the calming blue wall. Momâ€™s dithering again, she
â€śWhat else do you have at the spa, Beverly?â€ť she asked.
â€śA blueberry facial,â€ť Beverly said.
â€śWonâ€™t that stain Stuartâ€™s fur blue?â€ť Jane asked.
â€śNo, dogs love our facials.â€ť
â€śSign him up,â€ť Josie said.
â€śWhat color polish do you want for his nails?â€ť Beverly asked.
â€śPolish!â€ť Jane said. â€śStuart is a boy.â€ť
â€śSome of our dudes get their nails painted to match their neck scarves or
collars,â€ť Beverly said. â€śItâ€™s dashing.â€ť
â€śNo, thank you!â€ť Jane said.
â€śWhat about a massage?â€ť Beverly asked. â€śKaren can give Stuart a fifteen minute
or a half hour massage.â€ť
â€śHalf an hour,â€ť Josie said.
â€śMany dogs enjoy aromatherapy with their favorite fragrances.â€ť
â€śLike steak, hamburger and chicken?â€ť Josie asked.
Beverly smiled patiently. â€śA dog has a highly sensitive sense of smell, so we
use small amounts of therapeutic grade oil, usually lavender or spearmint.â€ť
â€śGo for it,â€ť Josie said.
â€śWe can also streak his hair your favorite color â€“ maybe blue to match your
â€śCertainly not,â€ť Jane said.
â€śI guess you wonâ€™t want the extreme make-over then,â€ť Beverly said.
â€śStuart is perfect,â€ť Jane said, bristling on behalf of her dog.
Frank took charge. â€śLetâ€™s go, buddy,â€ť he said. Josie silently thanked him. Her
last sight was Stuart Little, tail wagging, eagerly following Frank through the
I've just spent more on a dog than on my entire annual clothing budget,