It had been snowing steadily all day long. Cooper couldn’t wait to get home, finish his dinner, grab Spike’s leash (it’s a cliche name), and go for a walk in the extreme peacefulness that comes after a dense fresh snowfall.

Tonight’s walk seemed quieter than normal. No one was walking, no sounds coming from the nearby park, the streets were empty. It didn’t bother Spike, his nose was hot on the trail of something or other, even given the deep snowpack. His senses were alive and well. It didn’t seem to bother Cooper either, he was rather enjoying the quiet after his long, exhausting day.

It wasn’t bothering Cooper—until—Spike froze in his tracks, ears perked, hair standing straight on his back. Spike didn’t move, but began looking in all directions, his nose trying to catch a scent, his tail no longer wagging.

Cooper too began to look around, realizing as he’d been walking enjoying the quiet of the night, he’d lost his sense of direction. He had strayed off the main path. He was in a dark place, dimly light, the bright moonlight all that filled the night sky.

The hair on the back of Cooper’s neck now standing, his heart began to beat faster, his breathing became shallow.

Turning around—trying to get Spike to move, Spike began to growl. At what, Cooper did not know. He didn’t see or hear anything or anyone, but Spike…he knew something Cooper didn’t.

Spike flenched, ever so subtle, with an even louder growl that turned into a hushed sort of bark—Spike moved forward pulling Cooper with him. Spike had spotted what had caught his attention, and with all his might he tried to free himself of Cooper’s grip. He wanted nothing more than to protect his master from this predator that lurked in the darkness.

Out of nowhere Spike leaped forward pulling Cooper to the ground. Cooper screamed a little in shock, then felt the rush of blood running to his fingers. A squirrel jumped from one tree to another—Spike pointed with his nose, his tail now wagging with great excitement.


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