The woman quickly exited the car and opened the rear door, allowing Dean to slip out first, leaving room for her to manoeuvre the none too light Sam into her arms.
"Uh, maybe I should get some help here," Dean heard her grunting. "This sweetie is a little on the heavy side. Good job I work out."
The wounded dog in her arms, she made short work of the couple of steps that led up to the surgery. She back-pushed the door open, with Dean following worriedly at her heels.
"Got a walking wounded for you," she said to the nurse. "I think he might have a broken leg and he's been chewed up pretty bad by some animal too."
She gently placed Sam on a near-by trolley.
"How you feeling, Sammy?" Dean asked, his concerned words coming over to the humans as a drawn out whine.
"Don't worry Dean, I'm okay. These humans will fix me up good as new," Sam managed to murmur.
But Dean was in no way convinced. Humans were unpredictable and not to be trusted. He wasn't like his little brother who saw good in everything and everyone around him.
"The other dog yours too?" the nurse asked, nodding over at Dean who was standing by the side of the trolley.
"No, actually neither of them are," their rescuer answered, ruffling the spiky fur on Dean's head.
"He's the one who got me to stop. He stood in the road right in front of my car, made me get out, then led me to where his companion was lying wounded. He's a courageous little guy, gotta say."
"Will you be picking up the doctor's tab then? If the dogs aren't yours..."
"No, it's fine. I'll foot the bill. I sort of feel responsible for them, can't really say why, just do."
Some time later, the doctor came into the waiting room where Dean had been endlessly circling the room, downcast and whining.
"Calm down, he'll be fine," she'd soothed.
The dog had been acting as if he was truly worried for his companion in surgery.
"You're a strange mutt," she'd muttered meeting Dean's curiously green eyes. "It's as if you understand what I'm saying."
"Woof, " had been the only reply.
'You betcha I understand,' Dean thought snorting. 'You humans think you're so special, but so are me and Sammy!'
"How is he, doctor?"
"Well, he has a simple fracture in his right back leg and bite marks around his neck and flanks, but he should heal up good as new. I've given him all his shots and prescribed an antibiotic for the bites just in case of infection," the vet sentenced.
"However," he continued. "Nurse tells me the dogs aren't yours and as they have no dog-tags, I'm afraid they'll end up in an animal shelter, and hopefully be adopted by someone looking for a pet."
Dean's heart almost stopped at the words. There was no way he and Sammy were gonna end up in one of those prisons.
Maybe he hadn't made the right decision after all when he'd sought help from the humans. Perhaps he should just have lain down next to his little brother and waited for death to take them both but when he heard the lady's next words, he reflected that maybe Sammy wasn't as wrong about humans as Dean had thought.
"No, it's okay. I'll take them with me. Can the other dog be moved?"
"Yes. All he needs is rest and a vet to keep an eye on the healing process."
"Thanks doctor. I've gotta get going, so if you can get him settled into my car, I'll pay the bill and be off. I should have been home hours ago."
"Certainly," the man nodded, happy to have had the situation resolved so easily.
Dean licked the woman's hand. She squatted to eye-level.
"You know, there's something about you," she mused. "I've no idea what, and to boot you remind me of someone I know, someone as caring and loyal as you seem to be. You and your friend need a home for a while. Does coming with me suit you?"
Dean barked his assent with much tail-wagging.
"OK then, let's head out."
She stood up and waited until a drowsy Sam was comfortably settled in the back seat with Dean curled up on the floor beside him.
"Sammy, " he asked concernedly. "How're you feeling?"
"M'okay, Dean, " was the slurry reply. "I don't know what they gave me but it sure feels good!"
Dean lifted his head and kicked Sam's face.
"You know, little brother, I think we've been lucky this time. Maybe you weren't so wrong about humans after all."
"Yeah, maybe I get to be right sometimes, Grumpy!" Sam answered. "Now are you gonna let me get some sleep or are you gonna keep me awake the entire way to wherever it is we're going?"
"Close your eyes Sammy. I'll keep watch."
"No, get some sleep yourself, Dean. If this human wanted to harm us, she wouldn't have helped us in the first place. Have some faith, bro!"
"Yeah, maybe you're right."
Dean yawned, rested his head on his paws and closed his eyes.
A few hours later, they rolled into Sioux Falls.
Dean's ears pricked up when the car stopped. He heard the door being opened and a man's voice speaking.
"Sheriff. We were expecting you back earlier. Everything okay?"
"Yeah, fine," Jody Mills answered. "I picked up a couple of stragglers along the way." She nodded at the two dogs in the back seat. "Got me some company for the cold winter nights."
"Thought you said you didn't have time to keep pets around," the man teased.
"Well these two are a little special. It was sorta love at first sight," she grinned.
"By the way, those two nephews of Bobby Singer are lookin' for you. Said they'd be back later."
"Okay, I'll take these two home, freshen up and be right back."
Funny her deputy should mention the Winchesters, 'cos that's exactly who the darker-coated dog had reminded her of, Dean Winchester. And now that she dwelt on it the bigger chestnut-coated one was a dead ringer, doggy-version of Dean's younger brother, Sam.
Go figure, she mused turning into her drive-way.