WARNING: Other players should not read this until Chapter 1 is complete.
Dylan’s heavy footsteps coming from behind startled Toria out of her shock.
“Shaggie has puppies!” she exclaimed, turning around to face her friend. She sobered up when she said, “There’s three pups plus the bitch and Shaggie, but there’s also two dead puppies.”
Dylan frowned, taking deep breaths to try and calm his breathing down. “Puppies!? But… how… I mean, I know how. Well huh, this was unexpected.” His brow furrowed in thought, “Wonder why some of the puppies died?”
Toria considered the question, turning back to look into the shelter and visually examine the furry creatures within.
[Skill check: First Aid 10-2, rolled 11.]
She shook her head slowly, unsure. “I don’t know, but it’s probably best we get them back home as soon as possible and see if Master Valora or a vet can look at them.”
She assisted Dylan in securing Shaggie with the leash fashioned from his belt. He offered the dog a meatroll from Toria’s pack, but the dog ignored it in favor of the wherry leg, chomping happily at the fresh meat. Toria grabbed another meatroll and used it to coax the female shepherd out after spending a minute or so petting and giving scritches to her to show she meant no harm. The mama dog didn’t like having strangers around her puppies but she was too weak to make it an issue.
Toria asked Dylan to help her get the puppies out so she could get a better look at them in the light. Toria didn’t give any meat to the puppies, because she didn’t know if they could handle solid food yet. They would just have to be quick about making it back home so someone could look them over.
Passing a few items for Dylan to put in pockets, Toria placed soft items like the cloth the meatrolls were wrapped in along the bottom of her pack. Ever so gently, making sure the mother saw what she was doing, she took the three tiny puppies and placed them in her pack.
“Hey there, little ones, we’re just trying to help you. I’m going to try and be gentle on the way home, okay?” Toria told them. She pet them a little bit to help them settle.
Toria looked sadly towards the shelter that still held the bodies of the bitch’s lost pups, but there was nothing they could do but try to save the ones who were still alive.
Dylan gave her an awkward hug, saying “C’mon, let’s get home before dark. Shaggie’s pups are going to need help.”
He held the improvised leash with Shaggie in his right hand hand and was still holding his left arm stiffly. The other shepherd followed along, refusing to be separated from her pups.
“Yeah, let’s go. How’s your arm doing?” Toria asked, concerned about the bleeding that wouldn’t quite stop.
“I’ll be glad when I can get some numbweed on it, that’s for sure!” Dylan said wryly.
They started walking as swiftly as they could with their precious cargo back towards Katz Field.
Toria would be glad to see home again. The day had been a bit more adventurous than she had thought it would be when Ranella had sent her in search of Shaggie that morning. The wherry could have killed them, and it had hurt Dylan! She needed to learn how to defend herself and others from harm. She didn’t like the thought of killing, but sometimes it was necessary. Maybe Dylan could help her; he knew some about how to fight with a knife from his father.
She idly pet the puppies in her pack, which she had left open to keep an eye on them. They were squirming around, making adorable noises. So Shaggie hadn’t gotten lost, he’d found a mate and had puppies with her. She hoped Ranella would keep them, but more likely, they’d find homes with others.