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Bear turned to see his pets leaving and then looked back at Shadow. Her face was covered in food. It slowly dawned on him who might be in charge of this dog’s upbringing. They’d be laughed out of Central Park if Shadow didn’t clean up her act - literally.

He had to speak to Root about this.

When the couple arrived at work, Root was caught between not wanting to make a big deal out Sameen’s test results, and wanting to be there to support her. “So, your blood work results come back today?” Root asked nonchalantly.

“What is everyone concerned about?” Shaw asked as if the world didn’t notice her terrible eating habits.

“We care,” Root said and her voice cracked.

“You all think he’s going to tell me that I have like terrible cholesterol or something, don’t you?” Shaw asked suspiciously; pursing her lips, raising an eyebrow.

“The thought did cross my mind,” Root said, her finger grazing Sameen’s bottom lip to soften the stare.

“I’ll have you know that I burn those calories I take in,” Shaw pointed out.

“I know you do,” Root smiled. “I can think of more ways for you to – you know – if you need to.”

“I bet you can,” Shaw smiled as she kissed her wife goodbye.

No one was more anxious about the impending results from the doctor than Janine. She had already researched various diets in case the doctor suggested one. There was a box filled with cookbooks for various cuisines in case she needed to give them to Isabelle.

“You going vegan on us?” Martine asked Janine when she stopped in to see Shaw. The woman knew what an adjustment that could be, considering she was dating one.

“No!” Janine said, closing the box. “This is in case…,” she said, looking around. “You know.”

Martine did not know. “In case there’s a run on beef?”

“No!” said the woman who knew her boss would be there any second. “In case someone’s doctor recommends a change of diet because of bloodwork results.”

“Do you mean…?”

“Shaw!” Janine said loudly as her boss entered.

It was typical for her assistant to have a weird look on her face, but it was another thing when Martine looked that way. “You okay?” she asked Martine.

“Me? Oh, yeah, I’m good,” Martine replied, wondering what her friend would do if they removed meat from her daily diet. “How about those Yankees?”

“How about them,” Shaw said and started at the two women.

“I gotta go… see Beef. I mean, Reese, Reese. I have to go,” Martine fumbled.

“She’s acting like you,” Shaw pointed out. “So, who are you today?”

“Me? Ha ha, I’m me,” Janine said, practically laying across the box with the books inside.

“Yes, you are,” Shaw rolled her eyes and went into her office.

For a department whose main purpose was security, there was nothing secret about Shaw’s tests. News of the assessment spread throughout BEAR and everyone was waiting. There was a company pool that heavily favored Shaw having to change her carnivorous diet. The owner of Parks Deli was especially concerned because if Shaw wasn’t there, there was no reason for her to open each day. Even Iris was warned that one of her patients could be dealing with difficult news that day. The vague update left the therapist wondering what it could be about.

“Put me down for five,” Shaw heard a familiar voice say. Seconds later, Fusco walked in with a bag of donuts. “Get your results?” he asked and Shaw stared at him.

“Are you betting on my blood work?” she asked, grabbing the bag away from him and looking in. “There better be jelly in here.”

“I’m partaking in an office pool,” he tried to defend himself.

“What are the odds?” Shaw asked calmly, biting into the large donut, the contents of which squirted out onto her t shirt.

“Not as good as the chances of you wearing more of that donut than eating it,” Fusco relayed. “I bet you’d do just fine, by the way.”

“I can’t believe you and the rest of this office have nothing better to do than to obsess over my health,” Shaw harrumphed.

“Oh, I don’t think it’s just your health there, Shaw,” Fusco spilled faster than the jelly did. He regretted it as soon as he said it.

“What does that mean?” Shaw barked and hit his arm; certain she wouldn’t like the answer.

“It’s your... reputation. It’s just that you get … a little intense… when you don’t eat,” he tried.

“What am I in a Snickers commercial?” Shaw complained.

“Actually, that’s a great analogy. Ask them if you can still eat candy,” Fusco said, snapping his fingers.

“Please don’t make me give the Homicide Department more business,” Shaw threatened, but he couldn’t understand her with the dough in her mouth.

“Hey, who did you sucker into taking the puppy?” Fusco asked, smelling the contents of the bag and closing his eyes.

Shaw stopped chewing. “I wathent tryingtosuckasomeun,” she said and Fusco took the bag away.

“Say it in English, please,” the detective begged.

“I wasn’t trying to sucker anyone. That dog would be a gift. Only someone really smart would want to keep her. She’s great,” Shaw protested too much.

“So, they pretty much suckered you into keeping her?” Fusco asked, connecting the dots. “How did they do that to you?”

“They – didn’t do anything,” Shaw argued. “She was sick and I took care of her and she bonded with me and now she won’t leave me alone!”

“Don’t you have one of those already?” he asked, and jerked his head toward Janine’s office. His hand slipped into the bag to tear off a piece of one of the donuts.

Shaw grabbed the bag back abruptly. “Aren’t you on a diet?”

“Don’t remind me,” Fusco said sadly. “Hey, how’s the big guy taking you having your own dog?”

“Bear? He’s fine,” Shaw said.

“Real-ly?” Fusco asked, planting a seed of doubt.

“Fusco, I think it was his idea,” Shaw admitted, now that she thought about it.

“Yeah, but he’s kind of use to have you to himself. He’s not jealous? You know that dog doesn’t know he’s a dog, right?” Fusco suggested. “Hey, speaking of which, I gotta go. I have a meeting with Animal Control about these reports we’re providing them with.”

Just then, Bear appeared in the doorway, looking very serious.

“Geez, it’s like he heard us,” Fusco whispered. “Shaw, he don’t look happy.”

“He’s fine, aren’t you, Bear?” Shaw asked and the dog just sat there, looking perturbed.

“Are you jealous?” Fusco came right out and asked, but Bear just stared at him. “Okay, on that sour note, I’m going. Let me know how you make out, Shaw.”

“Ah, I’m touched you care, Lionel,” Shaw said.

“I got money riding on this,” he explained, slipping past the canine who was next to see her.

Shaw stared at Bear as he stared back. “Got a bone to pick with me?” Shaw asked and cracked up laughing.

None of this was funny to him because his reputation was at stake here. Seconds later, Root appeared behind him.

“Hi,” Shaw said and went to kiss her wife, but Bear nudged them apart.

“Sweetie,” Root said and went into Shaw’s office to sit down across from her. Taking her hands, she looked into Shaw’s eyes. Bear barked when he thought they were taking too long. “Bear suggested that maybe it would be helpful if … You know when you get a new puppy and you’ve never had one?” Root segued.

“Actually, I do know that feeling since 8 o’clock this morning,” Shaw kidded and Bear shook his head. This was no time for joking.

“Well, Bear thought it would be great if we set up some training,” Root smiled.

“Oh, that’s a great idea,” Shaw said, seeing the need. “Daan?” she asked and Bear actually howled at the suggestion.

“Bear!” Root said, chastising the dog for being so snide. “No, we were thinking someone better skilled at dog training.”  Bear knew Shaw would break Daan in a minute.

“Okay, sure,” Shaw said. “Do they come to the house, or do we drop her off?”

Bear looked over immediately at Root. “Actually, you stay with her, you know, like I did with Bear.”

“You… had… him… trained?” Shaw laughed and fell back in her chair. She only apologized when Bear growled his displeasure.

“The point is that when you have a… a… companion… it’s good to learn the type of training that works best with them,” Root said.

Shaw leaned in closer to Root. “Tell me the truth; he thinks I’m the one who needs the training, doesn’t he?”

“Well, he’s just concerned that Shadow have … the best,” Root smiled.

“Fine, but when we take first place in doggie school,” Shaw said, her competitive nature always present, “…. I want a graduation party!”

“Yes!” Root said, because she thought that whole thing went rather smoothly.

“Shaw?” Janine interrupted, from the doorway with trepidation. “The doctor is on the phone for you.”

Janine looked at Root who looked at Shaw as she picked up the phone.

“Am I going to live?” she teased as she answered. The doctor explained that he had the results of her blood work. “So, what you’re saying then is….,” they heard Shaw ask and Janine grabbed her stomach. “So, effective immediately?” the patient questioned. “And you’re certain about this? Are there any further tests?” she asked, lowering her head. “No, I understand, doctor,” Shaw said and thanked him before hanging up.

“Sweetie?” Root said, because Shaw wasn’t saying anything.

“The blood work is back,” Shaw said slowly. “And I am one hellova healthy specimen. He wants me to keep up whatever it is I’m doing, because everything is so good!”

“Sameen!” Root yelled because she realized now she was teasing them on purpose. She grabbed Shaw and hugged her. “You scared us!”

“Yeah, I know,” Shaw said, not meaning to be an ass, but succeeding. “Go shout it from the mountains, Janine. There will be no change to my diet!”

Janine was so relieved that she had to hug her boss. “We were so worried,” she chimed in.

“You people are unbelievable,” Shaw concluded.

“Well, I for one am very glad you don’t have to change anything,” Root said, kissing her wife’s lips and tasting the sugar from the donuts.

“Well, it seems that I burn a lot of calories,” Shaw said, gently pushing into her wife. “And, so I can eat more than the average… bear,” she said on purpose and looked directly at the dog.

The canine couldn’t take it anymore and walked out.

“What is up with him? Hey, you don’t think he’s jealous, do you?” Shaw asked.

“I don’t think so,” Root replied. “I mean, he seems pretty happy to have Shadow.”

“Yeah, maybe,” Shaw said, unable to decipher the senior dog’s behavior. She didn’t realize it was her influence on the new pet that had him worried.

“Well, I will see you for dinner,” Root said as she kissed her wife goodbye.

“I can’t wait!” Shaw said and meant it.

Shaw was expecting Janine to be exuberant and maybe Isabelle, but when the owner of Parks Deli entered her office and presented her favorite sandwich to her on a plate, she was stunned.

“I heard everything is okay,” the woman said, placing the plate in front of her favorite customer.

“What is this?” Shaw asked, frowning. She pushed back in her chair and looked up at the woman.

“I’m happy you okay,” the woman said, crossing her arms in front of her.

“What are you doing here?” Shaw asked, as if the only place the woman truly existed was in the cafeteria. “You’re freaking me out!”

The woman knew she was taking a big risk by changing the usual way they did things. “Just today!” she shouted as if Sameen had asked her to deliver. “Not again, so don’t ask,” she barked and walked out. She gave Janine a big smile as she passed her desk.

“They’re all nuts,” Shaw complained, looking at her favorite sandwich like someone spit on it. She looked around and decided, since it was there, she might as well have a bite.

Shaw was enjoying the very last of her sandwich and standing in the hallway when she saw the oddest thing – Bear was leaving Iris’ office. Could Fusco have been right? Was he upset with Shaw? Bear walked off in the other direction, having spent the last half hour simply getting things off his chest. Since Iris had no idea what he was saying, he felt he could unburden himself without worry. Iris, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure that she was the appropriate choice for the canine. She was about to ask Root if she could discuss this with her when someone barged into her office.

“Is he talking about me?” Shaw shouted, in the worst place for paranoia to display itself.

“I’m sorry,” Iris said to Root’s secretary on the phone. “I’ll have to call back.”