As Daniel went on to prepare for his tonight’s journey into whiskey oblivion and the ruckus that followed afterward, the dogs were already on their way to Marshall to complete Pixie’s training. 

Pixie was walking side by side with Isaac, her curiosity mixing with a pluckiness she had never felt before, thrilling her with excitement from the inside and leaving her breathless as she was trying to keep up the pace with Isaac.

“Sorry, Pixie! We have to hurry up. We have to act fast – we only have a couple of hours before tonight’s chance to invade these two. Especially Daniel, he is critical!”, Isaac rushed her as they were running towards Marshall’s shelter.

“Marshall is afraid he Daniel has become so self-destructive that he will destroy himself before we manage to do something about it. And that Charlene girl, she is the perfect match to be victimized by that poor soul full of pain that acts tough I’m not even sure who is worse – that sadist Daniel or her acting masochistically without confronting his awful behavior.”

 

“I have a feeling that’s why Marshall wants to help them both at once, it will be a pair of lucky breaks for your team,” Pixie commented .

“You might be right, I guess. You’ll see Pixie, Marshall is amazing. He is like a father to me. I owe him everything about my survival on the streets. He taught me everything he knew about humans. He was generous enough to make me his student and share his gift. I felt so alone among the competition and the dark alleys, never imagining what life could really be when having someone as a guide. I was a lone ranger as far back as I have memories from my early life.”

“I’ve never heard about inhabitation. Had no idea it existed and how poorly people manage their lives without dogs. By looking at their houses, their shiny toys on wheels, and buckets of food they throw away each day I always thought they were happier than dogs. I never knew that they struggle with love so much. It’s such a wrestle for them. I don’t get it – love is so simple yet they make it so complicated,” Isaac couldn’t stop wondering while he increased the pace to save as much time as possible before the big night. 

The sun was setting down, and the night was soon to cast its shadows over the city, inciting all sorts of weird human behavior. 

“I’ve heard stories about people being possessed by demons, dude. They say that’s why they act so destructively,” Shark added showing up from behind, overhearing their conversation.    

“Hey Isaac, if demons make people act bad, and dogs teach them how to love, maybe dogs are angels?” Shark asked gleefully. He liked the idea of dogs having diving qualities a lot, not so much for prideful reasons but because he learned that gods lived in heaven and heaven was a cornucopia of sumptuous food, available always and in large quantities.

“Maybe that’s why we keep getting the leftovers, they fall from the sky as pieces of endless divine displays of delicacies. Ha, the gods must miss us! They send us tasty greetings all the way down. Thank you, gods, we love you, too”! Shark jokingly gazed upwards with a grateful grimace, finding his own joke hilarious.

“Come on, Shark! Hurry up! We don’t have time to play games tonight. You’ll have to get serious and gather your best attributes to help us finish the task at hand. We have a long night in front of us. It’s already sunset and we haven’t even started training Pixie. You know that initiation into inhabitation takes at least two hours even for the best-prepared dogs. Luckily, I think Pixie is a fast learner,” Isaac said with a shy smile as he took a quick gaze at her, hoping she didn’t notice that he was praising while keeping his eyes down.

This was not typical for Isaac’s brazen attitude, even when he was facing bigger and stronger dogs. But this time, it seemed the enemy was gentle and softly wrapped around his heart like a warm blanket on a cold winter night. It was a feeling he wasn’t used to, but he liked it anyway. 

“Don’t worry, Isaac! I just want to keep our spirits up as we are on our way. You know that I get dangerously serious when I need to do work,” the street corgi encouraged his best friend and team partner.

“Yeah, dog. I know. I know. ” Isaac remembered how his buddy used to lose the usual comic attitude and turn into a cloud of seriousness as they inhabited people who didn’t know how to love.

Marshall was patiently waiting for them, eager to help Pixie get into the game. 

“Welcome, Pixie! I know this looks weird but it is important that we cooperate on this case. We wouldn’t get into your territory if it weren’t for your location. Charlene’s apartment is there so we need help from one of the locals.”

“Sure, Marshall. I’d be honored to do something for you. I’ve heard many great stories about your work. Everyone on my side has a deep respect for it. We know that you’ve managed to calm down some pretty feral dogs, training them to become quite the social animals. I’d sure like to know more and apply the same to a few of the wild beasts on my team.” 

“Ha-ha”, wholeheartedly laughed Marshall. “Thanks, that’s nice to hear. You’ll see, it’s not that difficult. Humans don’t have basic love skills. You’ll just need to use your canine hunch about what love really is. You probably know that much better than any human does”, Marshall got ready to explain the training details.

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