August 15, 2018 | Posted in WooFPAK Heroes

Chase hears the rest of the pit crew long before they actually come into view. The pit crew is lounging around the cars, back hatches dropped and bags of chips popped open. There’s jerky, too. Chase can smell it.

The new dog can smell it, too. He lifts his head up, mouth open as he breathes in. “What is that?”

“Family,” says Chase, without thinking. And then, quickly, “food. These are good people. They’re WooFDriver’s friends. And our friends! They go on runs with us all the time and help keep the cars going and make things really great. I think you’re going to like them. I know I like them.”

“Chase likes everyone,” says Zarro, playfully. He wags his tail and takes a few extra quick steps. “But he is right about them. These guys are all great.”

The stray, still cautious, asks, “are you sure?”

“Positive, says Princess, firmly. She moves to walk on the stray’s left side. “These people are going to love you. They’ll get you something yummy to eat and clean you up, and help get things figured out.”

There’s another pause. The stray asks, “and a name?”

“Of course,” says Jag. “They’ll find you a good name. You know, WooFDriver gave us all of our names.”

“He did?”

“Yeah, of course he did! He picked them out for us when we were just little things! And I know you aren’t little anymore, but that doesn’t mean he won’t pick out a really good name for you. It’s going to be great. And once they pick out a name for you, things are going to get a lot better.”

True to their words, the pit crew are instantly in love with the stray dog. They feed him strips of jerky, cheese flavored potato chips, and chunks of their own dinner. Any time the stray is sitting, someone has a hand on the dog, and he basks in the new found attention. The stray can’t remember the last time that he was this happy; his tail wags so hard that it hurts when it thumps against the ground.

“This is amazing,” says the stray.

Jim scratches behind his ear. “Reminds me of a dog I used to have. Old thing used to go on walks with me in the woods.”

“Yeah?” WooFDriver takes a swig of soda. “Looking for a new dog, Jim?”

Jim laughs. He runs his hand down, over the back of the stray dog’s neck. “What? No. I don’t have the stuff for a new young thing. Dog’s cute, though.”

“Needs a name,” says WooFDriver.

Chase jumps to his paws. “It’s happening! I told you! I told you, they would pick out a great name for you!”

Excited, the stray dog starts to whine. “Really? It’s going to be a good one? You said –“

“It’s going to be a great one,” promises Chase.

Jim is still petting the stray. He curls his fingers into the dog’s ragged ruff. “Yeah? Well, my old boy was always called Scruff. But this one, he looks like he needs a better name than that. Can’t give a pretty thing like you such a rough name, now can we?”

The stray wags his tail harder. “I’d take any name you want to give me! Please, please make it a good one!”

Chris suggests, “what about Oscar?”

Rhett snorts. “You can’t name a dog Oscar. That’s stupid.”

“Waffles,” suggests Guy. He gestures at the stray dog with a chip. “Looks like a Waffles to me.”

WooFDriver shakes his head. “Come on, guys. This dog needs a name that has meaning. We can come up with something better than that. Looks like this boy’s had a rough life. We should give him something special to make up for that.”

The stray turns to look at Chase. “It’s not his fault this has happened. Why does he want to make up for it?”

Chase gives the stray a big, doggy smile. “Because he’s a good guy. I told you, WooFDriver is really great.”

Jim hums. The sound draws attention back to him. “What about Legacy?”

“Legacy,” echoes WooFDriver. He grins. “Hey, I like that. That’s a great name.”

Jim looks down at the newly named Legacy. “What do you think about that, boy?”

Legacy wags his tail hard as he can. He gives Jim’s hand a wet, sloppy kiss. “I love it. I love it so much!”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author