Jean-Paul Robillard arrived at the lush penthouse apartment of his client, Hank Atkins, precisely at 10 am, just as he had done every morning for the last six months.
"Cuddles!" he called out. Are you ready for zee morning stroll?"
A fuzzy black toy poodle sped toward him, coming out of a door Jean-Paul knew led to Hank's study.
"Naughty girl--you know Hank doesn't allow you in zhere," Jean-Paul chided as he approached her with her leash.
Rather than meekly sitting at his feet, as was her usual custom, Cuddles turned and ran back into the study with a loud bark.
"No games this morning, Cuddles--I have a schedule to keep. Let's get going, non?"
As soon as he entered the study, Jean-Paul's bright blue eyes widened at the scene. Cuddles was pacing back and forth along the length of her owner's body, which lay in front of his desk. Jean-Paul couldn't discern Hank's injuries, but there was enough blood on the beige carpeting to make it obvious they were serious.
The Frenchman reached into his jacket pocket, intending to pull out his phone and call 911, but instead he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head just before everything went black.
When he came to a few minutes later--or he assumed it was just a few minutes, at least--he noticed a fireplace poker that had been left on the floor next to him, and surmised that was the weapon which had been used to render him unconscious. As soon as he could sit up without the room spinning, he made the 911 call. While he waited for help to arrive, he searched the apartment for Cuddles, but she appeared to have vanished along with his attacker, whom he presumed to all be the person who had injured Hank.