Danger at Snow Hill (Dog Watch Series #3)by Mary Casanova, Omar Rayyan
Something is lurking in the woods!
Is it a dog? A wolf? Or maybe even a bear? Whatever it is, it's causing a lot of trouble in Pembrook scaring kids and getting into the garbage. Dog Watch is on the case, but it has to work fast. A new person in town has decided that all dogs should be on leashes or behind fences. If Kito and the gang can't find/i>… See more details below
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Something is lurking in the woods!
Is it a dog? A wolf? Or maybe even a bear? Whatever it is, it's causing a lot of trouble in Pembrook scaring kids and getting into the garbage. Dog Watch is on the case, but it has to work fast. A new person in town has decided that all dogs should be on leashes or behind fences. If Kito and the gang can't find out who is behind the trouble, they could lose their precious freedom forever!
Read an Excerpt
Sliding Hill Trouble
Snow fell all day in Pembrook. It fell as the village children boarded the yellow school bus in the morning. It fell on the railroad bridge and frosted its rails white. It fell on the big lake and its thin covering of new ice. It fell on the post office, Erickson's Very Fine Grocery Store, Rainy Day Books, the antique shop, and the restaurant. It fell quietly on sidewalks, covering up fresh prints.
All through the day snow fell, tucking the tiny village under a deep white quilt. And when the school bus returned that late afternoon, the neighbor girls, Emmaline and Zoey, raced home.
Front paws on the window ledge, Kito and Chester watched the girls, and then ran to the back door and whined. In her snowflake slippers and paint-splattered shirt, Mrs. Hollinghorst left her easel. "If it's snowing like this in mid-December, we'll certainly have lots of snow by Christmas. Do you two want to go play in it?" She opened the door and they bolted out.
Since the Tweet family had moved in last fall, everything across the street had changed. The abandoned church had sprouted a swing set outside, curtains inside, and a pinecone wreath on its front door.
In moments, the red-headed sisters bounded out in jackets, snow pants, mittens, and hats. A polka-dot hat tamed half of Emmaline's squirrel-nest hair. Beneath a tossled hat, Zoey's braids hung straight as curtains drawn.
"Kito, Chester! C'mon!" They grabbed their sleds from the side of the building, then hurried down Pine Street. The dogs jumped and twirled and trotted with them.
Kito couldn't have been happier. He loved the neighbor girls. As he walked, his worries lifted as surely as snowflakes fell. Life with the Hollinghorsts Mr. and Mrs. H couldn't be better, and now that it was winter, he didn't have to worry about strangers travel ing through and setting his fur on edge. Tourists often didn't understand how village dogs were allowed to run free. But for now, all was well in Pembrook and would stay that way, he hoped, for a good long time.
They crossed Main Street, rounded the corner at the giant spruce, and neared the ice rinks. Beyond the first rink, the wooded hill looked out over village rooftops. Dotted with people and dogs, the sliding hill curved toward them like a white river.
From the smaller rink, where tiny children and parents usually skated, Howie called, "Hi, hi, hi!"
The girls waved back. Chester and Kito wagged their tails.
"Good!" Howie called. "Fwends here!" Then, square as an icebox, steady as a plow, Howie went on shoveling, leaving dark ribbons in his wake. The smaller rink was bordered by snowbanks and benches. Beyond it, the larger rink waited to be cleared for hockey skaters to whack pucks into nets and boards.
"Race you to the top!" Emmaline shouted.
As the girls climbed the hill, a boy threw snowballs at them. "Stop that!" Zoey squealed, and threw snowballs in return.
The sliding hill buzzed. Kids and parents speckled the hill with their saucers and sleds, toboggans and cardboard.
Village dogs chased and tumbled. Lucky, a reliable golden retriever, dashed down the hill despite missing one back leg. Schmitty, though he'd forever be the runt of a black Lab litter, outraced the girls to the top. Good old Schmitty. A smile no matter the day, no matter the weather. Three dogs played chase-the-stick: Tundra, their Dog Watch leader and alpha dog a white German shepherd who was never without her red bandanna; Gunnar, the only basset hound; and Muffin, a fluffy ball with a pink ribbon at her collar.
While the other dogs played, Kito studied the sign posted at the base of the hill:
CLIMB ON THE SIDE OF THE SLIDING HILL.
NO SNOWBALL THROWING....
He glanced over his shoulder to make sure no one caught him reading. Too many rules! Snow was meant to be played in. He dove in headfirst, then rolled and rolled until he was a snowman on four legs. "Chow chows were meant for this," he said. He inhaled the damp, clean air and rolled again.
Nearby, Chester dipped his snout beneath the snow's surface. Snuffle, snuff, snuff. When he lifted his head, snow covered his nose like whipped cream. "Criminy biscuits! AKC beagles were most definitely not bred for this stuff. I'd take damp leaves and dirt any day!"
At that, Kito charged Chester and tackled him in the deep snow. They wrestled, play-growling and snarling, until they smacked hard into someone's legs.
"Hey!" a woman screeched, skittering back. "Dogs! Knock it off!"
Kito, stung by the woman's stern tone, struggled upright. Her heeled boots left sharp holes in the packed snow. Over her jeans hung a lemon yellow cape embroidered with birds in gold cages. Under the hooded cape, eyes glinted hard as the marbles in Mr. H's glass jar in his writing studio. Kito froze.
The woman wagged her gloved finger at them. "Why do you dogs have to be everywhere I turn? I'm going to put an end to this no-leash law in Pembrook if it kills me! I'll see that dogs in this village are leashed as they should be!"
Kito couldn't believe his ears. A stranger was threatening their freedom? He bristled and growled a low warning.
"Stop that, you beast!" The woman kicked snow in his eyes. "If I had wanted to live with dogs, I could have moved into a dog kennel where dogs belong, not roaming willy-nilly wherever they please. Now get away! Scram!"
Then she whipped out her camera and began snapping photos of them!
Blinking, tail between his legs, Kito edged backward to the cover of spruce trees on the hillside. He flopped down in the untouched snow to cool off.
"Criminy cripes what a crank!" Chester said, following at his side. "But did you need to growl? Now you're really going to be on her list."
"Her list is exactly what I'm afraid of. A person like that could ruin everything. I just hope she's passing through to Canada!"
His stomach churned. Everything he loved the freedom to meet with other dogs at the fire hydrant to exchange news, the freedom to run through the neighborhood, the freedom to swim in the cool, clear lake, and the freedom to race up and down the snow hill everything was at risk.
Chester cocked his ears. "If she's angry, why did she just take our picture?"
Kito gave his coat a mighty shake, as if to free himself of this new and growing worry. "Maybe to gather evidence. Maybe to make her case against all the dogs in our village."
"To get us locked up and leashed like most dogs in the world!"
Text copyright © 2006 by Mary Casanova
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