As I walked the hallway of the third floor one last time to make sure I hadn't missed anything, I heard a loud "clank." The lights went out, and a voice boomed over a loudspeaker, "We have you surrounded! Come out with your paws up!" I dropped my bag of panties and sprinted down the hall toward the stairway. Then a pair of German shepherds rounded the corner ahead, growling as they rushed toward me. I skidded to a halt. "How could you?" I cried. "You're traitors to the dog race!" One leaped toward me, snapping at me as I narrowly ducked under his sharp teeth. I juked the other and took off down the hall in the other direction, my body a compact ball of pug energy.
As I neared the elevators, the hallway split off in two directions. Without slowing, I zoomed around the corner, my paws pushing off on the wall as I ran. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied a janitor's closet. I quickly ducked inside and climbed a steep set of shelves. After tucking my body into a tiny crease between a large cardboard box and a stack of custodial uniforms, I pulled one of the shirts over my head and held still as I heard the German shepherds approaching. The sound of their barking grew louder and louder before trailing off. They had run right past the closet. Then I saw flashlights in the hallway. The police were out in force. I heard them kicking down doors, yelling at each other, urging me to give up. But there was no way they could spot me on my perch high in the closet. I felt confident that I could wait them out. Soon, they would give up the search. They would assume that I had escaped, I thought.
Unfortunately, my pugginess betrayed me. "What's that noise?" one officer said. "Over here!" The barrel of an M-16 pointed into the room, and members of the S.W.A.T. team poured in. Though I tried to stifle my trademark labored pug breathing, it was to no avail. Centuries of breeding had conspired against me. "It's coming from up there!" one of the officers exclaimed. The flashlights illuminated my position. "Give it up, pug," a voice commanded. "We know you're up there." For a moment, I considered trying to fight my way out. But the odds were heavily against me. I raised my head, defeated. "Put your paws up where we can see them!" an officer yelled. Then the dogcatcher walked in, carrying a long stick with a net on the end. In one swift motion, he brought it down over my head and swept me off of the shelf.
They threw me into the back of a van and hauled me to the city dog pound, where I was booked and put into a cage. My freedom -- like that 3.5-ton pile of panties -- was but a memory.
To be continued