Buster was pacing back and forth outside the den that contained his pups and his mate. The arrival of the captive dogs was a traumatic experience for Buster; having been the one to capture most of them. But he kept his condition secret. His mind numb from all the thinking, Buster crawled into the den and nuzzled Pasha. He licked each of his three children in turn, then collapsed in a heap. Flame, the only female of his litter clambered over to him, and Buster laughed at the sight.
He felt sad that h had not been able to spend much time with his family and he had grown distant from Pasha, the only words passed between them were about the progress of the pups. Now four weeks old, their eyes were open and they were moving about more. Buster gently picked Flame up by the scruff and carried her over to her mother and siblings. Once the pups were settled, Buster lay down next to his mate. Pasha licked the cross breed many times, before finally resting her head on top of his back.
With his pups curled up between him and his mate, and his mate asleep on him, Buster couldn’t feel better.
Buster awoke to the sound of shouting and argument. Without waking his family, he carefully padded out of the den to see Husky standing atop a rock. He was addressing all of the other dogs. Upon seeing Buster, Husky called him over.
“It’s time we discuss the rescuing of our friends” he said.
“I agree” Buster panted tiredly. Husky turned to face the pack, now at least twenty strong, and spoke confidentially.
“you all know we cannot burst in there until we have more followers on our side. Buck managed to rescue quite a number of us, but he made one fatal mistake; he tried to save too many in a short time” Husky explained “in order to save as many as we can without arising suspicion, we each need to split up into groups and each take different areas o the building to quietly free some dogs”.
“How many do we free?” asked a skeletal Afghan hound.
“Five cages at least, if you can free more then do so” Buster piped up. The pair allowed their words to sink before any more decisions were made.
“Once we rescue as many dogs as possible, why don’t we just flee instead of fight” questioned an elderly spaniel.
“Because they can easily come and find us if we do” Husky murmured darkly.
The lone dog walked miserably along the black sandy beach. Each step was agony for him due to his ripped paw pads, but he knew what his mission was. He carried on until he had to stop to lick the gritty wounds on his feet.
Once the wounds were as clean as he could get them, the young dog set out again, limping into the forest. He remembered how his paws had become injured; it was part of the plan. He had to look like he had been in a fight and had been walking for an age. With a huge sigh, the dog followed the path that led to his victims.
When Buck burst through the bushes surrounding the now carefully arranged den containing the many dogs, Buster, Pasha and Dosi were very surprised, Husky was pleased to see his rescuer.
Buck hobbled in, all four of his legs torn and bloody. His ribs were poking out of his skinny body and his pelt was riddled with scratches.
“Buck!” Dosi shouted happily as she appeared from behind a curtain of ferns. She raced towards the Beagle and hugged him tightly. Buck pulled away.
“What’s wrong?” Dosi asked.
“My scratches hurt” Buck replied.
“I’ll see to them” Dosi said. She led Buck past all of the staring eyes and into her den. She quickly checked up on the sleeping Sandy, then took Buck to the back of her den. The Jack Russell then spread a thick green paste across Buck’s scratches. Buck, suddenly experiencing a confidence boost, wrapped his tail around Dosi’s body and curled around her.
“You are such a flirt” Dosi said, guessing that the change in attitude was down to his experience.
But she could see it in his eyes; it was not the result of some traumatic time, it was real.
“Did they hurt you? Where’s Alsatian?” Dosi queried, pulling away from him.
“I’m fine, Alsatian’s still there” Buck uttered, his tone suggesting that he didn’t want to talk about it.
Buck licked Dosi around the muzzle and thanked her graciously for healing him.
Buster knew something was wrong the minute Buck appeared. He had seen the cages and the security himself, if Buck had been attacked, he would be dead or captured. And why wasn’t Alsatian with him?
Buster kept away from Buck, trusting his senses. He concentrated on planning the first of many rescues. Team one consisted of himself, Husky, a young Dachshund called Hotdog and American Bulldog named Buffy.
Buster crawled through the den entrance and into his den, where he snuggled up to Pasha again. Since discovering what having a family really meant, Buster had spent half his time with them.
Pasha greeted him happily.
“So when’s the rescue really begin?” she asked joyously.
“Soon, Husky’s just getting ready” Buster replied, his mind obviously somewhere else.
“What’s wrong?” Pasha questioned.
“When we fight, you’ll stay here” Buster said.
“No I won’t, Sandy is taking care of the youngsters” Pasha demanded.
“I can’t risk your life like that” Buster ordered.
“In case you’d forgotten you’re the one who brought me here!” Pasha’s words stung Buster.
Before and argument could break out, Buster got up and left the cave to begin the rescue mission.
The sun was shining brightly overhead, and the team had already gathered.
“If this mission goes well, the other teams can begin” Husky explained as soon as Buster approached.
Before anyone could change their minds, the four dogs set off into the forest, a sense of determination about them. Buck watched them go from the entrance of Dosi’s den, a smile spread across his face.
Buster carefully crept along the outside wall towards the door they would be using. Following him Buffy and Hotdog, Husky had already made it inside. Holding his breath to avoid inhaling the rank fumes emitted by rotting rubbish and bodies outside, Buster slunk inside. The four dogs found themselves in a dark corridor, and the only way to navigate was to use their sense of smell. Husky’s keen nose soon picked up the fear scents of caged dogs, and followed it all the way to a gloomy room. Buffy gasped in surprise when she saw the hundreds of cages stacked to the ceiling. Each cage was filled with at least five dogs.
“Buffy, your jaws are the best, try to break as many locks as you can” Husky ordered.
“Hotdog, your claws are long, you should be able to slide them inside the cage to release the lock, just like Buck did” Husky ordered. The two canines did as they were told and took one side of the room each. Husky started sliding his claw along the cage, releasing the lock like he had said and freeing the dogs inside.
“Buster, whenever dogs are set free, escort them outside and make sure they keep quiet”. The five dogs within sprang out and obediently followed Buster. He led them the way he had come then, once they were outside, told them to stay in the bushes. The second cage-load contained mostly puppies and, by a miracle, Buster managed to get them out safely and quietly. He had his work ct out as a new cage was being opened every minute or so
Buster kept repeating this sequence until the total of dos in the bushes totalled fifty, at least.
Buffy crushed the final lock of the final cage in the room. Buster led them outside and, helped by Buffy, Hotdog and Husky, managed to herd the dogs towards their den.
The whole process had taken just twenty five minutes and had gone perfectly. There had been no complications whatsoever, and they had been able to free every dog within the room.
When the dogs arrived at the den, it was an explosion of sound, every dog was trying to find something to eat and drink after their stay at the building. Buster separated the dying from the strong, and then selected some more recruits.
Husky sent five dogs over to Dosi’s den to help with nursing the weak dogs back to health. Another dozen were chosen to make new teams. Pasha kept all of the pups in her den, and even had to dig more room out for them. An overactive dog called Digger was sent to start digging out some dens.
Exhausted from the whole ordeal, Buster retreated back to Pasha’s den to help with the expansion. Husky settled down under a shady bush with Buffy and Hotdog, Dosi continued her work and the rest of the dogs were left to find somewhere to rest.
Alsatian was aware of the break-in before anyone else. He was on duty b the south exit and he heard the hurried orders from a confident dog. He had snuck round to see who the intruders were and was surprised to find a dog just like him organising the escape. He didn’t attack like he was told too, because he knew that dog; it was his son. The blue markings on his pelt meant he was Husky. Buster was with him, as was an American Bulldog and a Dachshund.
Not wanting to attack his own son, he stayed put and watched their efforts. He was strangely happy to see all of he caged dogs set free and the plan be executed without a hitch.
When he saw them leave, he returned to his post with a smile on his face. Somehow, seeing his son on the opposite side had changed something inside him. He looked around to see the caged dogs he was guarding, and knew soon enough they would be freed, or would they? The dogs in the cages were just like his son, innocent animals taken against their will. Something inside of him clicked and he knew that if those were his youngsters in those cages, he would make every effort to set them free.
A new agenda in his mind, he entered the room and starting biting through the locks.
“What are you doing?” an aged Pit Bull asked.
“Setting you free, now stay quiet” Alsatian requested.
He kept gong until his jaw was numb, biting through locks. All of the dogs he freed stayed by him within the room and for a moment he was scared that they would attack him, but they were waiting for him to guide them to the exit.
By the time all of the cages were empty, four of the German shepherd’s teeth had been yanked out and his gums were bleeding uncontrollably.
Leading them through the dark was hard enough, but when all of his sense were blocked by pain it was near impossible. He stopped mid stride, completely and utterly lost. The dogs gathered behind him were silent. One dog came to the front and helped Alsatian get his bearings. He faced her and saw that it was his daughter, Papillion. He almost wanted to scream with joy.
“Papillion, my daughter!” he whispered and grabbed her in a tight hug.
“Dad!” she said with glee and licked his torn gums. Another dog came to the front and bowed down before Alsatian.
“This is Jake, he’s my best friend and I would have died if not for him” Papillion explained.
“Nice to meet you” Alsatian said. Happiness filled him and he led the dogs through the maze of corridors swiftly, joyous now that he knew another of his family was safe.
When the large pack reached the exit, Alsatian turned to Papillion.
“Is Russell dead?” he asked.
“Yes, he died about a year ago and was taken, they never told us where his body was” Papillion replied sadly. Alsatian’s eyes watered with salty tears, but he swallowed hard; he needed to save these dogs.
“Followed that path, when your far away from here, start calling for Husky” Alsatian advised. The German shepherd waited until all of the escapees had disappeared from view before he finally slipped back inside to free some more dogs.
As he entered the doorway, a claw was brought down heavily onto the back of his skull, knocking him out instantly.
Dogs streamed in from everywhere. They came flowing though the bushes like a raging torrent. Buster and Husky, still exhausted from the previous mission, managed to calm the dogs down.
Papillion approached her brother from behind and clutched him tightly.
“Papillion!” Husky cried.
“Husky!” Papillion cried. They danced around each other and fought like puppies, happy to finally be reunited.
“Alsatian freed us” Jake explained after the two siblings had finished their play.
Husky took Jake aside to talk about the current situation.
“We need to rescue more dogs, then we can start killing these things” the husky coloured dog explained.
“You can’t kill them, just last week we were all gathered into the grand hall to watch a fight; a pack of twenty mastiffs against one werewolf. The werewolf won. Whenever a dog bit down on it or scratched it, it either left no mark at all or the mark healed instantly” Jake said.
“Well, that is problematic, then we need to rescue as many dogs as possible” Husky
decided. Then added;
“What’s the plan?” Husky queried
“We free all of the dogs inside, which means we must take as many healthy dogs with us as possible in case we are attacked”
“Good plan” Husky muttered.
Alsatian awoke with a headache and bad eyesight. He was in a dark room, much like one of the cage rooms, only smaller. He was the only one in the room save for a small dog.
“I hate you!” the dog hissed.
“I feel the same way everyday” Alsatian replied.
Before the argument could escalate into a full-blown brawl, two guards came n and removed Alsatian. They carried his cage away into the darkness, leaving the young dog all on his own.
Buster and Pasha pulled their pups close, hugging them to their furry underbellies. They licked each pup in turn then handed them over to Sandy.
“Take good care of them” Buster said softly.
“I may be too old to have more pups, but I still know how to look after them” Sandy replied gently.
Once the goodbyes were said, Buster and Pasha walked out into the open clearing, which was now packed with dogs. Buck and Husky had taken their place on the rock and Dosi was below the. All that needed to be done now was to lead the dogs into battle.
“The rebellion has begun” Husky said.
“Talk to the Paw!” shouted Buck, for what could be the last time.