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Cody, Tip and the Rusty Truck Mystery
Chapter 7: Rescued

7th of a 9-part series

By Melanie B. Smith
msmith@decaturdaily.com 340-2468

The story so far: Cody hasn't found his lost dog, but at least his science homework is done. Now he can concentrate on searching for Tip. Will she come home?

The next morning, Cody and his dad get up early to put out fliers about Tip. After an hour of going around the neighborhood, they are about to leave for school and work. The phone rings.

Cody overhears his dad saying, "Yes ... That's right ... No dog tags? Well, she's had all of her shots. She's mostly white with a black-tipped tail ... You do? ... Wonderful! ... What's that? ... Oh ... I'll be right there."

"They found Tip? Who, where — ?" Cody asks, excited and relieved.

"It's the animal shelter. I had left our phone number. Someone brought Tip in just when they opened — at least they're pretty sure it's Tip."

"Great! Let's go get her!"

"I'll go get her. You need to go to school."

"Aw, Dad ..."

"I'll take care of her, Cody. You have to go impress your science teacher, remember?"

Cody's dad drops off his son with a promise that he'll pick Tip up and take her to Mrs. Lee's. They know she will pamper the dog until Cody can take over.

At the animal shelter, Cody's dad stops at the desk.

"Someone called to tell us our dog is here," Cody's dad says. "I didn't want to ask in front of my son when the call came but is our dog OK? The caller hinted that she's been mistreated."

The employee calls the shelter director to the desk.

"Sir, your dog looks like someone wanted to hurt her," the director says. "The man who brought her in said he found her in a ditch very early this morning. He spotted something wriggling in a canvas bag when he was coming home from work. Someone had tied a cloth around her muzzle and tied her legs. The man helped her, and since she didn't have any tags or collar, he brought her here."

"I can't believe someone would do that. Is she all right?"

"Yes, but who would want to abuse your dog? Anyone you know? We have to make sure she won't be hurt again."

Cody's dad looks shocked for a moment. He explains that Cody and Tip are best friends. He tries to think of anyone who could dislike Tip enough to hurt her.

He finally decides that he can't accuse anyone, not even the builder. Mr. Cabal never threatened Tip.

"Tip has been getting loose more than usual, but I don't know of anyone who would hurt her," Cody's dad replies. "I am a reporter for the newspaper, though, so maybe I can get to the bottom of this."

After filling out paperwork, Cody's dad walks back to Tip's cage. The dog jumps up and starts going around in lopsided circles, giving little yips. Cody's dad opens the cage and strokes her gently.

"It's OK, girl. You can stop the nervous circles now."

Later, after licking Cody's face for a full minute, Tip repeats the odd circling behavior for Cody. When his dad gets home, Cody decides to tell his dad what he's noticed.

"Dad, Tip started doing those funny circles when there was a motor noise outside. I think it's coming from an old, rusty blue truck. When I had to chase Tip to the store on the corner, I saw the truck almost hit her! The store owner came out and was mad because the men stole some sunglasses."

"What's this? Tip was almost run over?" Cody's dad asks.

Cody explains that Tip dodged the truck.

"I thought it was Tip's fault, but maybe the driver meant to hit her!"

THE DAILY's NEWSPAPER IN EDUCATION LINK: Did you know that a dog in Decatur was found wounded and tied up, his muzzle duct-taped, in a Dumpster?

Read at www.decaturdaily.com to learn about the dog named Lucky. An article on Feb. 23, 2007, gives a summary. An article on March 31, 2007, tells about the trial of Lucky's owner. Write down three facts you learn.

(Alabama Standard: English/Language Arts — Interpret passages in print material.)

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