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And Bingo was his Name-O

It was the beginning of our third year working together. Cindi and I were doing our usual routine as we always did at the beginning of a case. She rolled out in the car and then phoned me so we could go over the details of the case. When she called I gave her the intel about watching a particular house for the arrival of a possible paramour.

The neighborhood was tight, and it was getting a bit hot, so after a while she had to switch cars as to not be noticed. As we were conversing with me, suddenly she said, "Hang on, I've got neighbors", and I could hear her talking to someone, I figured it to be a nosy neighbor that had come out to see why she was sitting there so long. This does not happen as often now that we have surveillance vans, but back in those days we had to make do with changing out cars every few hours.

As I heard her talking to the neighbor I thought to myself, "Wow, she's really good and totally convincing!" She was explaining to the neighbor that she was house sitting for her Mom around the corner and that her Mom's poodle got out and was wandering the neighborhood. Since this was the last place she saw her Mom's dog, she was holding vigil. Oh, the neighbor man was so nice. He said he felt so bad about the missing dog, and could he help her look for him? Cindi didn't miss a beat when she told him that would be great. At that point she told me she had to hang up because a nice neighbor was going to help her find her Mom's dog.

About 20 minutes later she called me back and said I wasn't going to believe this, but she had a co-pilot riding along with her. Then she put the phone up to something that was panting very loudly. "What the hell is THAT?" I asked and she told me what happened.

After we had hung up, she was getting the neighbors help looking for the "so-called" missing dog. He had asked what the dog's name is. "Bingo!" she said, just off the top of her head. So, she and the neighbor are standing near her car with the driver's door open and calling for the fantasy dog named "Bingo"… when out of the darkness shoots a small white poodle running down the sidewalk and jumps in her car, settling into the driver's seat and looking at right at her, like "let's go!" The neighbor guys says, "Well, there's Bingo!" and Cindi, not believing her eyes, concurs with him that is her Mom's dog and drives off with a stranger's poodle.

Cindi rode around all night with "Bingo" while on another case since she was not able to go back to the first neighborhood, in case the neighbor spotted her. She finally dropped him off back in the cul-de-sac around 2:00 a.m. and he promptly ran up to the door of what must have been his house and scratched. Cindi watched while an older woman opened the door and gleefully let her little guy inside.

Cindi still tells me that Bingo was the best co-pilot she ever had, even if he did materialize out of nowhere. He spent the whole night sitting in the passenger seat, being quiet and watchful, just as any good "human" investigator. Whenever we're back in that neighborhood, we often think of Bingo and wonder if he remembers his brief internship as one of our private investigators.