December 28, 2019 | Posted in WooFPAK Heroes

The run ends with no other problems. Even though Chase is constantly lifting his head, craning his ears, parting his mouth to try and catch the scent of the bear – there’s no sign of him. Within minutes, the sound of the bear crashing about behind them vanishes, and then it’s just the five of them, in the forest, on the trail, and WooFDriver lets out a relieved, bellowing laugh.

“Alright, alright. We’ll head back,” says WooFDriver.

Princess breathes out, “finally!”

Zarro says, “yes! I have never been so excited to finish a run!”

“Don’t get ahead of yourself,” warns Jag. “The night isn’t over yet!”

“It’s close enough to being over,” counters Chase. “Let us have this, Jag. That bear was huge!”

Suddenly, bright blue eyes are turned on Chase. Princess tells him, “you’re right. It was huge, and you went in there with it, knowing it was there. That’s incredible, Chase.”

Zarro wags his tail in agreement. “Yeah. She’s right. You’ve got some guts on you, that’s for sure.”

Chase can’t help but puff up with pride. He doesn’t often get compliments, and sure not on being brave or smart. All the way around, he thinks that this run worked out better than expected.

With a big doggy grin and a wag of the tail he says, “what’s a little bear to the great WooFPAK?”

They’ve almost finished their run down the Great Allegheny Pass just a little bit later, and the humans all convene at the cars for a discussion on where they should go next.

“The Loudon Heights,” says Chris.

Rhett shakes his head. “Nah. We should do the Prince William Park Forest trail. Various trails that run through a fifteen thousand acre refuge, and a history with the OSS.”

“I was thinking about the Cabin Branch Pyrite Trail,” says WooFDriver. “Or maybe even Maryland Heights.”

Chris asks, “we aren’t skipping the run through Pittsburgh though, right? So what if we hit up the trails around Pittsburgh, then took the Lower Trail? When we finished that, we could use the small trails to hop our way back up – hit all of them. I mean, all the ones we’re really into. Loudon Heights, Prince William Park Forest, the Cabin Branch Pyrite Trail.”

WooFDriver hummed, nodding his head in agreement. “That sounds like a plan.”

“Oh boy,” says Chase, excitedly. His tail thumps against the ground so loud, it’s like a drum, or a heart beat held to a microphone. “That’s so cool! We’re not going back home anytime soon! Isn’t that great, guys?”

And even though they were all tired and a little worn, the rest of the WooFPAK couldn’t disagree. After all, there was nothing that they loved more than a good run down a trail – and the thought of doing so many of them in one go?

It’s actually really cool.

“Like a trail gauntlet,” says WooFDriver.

Chase says, “I don’t know what that means exactly, but I’m really excited about it. I mean, those places all sound so cool, too!”

“Pittsburgh is a city,” says Princess. “I know that much. The others sound like normal trails.”

“No way.” Chase’s ears perk up. “But that last one! Pyrite, isn’t that a stone? I’ve heard our momma talking about it before! I bet that one is going to be really cool! I bet all of these places are going to be really cool!”

The humans, with their path decided, start to load the dogs back up into the car. The excitement in the air is a palpable thing; like the hum of static right before a huge storm hits. There’s so many adventures yet to be had! So many trails to go down still!

And Chase?

Well, he wants to find a way to be brave on each and every one of them!

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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