It was lonely after she dropped Todd off at the reservation. April Tweed had decided about a week ago to get herself a dog. One she could keep forever. She had been down to the shelter yesterday and had picked out a five year old Irish Setter/Labrador mix named Loretta. April looked down at her new addition to her family as she hung the laundry up on the line to dry. Loretta was sitting loyally at her side with her pink tongue hanging out the front of her mouth. April chuckled happily and patted the pretty dog on the head lovingly.

"Such a good girl aren't you Loretta?"

Loretta wagged her tail back and forth, she was so happy now! She had a new home and was with someone who loved her back. Her owner finished hanging the clothes on the line and began to go back inside.

"Come on Loretta, or are you staying outside?"

Loretta gave a light bark and turned around to go sniff around. She wanted to take a look around for a little bit since she had just gotten used to her new home. Loretta began to walk off her owner's property and on over to another house. She figured maybe she could introduce herself to any other dogs living there.

Her light coat stood out against the dark colors of the forest. Loretta found herself behind a couple of barrels. She walked around to the front only to be confronted by a loud bark and a set of snapping, grey jaws. She yelped in shock and jumped up on the barrel. The grey dog stopped barking and seemed to calm down a bit before speaking.

"What are ya doin' here lady?"

Loretta scoffed and jumped down to the ground, meeting the dog eye to eye.

"Well I was tryin' to be polite and introduce myself to ya but it seems you don't want no company so I'll best be on my way," she said and lifted her head high as she began to strut away. Loretta stopped and looked over her shoulder as he called out after her.

"Well now wait justa second woman! Ya startled me that's all. Name's Chief sweetheart, how about you," Chief asked. He couldn't help but notice what a looker this gal was. Her eyes were multi-colored, one was green and one was blue. Her body was a pretty tone of yellow while the extra hair on her head and tail were brown. The woman's voice was toned like his, a country accent; just it was softer and much nicer to listen to.

"Loretta. My name is Loretta; I'm April's new house pet."

Chief went wide eyed for a second before scowling. That old lady had caused him and Amos Slade so much trouble. Was this dame going to do the same?

"Hmph. That old woman has caused my master and I so much trouble it's ridiculous!"

"Well," Loretta gasped, "April is a good and kind woman. She wouldn't harm a fly!"

"Hmph…" Chief wished she weren't so pretty then it would be easier to ignore her and be his usual mean self.

Just then, Amos came out with his gun, he was on crutches too, and Loretta's eyes filled with fear. She had never liked guns so she was paralyzed with fear. Before Chief was able to get up and help her, April Tweed came and stood cross armed between Loretta and Amos.


Amos stopped in his tracks and lowered the gun. As much as he was irritated with the woman, he couldn't bring himself to actually harm her.

"Dang it woman keep your pets offa my property!"

Loretta narrowed her eyes and growled at this man who was yelling at April. She hadn't done a thing to him! It was all her own fault; she was the one who wandered off in the first place!

"Now now Loretta don't be rude! I was on my way over to look at that leg again and I brought over a meal so the least you could do was be courteous for once!"

To April, it sounded like Loretta barked, but she had actually growled to Chief,

"That goes fer you too!"

The two humans went inside and Loretta and Chief stayed outside. He gave a sigh and said in a sincere tone,

"I uh, want to apologize, Miss Loretta for earlier…"

Loretta smiled softly and gently licked Chief's cheek.

"That's sweet, and it's alright Chief," Loretta assured him. She lay down outside his barrel and rested her head on her paws. She chuckled at the star struck expression on Chief's maw. "You can jus' call me Loretta darlin'."

Chief swallowed and blushed a little as she chuckled at him. Loretta's gentle kiss was playing over and over in his mind. He smiled and also rested his head on his paws.

"Y'know after a few years of watchin' April and my master, I think he's sweet on her," said Chief with a chuckle.

Loretta laughed shortly and replied, "Oh? What makes ya think that?"

"Well he's always makin' threats and talking big around her but he never follows through with any of it. He's usually not such a grouch around me and Copper."

"Well if he wants to get someplace with her he'd better start treatin' her nice. Women don't like being' screamed at, we'll jus' scream right on back usually. And who is Copper?"

"Aw Copper's another huntin' dog that lives here. You'll see em' around, he's just messin' around someplace…"

"Are you a huntin' dog too?"

"Yes 'mam!"

"I'm a bird dog. Do you hunt birds," Loretta asked with a wagging tail. April never would take her hunting but she used to have an owner that took her hunting quite often.

Chief gaped at her. A lady hunter; no way… This woman was too good to be true.

"A woman hunter huh? That's a nice change around these parts."

Loretta was about to reply but April and Amos came out. Her owner called her over so she turned to Chief and said gently,

"It was nice meeting you Chief, I'll see ya 'round!"

She smiled and ran over to April, wagging her tail happily. The pair headed to their home next door for the night. Just then, Copper came sneaking back into his barrel before Amos noticed his absence.

Copper notice Chief had a giddy smile on his face. Giving him an odd look, Copper asked in a rather curious tone,

"What's up with you Chief? You look… happy."

Chief sighed and replied, still looking in the direction that Loretta walked away in.

"There is a lady hunter that came over jus' now and she's as purdy as she is sweet…"

Copper laughed and rolled onto his back. Chief sounded like someone from a fairy tale or something. Although, it was odd for him to see Chief in this state of mind; growing up, he was always so grouchy or mean. Either Chief had cleaned up his act for this special lady or she was blind.

April Tweed sat down in her chair and Loretta curled up on her pillow next to her. The house was warm and cozy, as always. Her owner kept the house feeling very homey and snug. Letting out a sigh the mutt shut her multi colored eyes and began to drift off to sleep.