July 27, 2018 | Posted in WooFPAK Heroes

WooFDriver is, if nothing else, utterly infatuated with animals of all sorts. But dogs? Oh, dogs are his favorites. It’s something that can be figured out in a matter of minutes. People can tell, sure, but dogs can tell that with an even more obvious clarity.

There’s just something about the way he talks, the aura that he gives off. It’s a hard thing to ignore. And in this moment, Chase is very, very glad for it.

Slowly, the stray dog stretches forward, until he can press his nose against WooFDriver’s palm. The smile on WooFDriver’s face is nothing short of beaming. “There we go! What a good boy! See? I told you, I’m not going to hurt you.”

“Yet,” says the stray dog, under his breath. Louder, he says, “what does he want from me?”

“Nothing,” says Chase, moving to join the stray dog. He pushes their shoulders together, tail wagging slowly. “I mean, something? But he doesn’t want you to do anything. He just wants you to be happy.”

“Happy,” echoes the stray. “Why?”

“That’s just how he is,” says Chase, simply. He wags his tail harder when a hand scratches behind his ear. “See? He just likes to see us be happy. That’s the sort of person WooFDriver is. If you wanted, he’d pet you!”

The stray dog looks uncertain. The rest of the WooFPAK move to join Chase, gathering around the WoofMobile in a half circle. They try hard to not crowd the stray, lest they spook him.

But – there’s a certain light in the stray’s eyes, now. It’s the look of hope, barely there, barely burning. Slowly, hesitantly, the stray dog bumps his head against WooFDriver’s arm.

It doesn’t take any more insistence than that. WooFDriver grins, smile bright as the sun, and runs a hand lightly down the back of the stray dog’s neck. “Yeah, I knew you were a good boy.”

Princess asks, “do you have a name?”

“I used too,” says the stray dog. He whines, leaning into WooFDriver’s touch. “But I don’t like it. It’s a bad name. A bad name, for a bad dog.”

“We’ll get you a new name,” says Jag, firmly. “A good name, for a good dog.”

WooFDriver looks over his shoulder, towards the WooFMobile. “Pretty sure I’m not getting you on that, huh? Can’t leave you out here, either. Guess we’re walking.”

The stray’s ears twitch. “Walking where?”

“To the others,” says Zarro. Quickly, at the panicked look suddenly on the stray’s face, he adds, “they’re good too! WooFDriver is only friends with good people, I promise! When we’re there, you’re going to get so much food!”

“And a name,” says Jag, reiterating the point. “I’m sure they’re going to give you a really, really good name.”

WooFDriver stands up, slowly. “Stay,” he tells the stray, backing up towards the WooFMobile. He grabs the keys from the engine and pockets them. Then he grabs one of the extra leads from where it stays tucked under the seat. “You gonna let me put this on you?”

“It won’t hurt,” says Chase.

“I know what a leash is,” snaps the stray. He’s looking increasingly uneasy about the whole thing. “I don’t like them. Humans tie you up with those. Or – or they pull you, real hard!”

“Not WooFDriver,” promises Chase.

Princess points out, “we’re all wearing them, and we’re happy. Right?”

Zarro swears, “WooFDriver would never hurt a dog. You can trust us about that.”

“I – “ The stray pauses, clearly hesitant. Wide eyes look from husky dog to husky dog. Finally, they settle on WooFDriver himself, now kneeling down in front of the stray. “Okay. O-okay. I’ll try.”

“Easy,” says WooFDriver, looping the lead around the stray dog’s neck. “You are such a good boy. We’re going to get you something really great to eat, alright? And some nice, fresh water, and a real soft bed. That’s it. That’s such a good, good boy.”

Chase loves his owner.

WooFDriver is such a good human.

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author