When I decided to rescue Patches, I thought my main problem was going to be finding a substitute for her mother’s milk. Well, I have learned a few things since then.

Puppies are destructive. And messy. Their teeth are unbelievably sharp. They are incredibly good about getting around, over or through things I think will be barriers. And they are absolutely adorable.

Patches not only listens to me (though she clearly responds more to my tone of voice than to what I am saying) she regards me as her pack, and since she has leaned to walk, does her best to follow me everywhere I go. My explorations have been severely curtailed, as she cannot quite keep up with me. I can teleport her along, and since the first time or two she accepts it as a normal part of life. But I either have to carry her (which she begins to resent very quickly) or pause often to let her nap and explore.

Her legs are beginning to lengthen. Judging from what I have seen of adults of her species she will be quite able to keep up with me when she is a little older, so I have decided to concentrate on strengthening the mental bond between us. She does not think in what I would consider an organized matter, but her senses are superb, and she is quite happy to share them with me. Already she has begun to help me find water and small game on our exploration trips.

Water. The stream I am camped by is becoming narrower. Not a drop of rain has fallen since I came here. Animals are rarer, and tend to cluster more and more around the stream banks – and so do the predators. Is this a normal dry season, or the beginning of a drought?

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