Reviews for A useful skill
BritishSarcasm chapter 1 . 3/31/2011
I was getting close to the end going, nah, they didn't just, did they? ... then I read that you HAD made John a shapeshifting dog, I whooped for joy.

However, now if i read it again the only thing I can imagine is the German Shepard called John from GDW ... XD
MichaelDavid1983 chapter 1 . 5/13/2010
I just stumbled on this story. Dang quiller, you had me in stitches. I loved it. Great story.
Red Hardy chapter 1 . 6/8/2009
“FAB, Scott,” Virgil’s voice was brisk and business-like. “I’m just crossing the coast now. Expect us in twelve point five minutes.”

-LOL! I never get tired of Virgil’s precision in ‘estimating’ his ETA!

The watchers on the ground saw a dark shape fly out of the hold and land on all four feet on the ground. It was a large black dog, wearing a blue cloth across its back, decorated with the IR logo. Though not an immediately recognisable breed, the animal was similar in size and shape to an Alsatian, and looked at Scott with intelligent eyes.

-*Looks on with wide-eyed astonishment!* IR has a DOG? A search and rescue DOG? And he even has his own uniform! YES! :D I love dogs! I adore dogs! I am the stereotypical dog-lover! Most days, I like dogs better than people! I’d be perfectly happy living on a deserted island with a bunch of dogs instead of humans! LOL!

Scott unwrapped the object to reveal a bundle of stakes with flags and a piece of equipment that looked a bit like a metal detector. He looked up at Liz. “Want to help?”

She nodded, “Yes, of course.”

-Me, too! Me, too! Can I help? I LOVE dogs! :p

The dog ran across the mud, its sharp nose close to the ground. It paused, quartering back and forth to find the exact spot it wanted, then gave a short bark. Scott ran up and planted a flag, then turned to gesture to a couple of the waiting villagers, who hurried forward.

After the dog had done this a couple of times, Scott left Liz with some of the flags and went to check another part of the mudslide.

-I could do that! You sure I can’t help? I LOVE DOGS! Just in case I hadn’t mentioned that yet… :p

They had covered about half the area when the dog paused at one spot, cocked its head on one side as if listening, then gave a series of high-pitched barks and started digging frantically with its front paws. Scott dropped his equipment and ran over, snatching a spade from one of the workers. The dog was scrabbling at the ground as Scott moved in to help.

-Go, doggie, go! Get that person out!

There was a sucking noise as the mud released its grip and Scott found himself holding the body of a small boy, his face caked with dirt, unmoving. The dog gave small whine and licked the child’s face, but there was no response.

-Okay, now I’m a puddle of mush…

Liz picked the boy up and ran towards the first aid tent, where she was met by a bedraggled woman, tears streaming down her face. Scott watched the scene, then turned to the dog. “Good call there.” The dog thumped its tail in response.

-Give that dog a T-bone steak! He’s a hero!

It was a couple of hours later that the dog trotted over to Mobile Control and flopped down beside it. He looked up at Scott, his tongue hanging out.

“Sorry, did you want a drink?” Scott asked. He retrieved a bottle of water and a plastic bowl from a locker in Mobile Control, poured some in for the dog then took a swig from the bottle himself.

-I think he needs something to go with that water. See my previous comment, Scott…

Liz glanced up at Scott. “Is it OK if I stroke him?”

Scott shrugged. “I’m sure he won’t mind.”

Liz bent forward and extended her hand for the dog to sniff. “What’s his name?”

“Er, Sirius.”

-Sirius? That’s not just a coincidence… is it?

“Hallo, Sirius. You are a handsome fella, aren’t you?” She crouched down beside him. “I love dogs. I’ve got two at home.”

“Where’s that?” asked Scott, watching as she stroked the dog’s neck, running her fingers through the silky fur beneath his ears.

-I like you, Liz! You’re a dog person! :-)

“Hobart, Tasmania. Well, it’s my parents’ home, really.” She laughed as the dog licked behind her ear. “Hey, that tickles! I’ll be seeing them all next month as my tour with the Red Cross ends then and I’m going back home. But they aren’t as good-looking as you, gorgeous,” she continued, looking the dog in the eye. She chuckled as he licked her face again.

-Of course they aren’t! I think it’s a prerequisite for all IR operatives to be devastatingly handsome – even if they’re dogs! :p

Scott looked down at his companion. “Should I have asked her for her phone number?”

The dog looked up and grinned as only a dog can.

-Hm… I’m starting to wonder even more about Sirius now. And yes, dogs CAN grin!

John made it back to his room without encountering any other members of the family. He put his breakfast down on his desk and switched on the computer. While it was warming up he picked up a pile of blankets from the floor, rolled them up and stuffed them in the laundry basket.

-Ah, things are starting to fall into place now…

One day they had come back to their camp to find a stray dog sniffing around their food supplies. They had chased it off, but not before John had been given a nasty nip on the ankle. When he had developed a fever later that month, Brains had first suspected rabies, though the tests proved negative. It was only a couple of days later when the full symptoms appeared that they realised what had happened.

It had taken all John’s considerable powers of persuasion to convince his father to let him stay on as a member of International Rescue. Really, there was not much difference now. He and Alan had to arrange their shifts by the lunar rather than the calendar month, so that he was always at home for every full moon.

-And there’s the confirmation! LOL! When Scott made that phone number comment I was pretty sure Sirius was one of the Tracy boys!

And the advantage was that on occasions like yesterday, he was able to use his new skills for the benefit of International Rescue.

-I love, love, LOVE that not only was he able to convince Jeff to let him stay on, they were able to find a way for John to continue to work for IR even when he wasn’t in ‘human’ form! Then again I would expect nothing less from them!

As John logged on to his emails, he idly wondered if it would be possible to trace Liz Donaghue. He rather liked the idea of meeting her again. She had smelt so good. He wondered if she would like him as much in human form as she had as a dog.

-LOL! My guess is, yes John, she’d love just as much in human form as she did when you were a dog! And maybe you could solve the problem if you just bit her! :p

What a great story! Very original and entertaining! Gonna put it right in my favorites. Did I happen to mention that I LOVE dogs? ;-) And John Tracy as a dog… yup, he could follow me home from the pound any day and I’d keep him! :D
diff-r-ent-1 chapter 1 . 4/13/2009
oh this is hilarious! _ however, it's a bit strange that he's a black dog, considering his blond hair
cathrl chapter 1 . 11/19/2008
I loved this - and I never saw it coming. Though I'd maybe more have expected a golden retriever :)
Professor Ali chapter 1 . 11/18/2008
Hi Quiller,

I really like this - no surprise there, being a fan of HP as I am, and Sirius being my favourite character in that series! A great twist, totally unexpected. And making JOHN the dog... that is so right, somehow!

Very enjoyable, FAB!

Ali
eriphi chapter 1 . 11/18/2008
You already know that I love this story - the twist is such a good one, that I didn't see coming at all. I started the story thinking "yeah, rescue dog, that makes sense, but what's it got to do with halloween." The clang as the penny dropped must have been audible a mile away.

And well written as always. Thanks for writing it.
minstrelsy chapter 1 . 11/13/2008
Wow! I didn't see this coming at all. Fabulous!

And I was thrilled with the name Sirius. I've always known in my own Tracy world that it would be John who would have a dog, and Sirius would be his name. However, I never expected John to *be* the dog. :-) Thanks!
McHammy chapter 1 . 11/12/2008
OMG, the dog is John! I am so dense sometimes, I never realised until the end! Then I had to go back and read it again. FAB story!
Panoply chapter 1 . 11/12/2008
LOL! I guessed when Scott called him Sirius (good choice Scott) but it was amusing nonetheless (especially Alan grumbling). An enjoyable twist on the theme.
ejb chapter 1 . 11/11/2008
I wonder if John ever meets up with Liz again and gives her a friendly nip on the ankle too, then they can have a wonderful life together. I liked this story a lot and pleased John used his skill for the benefit of Interantional Rescue. Congratulations on a good story.
Ms Hobgoblin chapter 1 . 11/11/2008
Quiller, this is brilliant! I had no idea of the twist right until the end! I did think the dog was a bit human (but then I own a border collie...) ;D

The begining was so visual I was able to imagine the entire story from begining to end.

Loved it!

Hob x