Pixie was stretching snugly on the small round bed. It was one of the comfortable beds she has ever laid her white spitz fur on: she felt rested and spoiled.
The boy was looking at her from the other side of the room, as he was seeing through her, without focusing on petting her coat or clumsily pulling her fur as the two most common types of kids usually did.
This kid wasn’t acting in the manner she was used to. That sparked her curiosity — otherwise, she would be half-asleep by now.
She felt safe and taken care of, happy that she completed her first task successfully. As she dozed in the vet’s office, Isaac’s warm eyes and friendly smell came into her memories. Pixie slowly but surely ventured into the dream world, visualizing the lovely new day that awaited her once the weekend is done.
Soon, all this hard work will be over. She will be ready for another task, hanging out with Isaac more often, while those two human bozos rewrite the course of their personal histories into a much brighter joint road ahead.
James was doing some admin work, intermittently checking upon a pregnant cat and smiling at Philip.
Everything was quiet, so quiet; at least that’s how it went for some time in the vet’s office that was too far and too secluded to hear the rumble that was taking over the street.
It all started abruptly.
Duke’s gang was hungry. His stray dogs were innocent enough to think that they could peacefully go through a drunken crowd that was getting anxious to get in.
All dogs are quite happy with the simple life. They didn’t understand what drew people to squeeze in lines for hours to get into a dark and loud place. Were they giving free bones? That was the only logical explanation for the unruly rows of men and women getting in and out of the “Demure”, laughing hard, yelling, singing, crying and screaming, or just swearing juicily like it was the end of the world.
Despite the busy dense mass congregating in front of the club’s entrance, Duke decided that he had to pass through it. The food was on the other side of that impossible mess, there was no other way around.
Besides, if they don’t get there on time, someone else might get all the food before them. His gang would have to travel for two miles to get to their second usual feeding spot. By the time they get there, it might be completely empty: Fridays were scarce on leftovers and the second spot was the last, least enticing option for Duke’s gang.
“They’d better get their portion here and now, or his gang will get ravenous and disturbed!”, Duke was a righteous leader but he could be merciless, as well. The street made him such, he had to survive and he knew that sometimes means getting into fights with other dogs.
He took the first step towards the crowd. The other five dogs followed him.
On the other side of the crowd, three heads showed up from around the dark corner, carefully observing the busy entrance. The pug, the basset, and the corgi were squinting to take as much of the picture before them, getting ready to act if something went wrong. They couldn’t risk the failure of the experiment. So much was already invested.
Concerned about the consequences, Marshall was worried more than usual. He thought Pixie would be with them. He misjudged Duke’s readiness for conflict when necessary.
“Careful, old dog, you can do this!”, he encouraged himself with a soft-spoken voice.
He wasn’t even worried about himself. Isaac, the dog he loved as his son, was his major worry.
“Who will take over the inhabitation once I’m gone? I have great hopes and so much fondness about this clever, brave basset. I want to see him happy”, he looked fixedly at the gang of seven before his eyes, as they were taking their steps among the boisterous crowd.
In the meantime, the club podium was at its peak. Charlene and Jo had the time of their lives. Daniel was watching them, thinking about how things in his life should not and cannot possibly continue in the same way.