C.B. Wilson’s love of writing began after she read her first Nancy Drew book and reworked the ending. Her fascination with dogs and their passionate owners inspired Barkview, California, the dog-friendliest city in America. Learn more about C.B. and her books at her website.
Every Dog Has Its Day
In a town where designated leash lanes lead to hound playgrounds and every resident owns a BFF (that’s a Best Furry Friend), a talented, dog-loving chef should’ve fit right in. Not so much, it turned out. Who knew even our seaside Mayberry viewed competition as grounds for a dogfight?
My name is Cat Wright, Cat to my friends. Since I’d caused the uproar by creating and producing the cable sensation Fido’s Food Fest, I decided to face the problem head on. What better way to determine Barkview’s best barkery than to host a treat bake-off judged by five of the town’s most impartial tasters on live TV? Did I mention the judges are dogs? Who else can fairly rate canine confections?
I invited the four barkery owners to present their treats. The rules were simple. The entries needed to be prepared in our test kitchen. Each judge would simultaneously receive a sample bowl containing the four treats. The first treat consumed received a point. The most points won. Five dogs tasting four treats. Easy.
I mean, what could go wrong? Dogs love treats. They’d do their part, right? Although competition day dawned perfect, I alternated between lip chewing and coffee guzzling as I sat in the glass phonebooth we fondly called a studio control room. One hand hovered mid-center on the Star Trek-inspired panel, ready to go to commercial, and the other held my go-to caramel cappuccino.
Everything followed script until…the dog tasting segment. Watch out Hollywood, the ensuing slap-stick comedy routine needed no further choreographing. Gem, the German Shepherd with control issues, herded her fellow tasters into a pack. Misha-the- Fashionista Yorkie took issue with Gem’s nose nudge on her blingalicious vest and bumped Fifi the French Poodle, whose beret fell into her bowl, covering her yummies. Refusing to be left out, Fifi nosed her way into the bowl of Renny, the reigning Cavalier King Charles. No one separates Renny from her food, and the dog-eat-dog growl caused Hawn, the can’t-we-all-get-along Golden Retriever, to go into a record-setting flyball retreat, but not before stepping on her bowl’s edge and launching it at Misha!
Never great in a crisis, I just stood there frozen, watching the Yorkie stare at a canineoli, pupscream cone, muttball, and Bayle’s Biscuit, arching for a direct hit. To make matters worse, Chef Bayle, the Bichon Frise star of Fido’s Food Fest who’d been overseeing the chaos from the counter, barked and in a blur of white fluff, sprung toward Misha.
Could this get any worse? I spewed my coffee all over the control panel, which suddenly lit up like a Vegas slot machine. The go-to-commercial switch stuck. Furrballs! America now watched without edit!
My career crashed around me. I closed my eyes. I couldn’t look. Sudden applause made me peek as Chef Bayle saved the day. Or, rather, his treat obsession did. In a single midair gulp, the dog swallowed all four of the treats and managed to avoid Misha.
A four-way tie! Yeah! I joined the clapping. Man, I love live TV.
Although Bayle shared the best barkery designation with his competitors, his favorite treat is Bayle’s Biscuits. He hopes your BFFs love it as much as he does.
Bichoned to Death
A Barkview Mystery, Book 2
What was once a simple rivalry turns into a deadly dog fight.
The award-winning, dog-loving chef should’ve been a perfect fit in the dog friendliest city in America, but no one is following the script. When murder strikes on the set of her hit cable show, Fido’s Food Fest, executive producer Cat Wright wonders if this is a competition gone wrong or something more?
With her star chef under arrest and her Bichon Frise a target, Cat realizes that far more than gold-ribbon dog treats are at stake.
Can Cat dig up enough evidence to bury the killer before he strikes again?