Have a tranq on me

Buzz followed me out of the valley and back to the station, barking incessantly, even after we got inside. I stood there in the office, frowning at him as he squatted on his big hind legs, his eyes bulging with fury and warning, his jaws snapping mindlessly.

I couldn’t imagine how he could go on much longer, but I figured he would tire out on his own, so I tried to ignore the noise as I gathered some heavy tools in a bag, slung a coil of rope around my shoulder, and grabbed the keys to the snowcat.

Buzz bolted between my legs and tried to block the side door, but I threw a leg against him and swung it open, trapping him between the door and the wall. He protested fiercely, his voice becoming weak and raspy, but he strained and shoved and managed to slip outside after me. I stumbled as the husky rammed me in the legs.

“Enough!” I shouted.

There was no way I could bring him along in this condition. I had a few more things to get, then I would drop the equipment off at the snowcat, take Buzz inside, and lock him in the dog run.

He tailed me into the storehouse where I filled the bag up with a few more things, watching him out of the corner of my eye, then locked up and headed back out. I walked behind the science station to the shed where we kept the snowcat and unfastened the latch, when Buzz suddenly lurched forward and sunk his teeth into my calf.

I howled in pain, and smacked the dog with the coil of rope until he relented. It wasn’t as hard as he could have bitten, but I’d had enough. From my tool bag I produced a tranq gun, flipped the safety off, and plugged the husky with a vial of diazepam. He fought it well, but his legs gave out and he was out cold in under twenty seconds.

I picked him up and carried him to the dog run, gave him a few strokes, and locked the door. Back outside, I loaded the snowcat up with the equipment, cranked the ignition, and rumbled down into the valley.