March 12, 2020 | Posted in WooFPAK Heroes

They start in a small town called Alfarata. And as soon as they get there, Princess knows that they were right. She’s not usually one to press her face up against the glass, but as they drive along Main Street, she does just that.

Her nose leaves wet smears on the glass. Outside, the city passes by, quaint and pretty. Pennsylvania is always a fun place to visit but…the fact that they’re back here again? It just feels off. And where are the other members of the Pit Crew?

“I don’t think this is the same sort of run we’re used too,” says Princess. “I think WooFDriver is planning something.”

From the next seat up, Chase gives a doggy laugh. “He’s a human, Princess. He’s always planning something. It’s not our fault we don’t know it yet. But, hey! He loves talking and he loves talking to us, so! I’m sure he’ll explain it to us really soon, Princess!”

Zarro gives an uncertain whine. “Maybe. I think you’re both right. Princess, this is weird. We don’t ever revisit places. So it’s weird that we’re coming back to this one a second time. But I agree with Chase. WooFDriver will explain it to us soon, and I’m also – I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”

Jag, from the very front seat, agrees, “I think we’re good. WooFDriver doesn’t smell like he’s unhappy. He actually smells really, really excited.”

That might be, but Princess isn’t fully convinced. She can’t shake off the bad feeling from her spine. For the rest of the drive, it clings to her, awful and unrelenting.

The trail follows the Franktown Branch of the Juniato River. They park on the side of the road, unloading the WooFMobile. It’s kept on the roof of the Jumbo Jet, and lowers itself down via electronic tracks. There’s still no sign of the other members of the Pit Crew.

Princess whines. “I don’t know. This just doesn’t feel normal.”

“Relax,” says Chase, ever cheerful and upbeat. “It’s fine! I’m sure WooFDriver has something super cool planned! He always does! And this run’s gonna be awesome!”

“It’s not like we have a choice in it,” says Zarro, a bit more practically. The door to his seat opens and he stands up, stretches, and goes to let the humans put his harness on. “We might as well enjoy it while we’re here.”

Chase wags his tail. It thumps loudly against the backing of the seat. As soon as Zarro is passed off to Chris, who hooks him up to the front of the WooFMobile, Chase charges to the door.

WooFDriver laughs. “Easy, boy. You’re excited, huh? Well, me too. This is gonna be good.”

The door closes. Princess waits her turn.

It comes as soon as the other three dogs are all safely attached to their harnesses, and the harnesses hooked to the front of the WooFMobile.

“Alright, Princess. Let’s get this show on the road.” WooFDriver holds out his hand.

Princess goes to it, always. Her nerves aren’t anywhere near enough to make her not listen to WooFDriver, to make her not want to have the human happy with him.

She hooks one front paw around his forearm when he goes to pet her, wagging her tail at him. “I hope you know what you’re doing,” she says, even though the human can’t understand her. “This whole thing seems fishy to me.”

“Alright. Let’s get you hooked up, and see how fast we can get to the bend.” WooFDriver leads her over, hooking Princess up alongside the rest of the dogs.

Chris claps WooFDriver on the shoulder. “Alright, I’ll take the Jumbo Jet and meet you there.”

WooFDriver nods. “Make sure you have the camera’s ready. I really want to get this footage right on the first go.”

Princess says, “so he’s trying to get specific footage? I wonder why.”

“We’ll figure it out at the river bend,” says Chase. “Stop worrying so much, Princess! Everything’s going to be just fine!”

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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