Wolf Bennie Ba hadn’t gone far when he came across the search party. A few of his buddies from K-9 Town were out looking for him. It was Rottweiler Brady who spoke first, his uncanny intuition triggering concern at first glance. “Hey Bennie, what’s up. The Boss sent us looking for you. We didn’t understand why, since we all get sidetracked sometimes, but that weird look on your face shows he was spot-on again. What happened!”
At those words, eyes narrowing and inspecting, the other members of the search party became aware that Bennie had something to tell, and it wasn’t good. “I ran into that timber wolf, Shocka Din. He’s running with a bunch of scruffy killers now and vowing to find Omar and take over leadership of K-9 Town. It was all I could do not to fight him, but I knew you all wouldn’t want me to do that. Especially after what it took to get me back to good health after the first time. Oh, the good old days,” he tossed his head, pretending to recall, before continuing to fill them in on Shocka Din’s absurd plans.
Ready to back their friend, no matter what the circumstances, their expressions changed to the ferociousness that laid just below the surface. They crowded around, soft growls escaping throats, then turned as one and headed for home.
As they trotted towards home Bennie endured nonstop playful grumblings.
“You should have taken them all on, Bennie. That would have made this little trip worthwhile!” Lab-Dalmation, Major Diggs let his tongue dangle out one side of his mouth and pretended to be a damaged wolf.
Pitbull Sammy shoved him out of the way. “Hey Bennie! The females told us not to come home without you. Wolfhound Winnie was behind it all. And she wasn’t kidding,” Sammy grinned, watching his good friend’s ears perk up and stride quicken. “Think she’s sweet on ya.”
Bennie liked hearing this. That’s my Winnie! She took care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself. She was a big part of my decision to stay after I was well enough to leave K-9 Town. At the same time, Omar and the rest of the pack showed me what real friendship meant. They’re my family now. The only reason I didn’t stay and fight Shocka Din.
The puppies were the first to spot the search party when they arrived back at K-9 Town. The rush was on! Every little bright eyed, tail wagging, side stepping mini, was on them. Jumping up and down, tugging at the elders and themselves, each secured a loving show of affection before returning to their mischievous activities.
When Bennie reached Omar he launched into an explanation, his thoughts running a mile a minute. There’s Omar. Can’t wait to hear what he has to say about this. Don’t know why I’m feeling so jittery. If I were still The Ghost, this would all be over by now, one way or another. Kill or be killed, and I didn’t care which. Now, just seeing Omar, it’s like a weight taken off my shoulders. He’s looking at me now, with that sparkle in his eyes that we all know so well. It’s the one that says I did the right thing, no matter what it was, and we’ll handle it like everything else… together.
At the mention of Shocka’s name, the rest of the pack exploded into fury, dashing around and howling loud enough to send birds fleeing into the sky. Omar waited for the commotion to die down then swaggered over to his talking spot and looked them over. They’re a good group, loyal to each other. Just have to keep them from getting out of control. I know what they want to do. Handle this now. Same here, but I’ll make this more interesting. It’s been mighty quiet. A little action will do us some good. He barked once to get their attention. “I don’t see anything to be alarmed about. If Shocka Din thinks he can take over K-9 Town, let him try. We don’t have a problem with that, now do we?”
The answers came in cheerful wailings. “Not at all! Hope they get here soon!”
Omar waited as they quieted once again before continuing. “My concern is that they are vicious killers. While they’re in the area, we must keep our loved ones and friends safe. We’ll decide later how long we’ll let them stay. Keep extra eyes on the puppies! They’ve been listening and no doubt will be making plans to find Shocka Din, themselves.”
Heads nodded, gazes flashed around the area locating puppies and friends while hackles raised and growls rumbled from several chests.
Omar nodded in satisfaction, watching his pack prepare themselves. “Alert the tree monsters. They know everything that happens in and around K-9 Town. They’re mean and ornery, but they’ve been here since the beginning of time. And bring our friends Sookie, Mookie, and the other potbelly pigs into K-9 Town. They’re no match for the meanness coming our way.”
“Remember when the tree monsters kidnapped potbelly pig Leo?” The Afghan Hound, Bee Bee’s melodious voice turned all heads her way. “When Omar and some of you went to rescue him, they were glad to get rid of him. He wouldn’t stop fighting, and he wouldn’t go home! Bet they won’t try that again!”
A chorus of yips and howls erupted, dogs bounding around the compound and wrestling with the puppies, then the pack grew serious and began to prepare. Shocka Din was coming… they would be ready.