The Little One

"Well, I guess that settles it," lightly barked Roman at Seth who was curled up on top of the couch, basking in the weak winter sunlight. "Seth," said Roman walking up to the couch, "Did you hear our master?"

"Oh, I heard him all right," meowed Seth haughtily as he rolled onto his back and stretched his paws toward the ceiling. "What I don't get is why does the pup have to come here. Our master has an entire clinic. Why can't the pup stay there?"

"Didn't you hear him?" muffed Roman. "The pup is only a week old. He will need around the clock care for a while."

"Humpf," scoffed Seth lazily turning back on his belly and gazing at the black, Belgian Shepherd in front of him. "It'll be a miracle if the pup survives. His mother probably threw him out of the litter because he was weak. I say let Mother Nature take its course than prolong the inevitable."

"Seth!" barked Roman outraged. "I'm surprised at you! Would you rather that our owner hadn't taken you in when you were a starving little kitten that was covered in fleas?"

"That was different," sniffed Seth unperturbed as he sat up, curling his tail in front of him and began to lick one of his front paws, "I was already weaned and had been unjustly abandoned."

"Yes, that's right, play the victim," growled Roman as he got up on the couch to look out the window to see if master had come home yet with the bundle of joy they were discussing, "It's all you ever do. God forbid you actually lift a paw to help another animal out."

Seth stopped licking himself and narrowed his eyes at Roman. Using his tail, Seth whacked Roman in the back of the head although it didn't hurt Roman anymore than if a fly had landed on his head. "I resent that," hissed Seth, "I'll have you know I've helped out many a fellow animal."

"Really?" Roman lifted an eyebrow at Seth and cocked his head. "When?"

"Many, many times," meowed Seth in a superior tone, "When you weren't looking, because when I do good things for others I don't broadcast them to the world."

"Yeah right," barked Roman not buying a single word Seth said. "You wouldn't know how to be humble if it bit you in the behind. You are the most vain cat I have ever come across and that's saying a lot."

The sound of a car pulling into the driveway halted Roman and Seth's conversation right in its tracks, as they stared curiously out the window at their owner who got out of the car holding a medium sized box that was covered with blankets. As their owner drew closer to the door, Roman jumped off the couch and ran towards the door barking excitedly and wagging his tail. Seth rolled his eyes at Roman and elected to stay right where he was. Dogs, he thought scathingly, why do they have to be always so damn happy and loud all the freakin' time!

"All right boy, relax," said their owner, Christian, to Roman who was sniffing the box intently. "Easy, easy, you're gonna scare him." Roman backed up a bit at his owner's words but still stared at the box.

Christian headed upstairs with Roman at his heels and Seth bringing up the very rear taking his sweet old time. Christian went into his room, gently placed the box on his bed, and slowly took the blankets off of it. Roman sniffed the air furiously. The scent was on one hand strange and on the other slightly familiar, but he couldn't place it. Roman took a few steps forward as his owner opened the top of the box and with gentle hands took a small bundle from the bottom and placed it carefully on the bed.

"Watch him for a minute," directed Christian to Roman as he walked quickly out of the room almost stepping on Seth who was lurking just outside the doorway. "Seth!" chided Christian, "One of these days I'm going to step on you if you aren't careful."

Seth gave his owner a dirty look that clearly communicated, why is it my fault that you humans are so clumsy. Christian chuckled at Seth's bold look and continued down the stairs and into the kitchen to fix a bottle of milk for the newborn pup.

"Roman I smell something funky," meowed Seth as he casually walked into the room trying to make it seem like he wasn't curious about the new addition to the household.

"It's the pup," whined Roman as he cocked his head in confusion at the wrapped bundle. "His scent is unique."

The pup was still hidden beneath the blankets and while both Seth and Roman were very interested in its contents, they were also too scared to touch it. All of a sudden, the blankets shifted a bit and a soft whimpering was barely heard beneath them.

"Shhh, it's okay little one," grumbled Roman softly trying to be comforting, "our owner is going to be back soon with some nice, warm milk for you."

The whimpering stopped for a second at the sound of Roman's voice but then it started up again and the blankets started to shift some more. Then, at the corner of one of the blankets a small pink nose pushed its way out. Roman instinctively knew that the pup was trying to get closer to him so he pushed his nose against the tiny one and got a good whiff of the pup's scent.

Taken off guard, Roman pulled back and in the process scared the little pup who instantly withdrew his nose back into the blankets. Roman's ears went up in shock as his mind processed what his nose had definitely smelled.

"Roman!" meowed Seth loudly. Roman sighed, judging by the sound of Seth's voice, he too had figured out what that strange scent was. "Is that a wolf?!"

"No," barked Roman quickly, "don't be such a drama cat, Seth. He's only half wolf."

"Oh, excuse me," meowed Seth sarcastically, "only half wolf! Is our owner mad? This creature is a wild animal. We should definitely let Mother Nature take its course or perhaps help it along a bit."

"Seth," growled Roman in warning, "Do not even think of touching that pup. Where's your compassion? This is a newborn pup. He's as harmless as a fly."

Seth snorted and leapt onto the bed but still kept a respectful distance from the puppy. "He's harmless today, but give it time. Soon this delightful, little wolfdog will soon be destroying everything in this house and turn into a one dog wrecking crew."

"He can be trained," retorted Roman.

Seth was about to reply when their owner came back and this time with a bottle in his hand.

"Come on little guy," said Christian coaxingly as he uncovered the blankets to reveal an adorable one-week-old puppy.

The puppy's eyes were still closed and would remain so for at least another week. His fur was grey and white. He was tiny but not as tiny as other puppies Roman had seen. Roman could tell now that this pup would grow up to be a pretty big dog.

Christian skillfully got the wolfdog pup to start drinking from the bottle and soon enough the little one had drunk his full. Christian gazed for a moment at Seth and Roman who had been watching him quietly attend to the little pup the entire time he had been feeding him.

"His name is Dean," said Christian quietly introducing Seth and Roman to the puppy, "and he's going to be a part of our little family."

All of a sudden, the phone rang and Christian quickly left to see who it was, after all he was a vet and it could possibly be about an animal he was treating. However in his haste, Christian forgot to place the blankets back over little Dean. Being a newborn pup, Dean couldn't regulate his body temperature and was dependent on another being for warmth. After a few seconds, Dean began to shiver and whimper as he missed the comfort of the blankets and was helpless to pull them back over himself.

"These humans, I swear," meowed Seth angrily as he took charge of the situation and plopped down right next to the newborn.

"I thought you were all for letting Mother Nature take its course, Seth," barked Roman lightly watching Dean nuzzle into Seth's side.

Seth sighed and looked down as the pup let out a small cough and then continued to press into his side to get as much warmth as possible. "He needs a bath," meowed Seth quietly choosing to ignore Roman's comment and began to lick Dean dutifully.

So this is what happens when it snows, my cute muse comes out to play and stories like this are born :) What I have planned for this story is that it will kind of be more like a collection of one-shots featuring Seth, Roman, and puppy Dean as he slowly grows up. Let me know what you think.

Please read and review.