Chapter 65: What's Two More

As we walk down the narrow dirt path the sounds of barking dogs becomes louder and louder. Finally, we come to a clearing with multiple kennels, sleds, harnesses, and other equipment that could be seen in the open barn. I look in the kennels to see various dogs, barking mostly at Bran for being in their territory. But Bran has been helping me rehabilitate dogs all his life, so he is unfazed by the dogs’ barking threats.

Each dog looks like a mutt, not rangy and dirty, but a mix of different breeds very similar to some of my dogs. They had husky and malamute in them of course, but other breeds such as Labrador and Collie seemed to be a factor in some of the appearances. Every kennel has a dog in it, except the end one. That’s strange, it looked like a dog lived there. As I stared into the kennel Sid called me from the barn. I ran over to begin my day of fun.


I had a blast! Brian showed me everything I needed to know about being a musher. He told me the commands he used, how he chose what dogs to use, the food he fed them, he even let me maneuver the sled once. They had special practice sled for when there was no snow. Sid rode in the sled a few times, but mainly stood back from it all. He said this was my day, that it was enough to see me have fun.

We had also given Bran a try in the harness. We had put him in the back, as a wheel dog, because it was his first time. He worked hard but Brian said that he would do better as a lead dog. Which really didn’t surprise me.

 After a day full of learning new things I was pretty beat as was Bran.  Before we leave, I decide to have one more look at the kennels.

I walk down the line of dogs until I come across the very end cage. Inside is a beautiful malamute/ husky mix. She has the unique red coloring and one eye was blue, the other brown. She stared up at me, not barking like the others. She had a sense of calm that the others didn't seem to have. Suddenly, I heard a slight whimper and saw movement from behind her.

‘That's why she was so mellow, she’s a mother!’ I see two puppies climbing over their mother, but I can’t exactly pin point their age. They seemed rather young, chewing on one another and wrestling like younger pups. One was a timber color, much like that of a wolf with brown eyes. The other was slightly smaller with snow-white fur and bright blue eyes like Bran’s.  These puppies were already pretty big, in fact they were almost as big as Bran when I got him. 

*                           *                          *


"Hey let's stop in the shelter and play with the puppies!" my roommate Maddie suggested as we drove past the shelter. 


"I don't know. I'm pretty beat," I responded, "Plus I might end up taking one home."


We had just completed a full day of skiing and snowboarding and I was getting pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.


I had agreed to go with Maddie to North Dakota for a skiing trip, even though I had never been skiing in my life. We had left the day after Christmas, which kind of pissed my mom off. I was in my sophomore year at University of Maryland and I figured why not have some fun?  


"Oh come on, you are majoring in Animal Behaviorism! Think of it as research," Maddie laughed. 


I thought about it, really what harm could it do? It's not like I was going to actually get a dog right?


"Alright," I sighed, pulling into a driveway in order to turn around and go back to the shelter. 


"Yay!" Maddie squealed from her seat next to me. 


I pull into the parking spaces across from the shelter it's self. As soon as I stop the car Maddie jumps out and runs to the door. I laugh and run to catch up with her. We open the door to the shelter and I am immediately hit with ‘the smell’. It's not a bad smell, more like cleaner and the smell of wet dog. Like I said it's not a horrible odor, just... unique. We come to a small desk where a woman in scrubs is sitting. 


"Hi, what can I do for you ladies?" she asked.


"We were wondering if we could look at your dogs," Maddie said.


"Sure. They are all down that hallway, if you need anything just ask," she replied with a smile.


"Ok, thanks," I responded, being that Maddie had already taken off down the hall way. 


I enter the hallway and can now hear the sound of the barking dogs. I open the heavy white door with the window in it to enter the kennels. Lines of wire fencing separate each dog’s living quarters, with a dog door in each that goes to runs outside. I look into each kennel and look at the name of the dog and their information on the front of the door. The first was a Rottweiler. He let off a warning bark at me and lunged at the cage when I got too close. His card said "Apollo- Rottweiler- in need of special home. Doesn't do well with cats, children, other dogs, or strangers." 


Poor guy he's never going to get adopted. The cage next to him was a very timid lab mix named Daisy and next to her a Dalmatian mix named Spot. I continue walking down the line, looking at each cage. I finally get to the end and the last cage catches my eye. Inside was a furry puppy. He looked much like a husky except he was bigger and all black. Except for his eyes which were a startling icy blue. His size was also impressive, he already looked to be the size of a Great Dane puppy, he was so big. But he didn’t look at all like a Great Dane, he looked more like a wolf. He looked up at me curiously and I couldn't help but feel a connection. I looked at his door in search of his information, but he had none, that's strange. I bent down to his level and let him sniff my hand through the wire door. 


"Hi there. You’re just a kid aren't you?" I said, in a higher pitch like how you would talk to a little kid. 


His head turned to the side and I saw a look in his eyes. I swear I could see the wheels turning in his brain as he tried to translate what I said. There was a woman in purple scrubs walking by carrying a water jug.

 "Excuse me," I said stopping her, "Why doesn't this guy have information?"

 "Just got him in yesterday. We aren't really sure what to do with him yet. The people that brought him in said they found him alone in the woods. By the looks of it, we think he might have some wolf in him," she said.


"So is he available for adoption?" I asked.


"I'm not sure you would have to ask at the front desk. But I know that when they have wolf in them, they don't often get adopted," she shrugged and walked off. 


I look back to the puppy that is looking up at me with a smile on his face, his tongue out and tail wagging. I sigh and look over to the other room where Maddie is playing with a kitten.


“Hey are you ready to go?” I ask… I needed to get out of here before I got this dog.


“Yeah, we can go,” she giggled as the little kitten swatted her finger.


I turned back to the puppy’s cage and found him staring up at me intently.


“Good luck kid,” I sighed, bending down to let him sniff me again. He waged his tail and licked my fingers. I chuckled and walked away.


I waited out by the front desk for Maddie, as she was still playing with the kitten.


“Excuse me, but I saw the black puppy back there with the blue eyes and one of the workers told me he was a wolf hybrid. What’s going to happen to him?” I asked the lady at the counter.


“Well…” she sighed sadly, “Nobody wants a wolf pup, so we will keep him up for adoption for a week, but no one will adopt him because of it. So he’ll probably be put down.”


“Oh…” I stated quietly, finding sudden interest in my shoes.


“Alright we can go now,” Maddie announced coming into the room and just heading straight for the door.


“Thank you,” I called back to the lady at the front desk as I followed Maddie out.


We drove back to the hotel and I fell asleep thinking about those blue eyes. The next two days we went skiing and snowboarding and I was steadily getting better. But every time I had a free moment to think, those blue eyes plagued my memory. What would be come of the misfit puppy?


One day I couldn’t take it anymore! I couldn’t get him out of my mind. So I told Maddie I was sick and going to sit out skiing today, instead while she was gone I made a trip to the shelter.


I walked in and the woman smiled, seemingly recognizing me.

“Just go on back,” she said.


I walked back the hallway and into the kennels. I went straight to the back and was met by a pair of blue eyes. The puppy actually recognized me, or at least he did a good job of pretending he did. He wagged his tail and licked my fingers as I bent down to his level. This time he had a card on his door.


“No name- unknown breed, maybe part wolf”

That was it. No good with kids and other dogs. No loves to get his tummy scratched. Just “maybe part wolf.”


I sighed. The connection between the two of us was undeniable, but could I handle a dog right now? Truth be told this was the worst part of college. Not having a dog. And I was really excited to get my own dog. So… why not get one now? I was moving into an apartment after winter break, and they did allow dogs. I was holding down a part time job…plus this dog could help me train other dogs if I ever became a dog trainer.


“Umm… excuse me… who would I talk to if I wanted to adopt this dog?” I asked a worker passing by.


“That dog? Why would you, he’s part wolf? He’s going to be a wild one, hard to control,” the worker said.


“But if I wanted to, who would I see?” I press through clenched teeth, I hated when people told me what to do.


“Front desk,” he mumbles.


“Thanks,” I bite out walking away to the front desk. As soon as I approaches the lady smiled at me,


“I already have the papers ready for you.”


After mountains of paper work he was finally mine. I had my first dog… well sort of. I had, had dogs before, but that was when my family was involved. This dog was completely mine.


I looked in the rear view mirror at my new family member. He needs a name… I could always name him Dakota and call him Koda. But that didn’t really fit him. Already I could tell that this dog and I had a connection, and that was something special. I watched as he bravely climbed over the seats in the moving car and came to sit next to me in the passenger’s seat. He was unique that was for sure, with his blue eyes and black fur. I had vowed to take him everywhere I could so that he could experience different things. I could only hope that he would be a great dog and a great friend. Much like Finn Mac Cool’s loyal hound… That’s it!

“Bran,” I said looking over at the puppy that immediately picked his head up to look at me.  

    *                         *                           *

“Looks like you have some new kids, Brian,” I called over my shoulder. Sid said he would wait out by the house in the car because I wasn’t going to be long. Bran stood next to me silently observing me.


“What?” he asks coming over to me, “Oh yeah… them.”

I look at him in shock. He spat out the word “them” like it was a poison that he had to get rid of.


“What was that all about?” I ask.


“See, Una some how got out of her kennel one night and didn’t come back for a few days. When she did she came back pregnant,” he sighed.


“So?” I ask.


“The puppies are mutts,” he says.


“You’re going to have to give me more than that…”


“They’re half wolf… tainted blood. I can’t use them in a race, who knows what they would do.”


“What are you going to do with them?” I ask dreading the answer.


“Give them to a shelter, tell them to do whatever with them,” he shrugs.


I sigh, knowing what exactly would happen to them.


“What if… What if I took them?” I ask cautiously.


“What?” he asks in surprise.


“Well, instead of you giving them to a shelter, why don’t you just give them to me. I’ll pay you for them. It’s just… I know what happens to wolf hybrids at shelters. They usually put them up for adoption for a week or so, depending on the protocol. They are most likely not adopted and then put to sleep.”


“Can you handle that?” he asks.


“I have 4 dogs at home, sometimes 5 or 6, plus Bran may be part wolf,” I shrug.


“Well alright,” he shrugs, not really caring what happens to the puppies.


“Ok, um… we are leaving tomorrow night. I’ll pick up the puppies tomorrow morning and we can work out a price. Is that ok?” I ask.


“Sure. I guess we’ll see you tomorrow,” he says rubbing the back of his neck.


“Yep, see you tomorrow. Thank you for showing me everything, I had a great time,” I smile holding out my hand for him to shake.


“My pleasure,” he laughs shaking my hand.


Bran and I leave as he begins to feed the dogs. I walk up to the car to see Sid fiddling with his phone in the car out of boredom.


“I thought you were just going to look at the kennels once more,” he says, “I’ve been waiting here for 45 minutes.”


I sigh as I close the back door behind Bran when he has hoped into the car. How would Sid handle this information?


“Sorry…. Um… what are we doing tomorrow morning, say 10ish?” I ask carefully, climbing into the passenger seat.


“Laying in bed. Enjoying our last day in Alaska,” he shrugs.


“Well, we kinda have to change that plan. We have somewhere to be.”


“Where?” he asks me very confused.




“Why would we come back here? I mean I know you loved it, but you want to come back tomorrow?”


“Well… I kinda am picking up two dogs tomorrow,” I say cautiously, not knowing how he’ll react.


“What?” he says searching my face as if he’ll find a clue.


“Ok, just listen. Brian’s one dog ran away awhile back and came back pregnant. So he has two puppies that are wolf hybrids and he was just going to give them to a shelter…”


“Oh you didn’t,” Sid groans.


“The shelter would have put them to sleep! I couldn’t let him do that!” I say defending myself.


Sidney sighs heavily and looks over to me with a grin.


“What?!” I ask.


“Only you could go on a surprise trip to Alaska and come back with two dogs,” he says leaning over to kiss my cheek before starting the car. 

July 24, 2009 at Friday, July 24, 2009

5 Comments to "Chapter 65: What's Two More"

Awww, I'm glad he took the news well. I can't imagine many other men handling that with a kiss on the cheek and a grin. Great chapter, love your updates!

Awwww! Thank God Siddo took the news well. And he's right, only she would bring dogs back from a trip.

Great chapter, can't wait to see how the new puppies are! =)

Haha, I probably would have done the same thing!

Oh Sid... He's so understanding!

Great chapter!

aww!! this was a great chapter!!
i cant wait for more!! :)

I love that she goes on a trip and adopts dogs...great chapter...

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