A/N: Like all good masterminds, Golden enjoys the spoils of victory. :)
Golden watched his Boy and Clever Girl hug with a sense of satisfaction. He still didn't understand why that flat metal toy was so important to The Boy; it didn't jingle, it didn't taste good, and you couldn't chew it. Still, Golden had figured out that it was one of his Boy's secrets, which meant that Whiny Girl would naturally want it. He almost felt grateful to Whiny Girl for giving him the idea.
Almost. It was an unpleasant surprise to find out that Whiny Girl had locked his Clever Girl in something called a "wine cellar." He thought that sounded a lot like a cage, and felt a growl rising in his throat at the idea. No one treated one of his minions like that and got away with it. The next time Whiny showed up in his territory, he'd make a point of showing his displeasure. He wondered how her handbag might taste.
Golden watched his Boy and Clever Girl happily, but impatiently. Weren't they getting tired of putting their lips together? When his Boy finally looked up, Golden sprang to his feet, eager to receive the attention he expected, now that he had his minions back.
Clever Girl surprised him, though. Oh well. He should have known that Clever Girl wouldn't be fooled for long. He didn't mind, as long as his Boy and Girl still wanted to play with him. And it looked like they did.
Golden spent the next half-hour running all three of them in circles around his territory, racing to his heart's delight, until Clever Girl and his Boy began to get tired of the game. He could tell, because they were spending a lot more time nuzzling each other at each stop. Finally, a disgruntled Golden retrieved the flat metal toy from his hiding-place (it wasn't far from the barn) and deposited it at his Boy's feet. Sooner or later The Boy would notice it, once he and the Girl quit doing whatever it was they were doing. He padded off to sleep in a sunny spot in the kitchen, sighing.
A few hours later, Golden woke up to the ecstatic sensation of his favorite brush being drawn through the fur on his back. At the same time, perfumed fingers scratched him behind his ears.
"Good boy," Clever Girl cooed, and petted his nose. Golden's tail began to wag.
"We really owe you, buddy," his Boy said, kneeling in front of Golden and setting down a bowl filled with juicy chunks of steak and slices of Cheddar.
Golden's tail went into overdrive. His plan had worked. His minions were back on duty.
It was good to be a mastermind.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed reading this shocking expose of "Shelby," AKA Golden the Wonder-dog!
Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback; it's good to know I'm not the only one to appreciate Golden's genius. :)