From afar, it looked like a standoff. But that was far from what Isaac and Shark intended. This time, they needed all the help they could get from Pixie.
Isaac was pleased with himself. He got Marshall’s approval and Shark’s word to back him up if things go awry. But this wasn’t allowed to happen. Isaac just couldn’t imagine the consequences of failure. He would risk his position and his gang security. He could even risk someone else’s life.
Inhabitation that didn’t go according to the plan could have disastrous consequences.
That is why he was unusually cooperative and at his best behavior when he blurted his first words to Pixie:
“Hey Pixie! You look cheerful today! Did you have a hearty meal, by any chance? From your posture and those fuzzy swathes, it looks like you’ve spent the night inside. Lucky you!”
“Stop it, Isaac! I don’t have the time to listen to your chit-chat or fake compliments! What is that you and this scrawny friend of yours want? He looks more like a chihuahua than like a corgi these days!”
“Is it because he wastes his time on looking for troubles around the block and in the outskirts instead of searching for decent food?”, angrily growled Pixie, remembering the problems Shark created for her on her territory in the last couple of weeks.
“Hey, watch it!”, Shark showed his teeth and took a step forward with his right paw planning to repay the compliment, but he was stopped in his tracks by Isaac, who was more tactful anyway, and on this occasion, he had tripled his focus and vigilance.
“Take it easy, bro! You know that Pixie wouldn’t let us near her if she wasn’t curious about what’s going on! Let’s give it a chance now, won’t we?”, he tried to calm down his friend by moving him to the side to chat without Pixie overhearing their intimate bro-to-bro conversation.
“It’s time to turn a new page in our lives and save some humans with dreadful destinies along the way. You know that Daniel and Charlene stand a slight chance of ever being happy if we don’t interfere by inhabiting them both at the same time. And we need Pixie for that. I know you have a tough time trusting people after what happened to you with Matias. But aren’t we, as dogs, supposed to be the ones that show a character strength unusual for humans if we want things to get better around us?”
“Come on, fella!” pleaded Isaac. “I know you often get angry and that you are sad most of the time. I am, too. I was born on the street, remember? At least, you had the chance to leave the good life once. I never had that.” Isaac attempted to knock some sense into Shark’s erratic behavior.
“Who knows, maybe we’ll find our forever homes after this is over? You know what Marshall says: once a dog teaches a human how to love, they fall helplessly in love with them and never let the dog leave their side!”
“No way, Isaac! I am not going back to live with humans! Ever again! I just don’t trust them. Despite the tough times in the economy, I have a much better experience on the street than I had on the farm!” Shark was coming back to his usual quick wit after listening to his wise friend’s wise words.
“I will help you now – I don’t want to disappoint you or Marshall, your friendship means the world to me, you know that! But humans – nope, a-a!” concluded Shark as they both got back to where Pixie was standing, losing her patience.
“Sorry, Pixie”, said Shark, rucking the apology from below his muzzle.
“Say, what dog? I can’t hear you!”, gleefully responded Pixie, although she knew too well that Isaac had persuaded Shark to apologize.
Shark was now squelching under the burden of his newly adopted collaborative behavior.
“I said I was sorry, okay? Don’t go overboard, Pixie, you know we wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t something for you, too.”, Shark didn’t want to completely toss his rebel persona in the dust.
“Spit it out, then, buddies! Let’s see what you have in mind”
“We want you to join us for a cohabitation plan, Pixie. We need you to inhabit a female by the name of Charlene.”
“We desperately need your help. Please don’t say no before you at least have the chance to listen to the plan in detail”, Isaac explained warily as he saw Pixie’s eyes grow with confusion and the hairs on the back perking up with surprise.