I claim no ownership of the copyrighted characters involved in this story. The characters of Mark and Sarah belong to me. Pokemon, Arcanine, Kirlia, Gardevoir, Spinarak, and the many other mentioned in this story are all owned by Nintendo.
Author's Chapter Notes:
We begin our story at the time of Mark and Flare's midterms, after which some interesting developments arise between the two.
I claim no ownership of the copyrighted characters involved in this story. The characters of Mark and Sarah belong to me. Pokemon, Arcanine, Kirlia, Gardevoir, Spinarak, and the many other mentioned in this story are all owned by Nintendo.
Tests and Taboos
I walked over to the massive red dog and started scratching behind his ears; when that didn't wake him I tried pulling on them which managed to get a stir out of him. Grinning evilly I leaned down and bit his ear; which woke him as intended, but made him jump up with such force as to throw me back against my bed. I giggled as my Arcanine gave me an annoyed look, but he still came up and licked my face to greet me as he had every morning.
"Come on Flare, let's get some breakfast before we head out" I said to him, "The midterm is going to take all day so we'll need the energy."
Flare gave a low woof of approval and we headed to the little kitchen area of my apartment. I cooked up a couple eggs for myself quickly and Flare had his customary massive bowl of dog food to fuel his massive body. As I ate I reflected on how we met.
When I first entered the academy, I was offered a Growlithe as he was the traditional partner pokemon of officers in my region; but on the day I was supposed to go pick out my pokemon from the academy stock, a crate arrived at my door from my uncle who lived out in Jhoto. My uncle was an accomplished pokemon breeder; though we never heard much from him back home. Needless to say, I was highly curious when I found out the crate was addressed to me, and immediately set to prying it open. The moment the lid gave way I was tackled by a Growlithe leaping out of the box; who immediately pinned me down and started licking all over my face. After I managed to calm the ecstatic puppy, I found a note and a pokeball inside the crate. The note was from my uncle, informing me that he heard I was going to need a Growlithe so he had pulled the best of his own breeding stock to get me one, that I should take special care in raising it, and that it had problems staying in its pokeball, or something along those lines. I can't go check exactly what it said now because Flare accidentally burnt the note to a crisp a long time ago. I do remember the weird training he had me give Flare though, I was supposed to have him fight only certain pokemon for a long time, after which it didn't matter what he battled afterwards. I didn't really know how that could be so important but I made sure to do as instructed anyway, and apparently it worked as Flare was always top of his class when he was a Growlithe.
I looked down at Flare to see he had finished his meal and was staring at me impatiently. I looked at my watch and realized I had lost nearly half an hour in thought.
"Crap!" I shouted, jumping out of my seat and running to the door with Flare hot on my heels. I all but sprinted down the stairs and outside the apartment complex, where Flare crouched down and barked for me to hop onto his back. It was a rare thing for him to let me ride him, and I wasted no time climbing onto him. I gripped his mane as he took off, flying down the sidewalk nearly as fast as the cars passing by, and in no time at all we made it to the academy.
I hopped off my partner and jogged inside, hoping I wasn't too late as I slipped into my regular lecture hall. The room was filled with other students like me as well as their respective Growlithe partners. Thankfully I had arrived just as the written exam was being handed out and I slipped into the back row of seats just in time to get my copy as Flare took his customary spot next to me on the floor. I smiled and gave him a rough scratch behind the ears and patted his side to thank him before setting to work on the massive packet before me.
An hour and a half went by before I finished, long enough for Flare to have fallen asleep on the floor next to me. I stepped over my partner and walked my exam to the front of the class before returning to my seat and patiently waiting for everyone else to finish. I reached down and pet the sleeping canine as one by one, the rest of the class turned their exams in and finally around noon we were dismissed for lunch and told to return with our partner pokemon at one o'clock sharp.
Flare and I made our way with the exiting crowd to the cafeteria, though our progress was slowed by his size. I Spotted one of my friends in the hall by the Spinarak clinging to her back and called out to her.
"Hey Sarah!" I hollered.
The transfer student turned around, spotting my massive pokemon and waved. "Mark, how do you think you did?" she asked, wading through the crowd towards me, the green spider crawled up onto her head to get a better vantage point.
"Well, I at least passed" I said "how about you?"
"I had one or two questions which gave me trouble, but I should have all but aced this one" she answered.
The conversation shifted to her hometown in Jhoto as we walked to the cafeteria and we chatted about how we preferred to train with our partners as we ate. Eventually we ran out of time and had to part ways for the second part of the exam; as it was the field test and she had a special chamber prepared due to her unique partner. We said our goodbyes and Flare and I headed to our own Special chamber for the test, as he was the only approved Arcanine candidate.
It was a short walk to our test chamber, and the officer waiting outside greeted us warmly. He explained that the test was basically an obstacle course that we would have to work together to overcome, and our grade would be determined by our time. He then joked that we would most likely never have to use these skills in the field and this was mostly a chance to show off. I chuckled and agreed before entering the door.
Inside, the room was dim and went to pitch black as the door was shut behind us. I felt Flare bump into my thigh as a voice sounded out via what I could only assume to be a loudspeaker.
"Alright Mark, this test is fairly straightforward, you're goal is to work with your Arcanine to get to the end of the course. There will be no hints and anything is allowed. You are to begin when the buzzer sounds, are you ready?"
I reached behind me and felt up Flares mane to scratch his ears, eliciting a quiet murr from him as I spoke loudly "ready as we'll ever be."
Within seconds there was a loud buzz, causing both me and flare to wince. The room was still pitch black and I sighed before ordering Flare to give me a very short flamethrower so we could see. He woofed and a lick of flame erupted from the darkness that was about a foot long. We could now see the room dimly lit ahead. It was more like a narrow hallway, with tall walls on either side. I identified the first challenge to be a long pool of water in front of us looking to be about fifty feet long.
"Think you could jump that?" I asked my partner. He shook his head, causing the flame to sway back and forth. "alright, give me another two feet of flame then so I can see when I get to the other side, okay?" I asked. Flare nodded as a larger flame erupted from his mouth. I wasted no time diving into the pool.
It took me about a minute to swim to the other side, where I hauled myself out of the water panting. I caught my breath and looked around spotting a massive wooden raft. "you've got to be kidding me" I mumbled to myself as I walked over to it and started dragging it towards the pool. The thing had to weigh at least two hundred pounds, and by the time I had finally worked it's bulk into the pool I was panting again. It was easier going moving the thing across the pool; however I took my time in order to regain my breath.
While crossing the last twenty or so feet back to my partner I was startled by the light shifting suddenly brighter and then suddenly knocked back by a massive splash from the raft. When I resurfaced I saw Flare crouched on the raft, doing a surprisingly good job balancing his bulk on it after leaping so far to it. I felt something bump my leg and looked down to see a Tentacruel in the pool with us, though before I could identify it as an obstacle it swam away. It must have been there to haul Flare out of the water if he fell in so he wouldn't be too hurt. An impatient woof from above snapped me out of my thoughts and I started pushing the now much heavier raft across the pool to the other side, though I only got it within maybe fifteen feet before Flare took another leap to close the distance. I abandoned the raft and quickly swam the rest of the way before hauling myself back out.
Now that the light was better on this side of the pool, I could see far enough to spot the next challenge, which seemed to be a series of insanely tall steps. Three separate ledges, each being about ten feet tall stood before us, and before I could even think about how to tackle it, flare was crouched down for me to hop on his back again. I asked him if he was sure and he only gave another impatient woof. I shrugged and climbed on, making sure to dig my fingers deep into his mane as he took off. I could barely make out what was happening in the dim light, only registering a sudden acceleration forward, followed by the disorientation of rising and falling as Flare ascended the steps.
Once atop the third step I rolled off my partner and stumbled a little, waiting for the dizziness to pass. I shook my head to clear it and looked ahead to see a wall of logs standing upright with enough space between each to make out a checkered line on the floor past them. My first thought was to have Flare just flamethrower them down, but a better thought occurred to me. Flare had a special move at his disposal, thanks to my uncle's way of breeding him.
I grinned and turned to the massive dog. "Flare, take them down with close combat" Flare growled and crouched low before flinging himself forward at an insane speed, colliding into the logs with the massive CRUNCH of breaking wood. I rushed forward, narrowly dodging a falling log as I caught up with Flare, who was shaking his head to clear the daze of impact. I shouted for him to follow as I vauted the splintered remains of the lower part of the logs and he quickly followed me over and across the finish line. A loud buzz sounded as we finished and the room lit up, causing me to wince.
"ten minutes, thirty four seconds Mark" the voice sounded again. "Not the best arcanine handling we've seen here, but still a B minus on our scale. You've got a really special partner there, try to work on your daydreaming problem though."
I grinned and hugged Flare tightly. "We passed!"
Flare murred and licked my cheek heavily until we were interrupted by the sound of a door opening to our left. An officer walked in and congratulated us before escorting us back to the entrance. We were free for the rest of the day, and on the way out I spotted Sarah and her Spinarak again, though I didn't get to chat with her as she was already on the bus back to her own apartment. Shrugging, I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing at home with my partner.
I walked home with Flare, who was strutting with pride the entire way. I stopped at the pokemart along the way to buy him a bone to reward him for his work, which he carried with a wagging tail the rest of the way home. Once inside, Flare happily curled up in the kitchen and started gnawing on his bone. I smiled at him as I headed into my bedroom and quietly closed the door behind me. It was time I give myself a little treat too.
Quietly I walked over to my computer and booted it up. While waiting for it to start up, I opened up my dresser and dug through my clothes to the bottom of the drawer, revealing the toy I kept hidden there. It was a simple dildo: blue, fairly thick, vaguely phallic detail to it but mostly smooth, and it had a suction cup at the base though I never had occasion to use that feature. I was able to take it easily due to having lots of practice with it. Leave a guy with an internet connection and a perverted side to him and he'll get curious, and what originally started with just a finger escalated to my first toy within a week. That one was pretty small, and eventually I got good enough with it that I decided to get the one I have now. It took a few weeks of practice before I could even fit it, but after that I never used the first toy again.
I grabbed my toy and returned to my computer pausing to make sure I could still hear Flare gnawing on his bone before opening up the browser and pulling my bottle of lube out from behind the monitor. I browsed through my bookmarks and picked my usual picture site, and proceeded to browse basically at random, clicking anything that caught my eye looking for something that sparks interest. Eventually something caught my eye, not sure if the thumbnail was what I thought it was, I clicked to make sure. I tensed up as the full image appeared on the screen, nervously checking over my shoulder to make sure the door was closed. It was a picture of a male Charizard and it's trainer, only the Charizard had it's thick member buried deep inside it's trainer's ass. Both were clearly enjoying the act: the Charizard was holding his trainer in his lap, and the trainer was rock hard and visibly leaking a copious amount a pre as he leaned back into his pokemon. I'd never seen anything like this and I was almost certain that this was illegal and that it would be taken down from the site almost immediately. Knowing that, something still possessed me to save the image. I kept telling myself that it was wrong and would just get me in trouble, but the throbbing bulge in my pants kept me going.
I wondered how it'd feel to have something as big and warm as a charizard dick inside me, and the thought sent shivers down my spine, culminating in a tingly feeling in my asshole. I wasted no time getting my pants off, and I realized just how turned on I was. I was hard enough to ache and there was already a stream of pre dribbling down my shaft. I hurriedly prepped my toy, not wasting any more time adding lube than I needed to before leaning back and pressing it against my anus. I took a deep breath and relaxed as I pushed it deep inside me, I could barely keep from moaning as it slid inside. It was a bit of a rough entry, but I was too turned on to care. I imagined it was the charizard's member inside me as I started to work the toy in and out of my ass. I panted as I toyed myself faster and faster, my member twitching and spurting more pre with nearly every thrust. My mouse and monitor lie forgotten as I lost myself in the act, toying my ass as fast as I could. I quickly got close to my peak, and in my mind I could feel the heat of Charizard's body as he prepared to fill me with his seed. I couldn't keep from moaning as I was about to cum, but loud and frantic scratching at my bedroom door scared me bad enough to fall out of my chair.
Dazed and panicked I quickly picked myself up off the floor, hearing a thump as my toy slid out of me and fell. I pulled my pants back on as fast as I could. I quickly closed the browser and kicked my toy across the floor to under my bed. I made a quick survey to see if I missed anything, and not seeing anything obvious I made my way to the door while trying to suppress my adrenalin. I opened the door and was immediately knocked over as Flare leaped through the doorway. He growled and glared around the room as he covered my whole body with his own, his body heat nearly overwhelming me. I squirmed and told him to get off of me, and he did so reluctantly. He stepped back and let me get back to my feet before he started sniffing everywhere in the room, searching the room for clues to what had happened.
"I'm fine Flare, nothing bad happened." I tried to reassure him, noticing him sniffing at the bottle of lube still sitting on my desk. I quickly snatched it up away from him "Really Flare, there's nothing wrong." I tried to reassure him, but he ignored me as his nose had found the spot on the floor where my toy had landed. I froze, knowing just how good his nose was and how well he knew my scent. He sniffed the floor in roughly the same path I had kicked the dildo and soon his muzzle was buried under my bed. I knelt down next to him and tugged on his mane trying to get him to give up and thought I had succeeded when he pulled his head back but was quickly proven wrong to see him holding my toy in his mouth.
Blushing deeply I ordered him to drop it; which he did promptly, giving me a confused look. I quickly snatched it up and threw it on my bed, away from Flare before turning and giving him an exasperated look. Seeing my frustration, he let out a low whine in apology. I felt bad, after all he was just worried about me and without context that kind of moaning is hard to register as a good thing.
"Look, I'm fine see?" I reassured him, petting his head and scratching behind his ears. "You're a good boy for trying to protect me but there's nothing to worry about this time. Sorry for getting mad at you for it" I held his head close to me to try to make him feel better, and from his wagging tail it seemed he did, though the way he was sniffing at my shirt was odd. I let go, but he kept his nose pinned to my chest, sniffing deeply. Confused I stood up and realized I had made a rather large pre stain on it in the middle of my fun. Blushing even more than before, I quickly yanked it off and threw it in the corner.
Flare stared at the shirt but didn't move, instead looking back up at me. I sighed "alright, you know what?" I asked him "lets do something special for dinner tonight. We both could use some time out of the house and that new restaurant that serves pokemon just opened up downtown. Sound like a good plan to you?"
Flare gave a happy bark of approval and we went out for the evening after a quick change of clothes. The food was great, and Flare really liked the special meal they prepared for him too. Fortune was on our side as it turned out Sarah had decided to go there with her spinarak that evening as well and we got to chat about our different field tests. It turned out hers had to do with testing her spinarak's accuracy with it's string shot attack and how well she could direct it through a maze on the ceiling. Her instructor had also made similar jokes about the uselessness of the skills but she took it seriously all the same. They even gave me a student discount on the meal, which was a good thing considering their prices were a tad higher than I could pay. We walked home that evening happy and full, but tired, and when we got home I realized it was the day of the week when I washed Flare.
To my surprise Flare put up little resistance when I told him it was time for a bath. I laid out towels across the floor as he was big enough that I could only fit one half of him into the tiny shower of my apartment at a time and the dripping water would flood the rest of the apartment without something to catch it. I stripped down to my boxers and started with his front half, first getting his fur wet and eliciting an annoyed growl from him. I tried to lather and rinse him as fast as I could, but even then it took a while due to the sheer size of him. Once finished I told him to turn around and he did so happily and I was surprised to see his tail wagging rather than tucked between his legs as it usually was on bath night. I set to work soaking his fur, then let my mind wander as I started lathering his fur with shampoo. My thoughts drifted back to the charizard and trainer picture, though I kept them reigned in enough to keep from getting aroused. After a while I was shaken from my fantasy by what I thought was growling at first, but I realized it was actually a low murr from Flare. I looked to realize I had long since lathered his entire back half, even one area I always left untouched. Cradled in my soapy hand were Flare's rather large testes, which felt pleasantly warm and soft in my fingers. I continued massaging them for a few seconds longer before I realized what I was doing and quickly withdrew my hand blushing deeply. Flare looked back at me, as if expecting something and I started to rinse the soap out of his fur, avoiding his gaze.
Before long I was done and I gave him the 'all clear' for drying off. Flare gave a woof of approval and crouched down, raising his own body temp and causing the water left in his fur to evaporate quickly. He was pretty good at it now, the first time we tried this method he set the towels on fire. But now he can not only dry himself but the towels as well without damage.
I smiled and gave Flare a good scratch behind the ears "come on, bed time" I said. He gave another woof of approval and followed me to the bedroom before curling up on his bed and looking back at me expectantly. I asked him what was up, but he just stared at me. I shrugged and quickly changed into a new pair of boxers, hearing Flare lick his chops as I pulled the wet pair off. I hopped onto my bed but winced as something poked hard at my back. I sat up and realized it was my toy, which I had left on the bed. I looked closer at it to see that Flare had scarred it beyond use with his teeth. I sighed and tossed it aside before pulling the blankets over myself. I noticed Flare was still staring at me, but he hadn't moved from his bed. I shrugged and laid back, closing my eyes.
Sleep came slowly. I kept waking up and rolling around trying to get comfortable, but eventually I managed to stay asleep long enough to dream. Something behind me was radiating a huge amount of heat, and at first I thought it must be the charizard from earlier, but as I turned around I realized it was my partner Flare. Before I could say anything he had pounced on me, knocking me down onto my back. Goosebumps broke out as I lay beneath the massive beast, unsure what he wanted of me. He suddenly shifted his body until his large sheath and testes were presented mere inches from my face.
Swallowing hard, I understood what he wanted and slowly reached up to massage his sack with one hand while gently squeazing his sheath with my other. He murred deeply as I groped and stroked him, and soon I saw the red tip of his member start poking free of his sheath. I blushed and stroked his sheath faster, switching position to use both hands as more and more of his throbbing red dick revealed itself. The tip drew near my face as he became fully aroused and I saw he was nearly a foot long and dribbling a copious amount of pre. I suddenly had to know what it tasted like. I leaned forward and tentatively licked the tip of his shaft, cleaning the pre from it. The taste was salty, but oddly savory despite that and before I knew it I had my mouth around him, suckling gently on his member. I moved a hand back to cradle his testes as I slowly bobbed up and down his fully engorged shaft and stroked what I couldn't fit in my mouth. It was then I realized that I was also rock hard and stopped massaging Flare's furry sack to reach down and stroke myself as I slid his member deeper into my mouth. Flare's contented murring shifted to a low growl as his hips suddenly thrust forward, driving his member to the back of my throat and forcing me to suppress the urge to gag. He kept thrusting into my mouth, though he was more careful not to choke me with the following strokes and all I could do was stroke myself as he used my mouth. I saw the base of his shaft swell wider and wider as he facefucked me and before long he erupted into my mouth, instantly filling it and spilling out and down my chin. I tried to swallow as much as I could but he kept cumming and cumming and I couldn't keep up, eventualy I had to back off in order to breath as he painted my face with the last few spurts of his semen.
I panted hard and looked up at him, still rock hard myself as he lay down mostly on top of me and started to lovingly lick my face clean. Though something seemed off, too real, which didn't make sense until the dream faded and I opened my eyes to see the real Flare lying on top of me, staring intently as his tail slowly wagged. I looked up at him, and suddenly realized my still hard member was sandwiched between his incredibly warm body and mine. I squirmed and Flare pinned his paws on my shoulders, holding me in place and growling quietly. Feeling intimidated, I immediately stopped and asked him what he was doing. Flare responded with a heavy lick to my cheek before taking the blanket in his mouth and pulling it off of me, revealing the tent I was pitching in my boxers. Embarrassed, I tried to cover it but Flare moved his front paws down over my thighs, holding me in place. Before I could tell him to stop his nose was buried in my crotch, sniffing intently at my boxers. I tried to push his head away but the massive canine was too strong for me to move and soon had nosed the slit in my boxers open, causing my throbbing erection to be fully revealed. I froze up, not sure if he was really doing what I thought he was. He gave my member a few sniffs as if to confirm something, then started slowly dragging his big hot tongue across it, happily wagging his tail. I gasped and bit my lip, stifling a moan as he pleasured me. His tongue felt amazing, but before I could really start to enjoy it he stopped and started tugging ineffectively at my boxers with his paws, emitting a low whine and looking at me pleadingly.
With a sigh, I submitted to my partner's will and reached down to pull my boxers off, I was too turned on now to stop anyway. Seeing I was finally complying, Flare moved off my thighs and let me fully disrobe. Tossing my boxers aside, I now sat completely naked and aroused before the massive canine. He wagged his tail faster as he nosed my side, easily tossing me onto my stomach with his strength. I picked myself up onto all fours before a low growl told me that was the way he wanted me. I shivered in anticipation, too caught up in the moment to even think of lube. It turned out to not be a concern as I soon felt something hot, wet, and soft press against my anus and start massaging it. I bit my lip as my partner quickly loosened me up with his surprisingly skillful tongue. I breathed heavily as he started pressing his tongue inside me, stretching my asshole wide with its size.
Suddenly Flare withdrew his tongue from me and just as I was about to look back, his front paws slammed down on either side of me and I was suddenly enveloped in his body heat. He murred quietly as he pressed his hips into mine and I shuddered as I felt his already hard member rub against my own, realizing he was far bigger than my toy. I didn't get to savor the feeling long as he quickly repositioned his hips until I felt the tip of his massive rod press against my back door. Trembling, I gritted my teeth and tried to relax as he slowly forced himself inside me, and despite being extremely loose from his amazing rim job and the copious amounts of saliva and what I could only guess to be pre spilling out from his dick he was still a very tight fit inside me. I felt his furry testes press against my own, realizing he had somehow fit his entire length inside me. We were both panting now, and he wasted no time starting to thrust in and out of me, starting slowly at first but gradually picking up pace as I got used to his size and more of his pre lubed me up further. Within minutes he was humping me quickly and panting heavily as I moaned and squirmed beneath him. I couldn't hold myself up for long as pleasure took over; I let my front half collapse, wrapping my arms weakly around Flare's strong front legs. From my new position I could see the thick stream of pre trailing from my throbbing member down to a sizable puddle on the bed as my partner filled me over and over. The sight of flare thrusting into me caused me to rise to me peak quickly and soon I was dribbling my pent up load all over my bed as the Arcanine mated with me. It turned out Flare wasn't far behind me as he lodged himself deep inside me and I could feel his knot swelling inside me. I winced as I was stretched even wider, though his knot pressed my spot hard enough for me to reach a second climax, squirting my load hard enough to paint my face and chest just as I felt his member surge as he climaxed as well, growling loudly. I felt my insides gurgle as his seed flooded my bowels and all I could do was pant weakly as his member was locked inside me. Flare collapsed to the side, pulling me with him and causing my bed to creak with his shifted weight. He started murring and gently licking the back of my neck as I lay nestled into his fur next to him, and despite the ache from his massive knot in my ass his body heat and soft fur comforted me enough that I fell asleep next to him like that.
I awoke the next morning to contented snores and a powerful ache in my lower region and suddenly what had happened last night came rushing back to me. What did this mean for our relationship as master and partner? What does this mean in relation for me becoming an officer of the law? These and countless other questions flooded my mind and I scrambled upright, noticing my bed felt utterly soaked and sticky, and the commotion caused Flare to roll away from me, culminating in a loud crash as he fell to the floor. I looked down as him as he stood up, dazed from the rude awakening, but with a long yawn and a quick shake of his head he seemed fine. He looked back up at me and we sat like that for a long time, just looking at each other and at least for me taking in the full scope of what happened last night. Eventually it was Flare who broke the stare down with a quiet woof as he leaned forward and gave me a quick lick on the cheek. Stunned, I couldn't keep from smiling.
I quickly located my boxers, but as I was pulling them on I realized my inner thighs were covered in Flare's dried spunk. I sighed and decided a morning shower wouldn't be a bad idea; though when I passed through the kitchen I realized it was well past noon. I couldn't believe I had slept for so long, but I was grateful it was the weekend. I saw Flare strutting out of the bedroom, and I noticed that for the first time since he had started sleeping in my apartment he seemed really relaxed. I pondered this as I headed into the shower and started washing the residue of last night's fun from my body. While scrubbing I discovered that I still was extremely loose, enough so that I could fit two fingers inside me without lube. I felt oddly proud of myself for that. Once I felt I was clean enough I quickly toweled off only to realize from the fresh white smear on the towel that Flare's cum was still leaking out of me. I made sure to stuff a wad of toilet paper back there as I got dressed to prevent it from causing a stain.
Flare was waiting for me outside the bathroom and started wagging his tail as soon as I opened the door. I cautiously reached out and scratched him behind the ears realizing he was still the same Arcanine from before if a bit more cheerful.
"Well, what do you think about what we did last night?" I asked him, as if expecting an answer. He just panted and wagged his tail faster. I sighed, not sure what to make of it all myself.
"Well, what do you think about getting some training in this afternoon?" I asked, hoping to regain some sense of normalcy. He replied with a happy bark and trotted to the door, eager to get started. I couldn't help but smile as I headed to the door; it looked like things would still be okay.