Blitz's Untold Story

Unexpected Surprise

The soft pitter-patter of the hard drizzle outside the large window was the only sound breaking the silence of the warm den. The Chancellor and his wife sat stiff as statues on the velvet sofa. Heidi was sobbing into her husband’s shoulder as the translator had repeated every word. Master closed the tattered journal, holding his finger in the place where he stopped.

“Mein Gott…” the Chancellor whispered in shock.

“Meine Blitz… mein armer Freund…” (My Blitz… my poor friend) Heidi sobbed.

All of the Rovers’ faces were wet with tears again. Hearing it the first time was hard enough, but a second time was like having their life force drain completely out of their bodies.

“Vhat have I done to him…?” The Chancellor thought as tears finally started down his face.

“He… he nevah said anyting about dhis…?” The Chancellor questioned.

“No… none of us knew. It has cut us to the core knowing he has held all this inside,” Hunter said.

“And tha’ is just ‘is past…” Colleen added.

“Vhat do you mean…?” The Chancellor asked.

“Well, Sir, we haven’t gone past where Master stopped,” Hunter explained.

“Vhy is dhat?” The Chancellor asked in bewilderment.

“We are not knowing whatski is beyond bad already in it…” Exile responded.

“Going through what we did read again… it does explain some things…” Master said.

“How is thatski, Master?” Exile asked.

“Well, do you recall what I promised all of you before I found your human families…?” Master furthered.

“Da… like it was just last nightski…” Exile said.

“Yeah, 3 square meals, a weekly bath, and a carpet by the fireplace…” Hunter filled in.

“Remember Blitz’s reaction…?” Master asked in more of a statement than a question.

“I remember ‘im saying somethin about the sofa and you correctin’ ‘im…” Colleen recalled.

“Yes… but none of the rest of you backed away…” Master pointed out.

“Wha’ exac’ly does tha’ say, Master?” Colleen asked.

“Since Blitz came from such abandon and abuse, wanting something better if there was opportunity and cowering away after trying is really a textbook reaction… I wish I would have noticed it,” Master said.

“Nun, da Sie erwähnen, dass, Blitz habe einige eigenartige Dinge für ein paar Monate, nachdem Sie ihn zu uns gebracht. Er wollte zurückweichen, wenn Johann oder Alaric wäre für ihn zu erreichen. Er hat nie schlug, würde aber so sehr wir hatten Angst, etwas falsch mit ihm zu schütteln. Der Koch konnte ihn nicht zufrieden. Sobald er sein Abendessen beenden würde, erzählte mir, er Cookies für alle Reste hatte sie bitten würde. Diese dauerten so kurzer Zeit, aber, dass wir nicht zahlen sie jeden Sinn. Wir dachten, es war nur ihn immer zum Leben verwendet,“ (Now that you mention that, Blitz did some peculiar things for a few months after you brought him to us. He would back away when Johann or Alaric would reach for him. He never lashed out, but would shake so much we were afraid something was wrong with him. The cook couldn’t keep him satisfied. Once he would finish his dinner, Cookie told me he would beg for any leftovers she had. These lasted such a short time, though, that we didn’t pay it any mind. We thought it was just him getting used to life here.) Heidi explained as she dried her eyes.

The translator relayed her message as the Chancellor continued saying, “Ja, I began bringing him into my private den upstairs every morning before I left and every night before bed just talking vith him alone. I vanted to let him know dhat he vas home. He became dhe most trusted friend I’ve evah had. I feel so horrible knowing dhat I vasn’t a good friend in return.”

“Chancellor, you didn’t know. The fault doesn’t rest on one person here. We are all guilty, but we can’t focus on that right now,” Master said.

“I know you are right, my friend. Still, I can’t help feeling responsible. *sigh* I vill not lie and say dhat I vish I nevah had him. He is dhe most loyal, protective, yet gentle dog I’ve evah seen. Eva misses him so much. I vould do anyting to get him back, just to see her smile again,” the Chancellor said.

“Blitz ist ihre ganze Welt. Ich erinnere mich, wie aufgeregt sie an diesem Tag Sie ließen ihn war. Sie wollte nicht essen für eine Woche,“ (Blitz is her entire world… I remember how upset she was that day you sent him away. She didn’t eat for a week.) Heidi added.

“Chancellor, I am not pretending to understand what made you say what you did that day, but the reasoning behind it doesn’t make sense to us…you seem to care for him so much” Hunter stated.

“I do…I undahstand my behavior dhat day vas… horrible. I felt betrayed,” The Chancellor explained.

“Chancellor, our human families had not same feeling when they were finding outski… why did you getski so red in face?” Exile explained.

“Vhat does it matter now? How could he vant to come back here… come back home…” The Chancellor said fiddling with something in his hand.

Colleen looked closer and recognized the shiny material as the silk collar Blitz used to wear before the Chancellor had ripped it from him after the Havoc scene.

’E misses ‘im…” Colleen thought with compassion.

“You say Blitz did strange things… well, he had his quirks when he was at HQ too…” Hunter said.

“Like vhat, exactly…?” The Chancellor asked.

“Peppermint milkshakes… he fix one at HQ every day… To meski, it was seeming like if he didn’t have it he go crazy…” Exile began motioning a circle around his temple to accent the point.

“True… ‘ow ‘e could stomach tha’ is beyond me… but…” Colleen said.

“Well, dhat is probably my fault… ve always gave him peppermint sticks as special treats…” the Chancellor admitted.

Muzzle let out his own shudder at the thought of the unpleasant taste of the drink he had mistakenly took from a half-empty glass that had turned over on the counter. He had drifted over to a place in front of the couch where Eva was still sleeping to keep next to the fire.

“Yeah… and he always stiffened up me one every decision I made as leader… but it always seemed like there was more behind his outbursts…and knowing his past I can kinda reason out why” Hunter explained.

“Rarara…” Shag agreed.

“I vill say the pride of a German is very strong…” The Chancellor said.

“I’m ratha’ ashamed of ‘ow I teased him, called ‘im names, and everythin’… it was almost like he tolerated it for some odd reason in hopes of a certain outcome…especially ‘ow desperate ‘e seemed…” Colleen continued.

“Maybe comrade say more in journal…?” Exile wondered aloud.

“Well, let me see… the next entry in the journal is the day I called you all,” Master said as he looked at the date with such nostalgia.

“Rararararara… Rara Rararara….” Shag mumbled, saying that it had already been too much to hear Blitz’s past.

“Maybe so, Shag… I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need to understand so we can move on when we find him…” Hunter stated.

“I agree with ‘untie…” Colleen added.

“Alright… if we are all in agreement…” Master asked awaiting the confirmation from everyone in the room.

Everyone nodded their head.

“Ok… let’s see then…” Master said as he began to read once again.

"Thursday, September 15, 1996: Something strange happened today. It all began when I was chasing some scrounger out of the junkyard. He screamed like a little girl before I bit his tooshie. I know that seems strange, but when you don’t find happiness in very much, you really don’t care. Anything that can keep you from ending it all is a relief.

Suddenly, a big, bright and shiny light appeared. Some strange voice told me that I had been chosen. I didn't know what for. I wasn’t anything special. The voice told me to come, so once it was dark, I dug out. I didn't know where I was going, but anywhere was better than the place I considered to be my own personal version of hell.

Anyway, something led me down into the subway station and to a hole into the middle of the tracks. It was very late, so no humans or trains where there. It opened as soon as I stepped on it. I fell through into a very weird seat, which started moving very fast. I don't like going fast. It reminds me too much of running in fear for my life.

When the strange seat stopped, I was rushed into some sort of small room. I didn't know why, but it felt like I was supposed to be there. All of a sudden, a door closed behind me and fog began filling the room up. It scared me at first, but then a wonderful feeling came over me. It felt like vhen Maria Genevieve would hold me close to her on cold nights in one of her quilts.

Just as soon as the feeling started, it stopped. The door that had closed opened again and I walked out on TWO legs, instead of four. My front legs had become arms, like a human's. I could not believe how I looked… I looked like a human/dog crossover. I do have to admit I was full of pride in my appearance because it was not the mutilated pile of skin and bones that I had been. I had large muscles covering my bones, not loose, underfed skin. My fur was jet black and my markings were a rich mahogany instead of the dull, lifeless gray and tan I had. I just had to compliment myself, meaning to compliment whoever made me look like a million franc dog…”

“Man, hearing that really brings back that day…” Hunter commented.

“Da… I remember what comrade said after coming outski too…” Exile reminisced.

"Ooo, look at me. I'm so handsome I could kiss myself. In fact, I tink I vill," Blitz said vainly as he began smooching his bulging biceps.

“Ha-ha… I remember that too, Exile. As strange as it sounded then… it makes so much sense…” Master said.

“He definitely held himself high around here…” The Chancellor said.

“Ja…” Heidi agreed.

“Indeed… wha’ else does ‘e say, Master?” Colleen asked.

Master continued on saying, “I wasn't the only one to be transformed, however. As I was busy admiring myself, I heard another door hiss to my right. I heard a voice… it sounded female, but to me the voice sounded like music sent straight from Heaven. It had been so long since I had heard something that lovely. I stepped out to see if I could observe what was making that gorgeous sound.

Colleen winced remembering that her transform tube was right next to Blitz’s.

All around me were other dogs that looked like me, but were different breeds. On my left was a really big husky dog with bluish grey and white fur. His name is Exile and is from a place called Siberia. I don't know where that is… I'll ask him later. He seems very friendly. He reminds me of my brother, Trage .Rather fitting since my brother’s name meant ‘Bear’ in German…

Exile felt tears come to his eyes. Blitz thought of him as a brother he had lost…? He hung his head recalling all the times he should have been like a brother rather than a tormentor. All the ‘Weird-Boy’ comments came flooding back into the forefront of his mind.

Next to him was a golden furred retriever looking dog, which was holding a tennis ball in one of his paws… or would that be hands now? (This whole half-human thing is a little disorienting.) His name is Hunter and he has assumed being the leader. I have nothing against him, but… I don't know. He is understanding even when I bucked a little. He didn't put my down in my place. There is something about him that sees the good and not the bad. He acts so much like my youngest brother, Zelin, I would swear he was his reincarnation…”

Brother…? Oh man, Blitz… I was so wrong about you…” Hunter thought.

“On the other side of the room was a big white sheepdog that didn't seem to have become as humanlike as the rest of us. I found out his name is Shag. He can carry so many things in his fur…it is amazing. He’s also a genius cook… guess that came with the transforming process…his food made me feel like I was back at Maria Genevieve’s…

Suddenly, I heard a growling noise beside me. I jumped back and saw that it was a Rottweiler strapped to a metal cart. Come to find out, his name is Muzzle… obvious observation, but it works. I need to remember not to get in his way. He seems like any other dog when he isn’t upset. Come to find out, he was Master’s pet before they were separated, so it nearly made me tear up knowing they were together again…I was happy to see that not all stories end badly like mine did a long time ago…

Shag and Muzzle looked at one another with a sigh of regret. Hearing Blitz’s true feelings about them caused them to droop down becoming furry rugs on the wood floor.

Then I looked on my right side and I saw a beautiful sight. She was a lovely example of a rough collie with reddish-brown and white fur. Her eyes are a piercing sapphire blue like my sister, Saphira’s, were. Her name is Colleen and is an expert in karate fighting. I made the mistake of getting too close when she demonstrated a roundhouse kick for Master. She is definitely something very special. Her attitude reminds me of my baby sister, Elise… sweet and cute but can be rather determined when needed…

Colleen felt so touched. Blitz did not look at her like some over-hormonilized male only wanting to mate with her… she reminded him of the family he had tragically lost. Tears ran down her muzzle thinking about the comforting feeling she would have if she had found a reminder of her mother after losing her to the filthy streets of London.

After meeting everyone, Master sent us out on a mission to get something called a Molecular Stabilizer away from some bad guys, Parvo and Groomer. Just to put it down on paper, I was a royal sissy. Yes, part in fear of all the new sensations and experiences, but mostly because when I did react in such ways it made Colleen laugh. I always loved it when I made my mother and sisters laugh, so it was like connecting again.

“Blimey…” Colleen whispered through a choked sob.

Hunter wrapped one arm around her shoulders to support her, pulling her close. Colleen nestled her head into Hunter’s neck.

To keep from rambling on, we recovered it and returned back to Master and kept bad guys from making very bad canine hybrids called Cano-Mutants. They are similar to us, but are uglier looking and not as smart. When we got back, Shag fixed us all a hot meal. It was so nice to have a full stomach. I didn’t care want it was. Master even gave us a warm bed by the fire as he searched for homes for us. I did get a little greedy and wanted the curl up on the sofa, but Master forbade it. After sleeping under a junk car with cloth scraps for so long, anyone would want something softer. He startled me with that booming voice of his… sounded a bit like the junkyard owners when they tortured me…

“Oh my… I didn’t know I sounded that bad…” Master stated.

“Makes sense… he vas leery of most men…” The Chancellor added.

“There’s a little more left to this entry…” Master noticed.

It is strange being around other dogs but, I feel like this is a new start for me. Master was intimidating at first, but I’ve come to know him as a caring human. He treats all of us like his own children, which means a lot to me. I can’t wait for Master to find my permanent home. For the first time in, I can’t remember how long, I feel at home…

The entry ended with a simply drawn smiley face. Master sighed as he dropped the journal down to rub his eyes.

“Need a break, Master…?” Hunter asked, reaching out to take the journal.

“That would help for a while, Hunter…” Master agreed, handing the tome to the retriever.

Hunter continued reading entry after entry. It was like reading the instruction manual for Blitz’s very being. After a few plain day-by-day entries, Hunter found an entry describing the day he came to the Chancellor’s home.

Christmas Day, 1996 – The Best Day Ever! Shag and I were eating breakfast this morning when I got the best news. Hunter, Colleen, and Exile had already been placed in permanent homes, so I was becoming impatient. I like it here at HQ, but being with a family just sounds like Heaven.

Sorry off topic… Shag and I were eating… Master called for me from his balcony he would address us from. He announced he had found me a home! I was so happy I could’ve burst! He told me to transform back to my four-legged form and get ready to go. I was going to be a Christmas present for the Chancellor of Germany’s family! Ach die lieber! I could swear this has to be a dream.

We flew to Germany just in time for Christmas dinner. Master had me hide inside a decorated wooden box after putting a bow around my collar and a Santa hat on my head. I was so excited I was vibrating the box. I heard Master give the signal and I popped out of the box. I heard people gasp in surprise and cheer in happiness seeing me. I felt so loved and wanted. The Chancellor and the Madame even have an adorable baby girl. Her name is Eva. When I saw her, all I wanted to do is protect her forever. I was showered in such acceptance I nearly collapsed from joy.

Later that night, the Chancellor showed me to a place that had a large bed pillow in front of the fire next to the large Christmas tree. It had my name on it. The Chancellor and the Madame introduced me to Eva. She’s so small. I nuzzled her and she hugged me close. I curled around her and watched her fall asleep. Before they left, the Chancellor gave me a red and white stick. It smelled sweet, so I took it and let it roll around my tongue I fell in love with the taste. Once I did, he said it was a peppermint and that it was a tradition to eat one on Christmas Day as a part of the family. I nearly cried. I finally have a family, a home, and now someone to love and protect… Thank you, Master…”

The Chancellor and Master’s eyes were brimming with tears hearing the exuberant joy Blitz must have felt that day.

“Will this emotional assault ever end?” Master whispered to himself.

Eva stirred slightly from her makeshift bed on the couch. Muzzle leaned up and tucked her stuffed bunny back under her arms, which made her settle back down.

“For him to be so happy here… why did he act so weird at HQ?” Hunter asked aloud.

“Tha’ is the mys’try isn’t it…” Colleen stated.

“Then again… like any trauma… it does resurface when the right triggers are in place…” Master remembered.

“I wonder…” Hunter thought as he opened the journal again.

Hunter flipped through several pages just skimming over everyday thoughts and occurrences till a darkly bolded title page caught his eye. He read silently for a moment.

AAAHHH! I’M GOING TO GO CRAZY! Today has been so frustrating… I can’t even begin to vent here. Hunter… he thinks he knows everything! Did he have to make sure his mother, brothers, and sisters had enough food or a place to sleep every night? NO! Did he have to endure hell and be mutilated? NO! Why do I allow myself to be lead by some American beach bum?! Life is not smooth and easy like he thinks it is. UGH!

*phew* Alright, now that I’ve got that off my chest… it was an interesting mission. The guy we were after was a true psycho, Colonel Gustav Havoc. He was trying to incite war between two neighbor countries by stealing a national treasure and statement of friendship called the Scepter of the Valley. As usual, Hunter tried to keep the mood 'light' to keep everybody from breaking down. I know I turned into a wuss, but hoped it would help. I guess I tried to keep things 'light' in a way too.

But of course, no one gives me one shot at being at least a little bit funny. It's always 'Don't be Weird-Boy!" from Exile or "Have we met before?" or something like that from Colleen. That joke is getting old really quick. Sometimes it is enough to make me lash out. Hunter doesn't seem to join in on all this thankfully, but still…. UGH!

At least I could go back home to the Chancellor and Eva after it was all over with. Playing with Eva always helps me forget everything. She is growing up. She’s starting to walk now. The Chancellor even took me on an extra long walk just so he could talk with me. It is nice someone wants to be around me because of me and not because of a task…I wonder sometimes if I would even be missed on a mission. I would be nice just to stay with my family all the time…

Hunter’s eyes narrowed a bit. He didn’t think he was being nonchalant. It was his way of flowing with situation to not transfer stress to the team. He had to take a deep breath because frustration is understandable in this case. Colleen noticed the serious face her husband had and put her hand on his shoulder.

“’untie…? Are you alright, Love?” Colleen asked.

“Yeah… *cough*… the next entry is just a bit more transparent…” Hunter said finally releasing his tension.

“Like whatski…?” Exile asked.

“Remember our first mission dealing with Havoc… the Scepter of the Valley…?” Hunter inquired.

“Yes… wha’ is so tellin’ ‘bout tha’…?” Colleen asked, confused.

“According to Blitz, I was a bit too… laid back. It frustrated him… along with all the jokes you and Exile dealt him… then he calms down and talks about his life here with the Chancellor and Eva. Then, he kinda sounds like he wishes he didn’t have to be a Rover… so he could stay with his family,” Hunter explained.

“Maybe at times you did seem like the situation wasn’t serious, ‘untie… but why would I’ frustrate ‘im so much?” Colleen wondered.

“Waitski, Comrades, do the looking through eyes of Blitz… maybe he felt Comrade Hunter’s lackski of seriousness was lackski of concern …like he had for brothers and sisters…” Exile commented.

“I hadn’t thou’t of tha’…” Colleen asked, looking back to Hunter.

“Neither have I… makes perfect sense,” Hunter concluded.

The next several moments was spent seeing Blitz’s thoughts through every mission they had ever gone on, his life with the Chancellor, and his interactions with the Rovers. At first, it was a calm approach with normal frustrations vented and feelings described. Even his feelings toward Colleen were seen as an endearing fondness rather than a lovesick haze.

All of a sudden, another abnormal page surfaced from the Doberman’s life story. It was only a few pages away from the end. The writing was not in the canine’s usual neat cursive, but in a rough chicken-scratch print. Hunter couldn’t make out any of the words, but he did notice the date. It was the same day he had proposed to Colleen. The golden retriever squint his eyes as he attempted to decipher the manic scrawls.

“What in the…?” Hunter whispers as he tries to read on.

“What’s wrong, Hunter?” Master asked.

“The writing… it changed like…a lot… I can’t even read it…” Hunter said showing Master the journal page.

Colleen leaned over and took notice of the severe change. The fact that the scrawls were written in red ink didn’t help ease the tension in her chest. There were some slight water marks blurring some of the words, apparently from where Blitz’s tears had fallen on the paper.

“Blimey! It doesn’t even look like English…” Colleen noted.

“May I see it…?” The Chancellor asked.

Hunter nodded as he passed the worn book over. The Chancellor along with his wife scoured the page to try and make sense of the scribbles. The silence was thick as everyone held their breath. Surely, this drastic change meant nothing good.

“You are right about one ting… it isn’t English,” The Chancellor revealed.

“Whatski then…?” Exile asked.

“It is German… and frenzied at dhat. I can read it… if dhat is alright…?” The Chancellor inquired.

Seeing how only two people in the room could read German, it wasn’t much of a choice. Everyone nodded in agreement, scared about what the crazed writing was going to tell them about their missing teammate.

“Here it goes…” The Chancellor said, reading the first segment over again to get a better translation.

Date… death of my soul… love… vhat do dhey know about it? I have sacrificed everyting for her. Now, she’s marrying our mangy mutt leadah…

Hunter winced at those words. He remembered the piercing gaze Blitz gave him the morning after he proposed to Colleen. It was now apparent that it wasn’t anger… but anguish.

The Chancellor continued:

Sacrifice… devotion… loyalty… dhey mean noting to her. A few vurds from dhat unconcerned surfer boy and she’s head over paws…

Colleen stiffened upon remembering what she had told Blitz when he lashed out.

"Blitz, I don't love you. I love 'unter because 'e saw me for 'ho I am, not just for me looks. If you do care anythin' for me, then you can be 'appy for me and 'unter. We are getting' married and tha' is final!" Colleen said giving a vicious growl accenting her point.

Knowing what she did now about the Doberman, she couldn’t judge him for reacting the way he did. She crushed him. She had been his only comfort of losing his mother and sisters and she tore it away from him.

The passage ended with the Chancellor saying:

I don’t care vhat dhey tink about me right now! Dhey could nevah undahstand! My heart feels like it has been ripped from my chest and left to bleed to death. Pain… torture… darkness… loneliness… dhese are the cards dhat fate dealt me! IT IS NOT FAIR!!!

“Mother Russia…” Exile whispered.

“Meine Blitz…” Heidi whispered in shock.

“I never realized how much…I… I wasn’t trying to…” Hunter said.

“We know, Love…” Colleen soothed.

Master had a look of contemplation and sadness as he kept silent. Shag and Muzzle maintained their positions on the floor as they shared their friends’ sorrow. The Chancellor dried his eyes as he flipped the page to find an even more disturbing example of soul-wrenching turmoil painted in black ink on the white paper. Before examining it further, he took notice of the date… the same day of the Havoc incident… the day he sent him away…he could still remember what he said:

"Blitz… how… how is dhis…?" The Chancellor stammered.

"I am a Road Rover. Master Shepherd placed me vith you so I and dhe odhers could protect the vurld. Meister…" Blitz began as he reached for the Chancellor's hand.

"Nein… you… you lied to me…" The Chancellor said jerking away from the canine.

"Meister… Meister, please… I… I didn't…" Blitz stammered through tears.

"Nein…! You have betrayed your country, your family, and vurst of all… me!" the Chancellor argued.

Blitz was too shocked and upset to even reply. He could only shrink back with every word the Chancellor spat at him.

"If you had come vith us like you should have, dhis vould have never happened! Go back to vherever it is you Rovahs go… I do not vant to see you!" the Chancellor screamed as he ripped the silk collar he had made for Blitz off his neck.

“Chancellor, are you alright?” Master asked.

“I’m… I’m sorry… I just… I can’t go on… dhe next section is too much…” the Chancellor said as he quickly rid himself of the terrifying book.

Colleen was the unlucky recipient of the journal as she nearly screamed upon seeing the disturbing images. Crude sketchings of a dagger, a bottle with skull and crossbones on it, a hangman’s noose, and a gun were drawn under a heading of ‘Methods’. She recalled the date as well, being from the Havoc incident… the same day Blitz came to HQ to live full time. There was a small entry above the macabre list.

Colleen gulped as she read the first sentence:

My life is finished. I am as worthless as I was in the junkyard. My master found out… and rejected me. No home… no family… no Eva… and soon… I will not be... just as soon as I decide what way I want to be found…

“Oh… oh no…. No… *sob*…” The Chancellor began.

Soon, the whole room was filled with tears. To even think that Blitz considered suicide broke the wall holding back their sobs. No more of the journal was read. Everyone just collapsed where they were and wept for the friend that they had forgotten about.

Suddenly, another pitiful sound joined the group. The sound of Eva’s tortured cries…

“Wackeln! Wackeln!” (Wiggles) Eva screamed as she woke from yet another nightmare.

“Eva! Jetzt Hush…ruhig jetzt… Mama’s hier…” (Hush now, quiet now, Mama’s here) Heidi said as she scooped her daughter up.

A loud crash of thunder shook the walls of the room as a bright flash of lightning temporarily made the whole room go white. Eva screamed even louder. Heidi hugged her as tight as she could, trying to sing her a lullaby to get her to calm down. Seeing the torment this precious child was in continued the flow of tears from everyone’s eyes.

After several tense minutes, Eva finally was able to stay calm, but was wide awake. Her tiny sniffles were like daggers into her father’s heart. After drying her eyes on the ears of her stuffed bunny, Eva looked up to see Muzzle at the end of the couch.

As if a switch had been flipped, Eva looked at the Rottweiler with a smile beginning to poke out. Muzzle tilted his head in slight confusion, looking to Hunter for any guidance. The retriever shrugged as he watched the scene unfold. Eva looked up at her mother, then back at Muzzle, then back at her mother.

“Hündchen…” (Puppy) Eva said as she reached for Muzzle’s ears.

Muzzle moved his head close as the little girl ran her hand over his ears and his head softly. Muzzle couldn’t help but wag the stub of tail he had along with his entire backside. To the Chancellor’s surprise and comfort, Eva smiled as she crawled down to hug the large dog.

“Du siehst aus wie Blitz Bruder,” (You look like Blitz’s brother) Eva said sweetly.

The rest of the group watched for the next hour or so as Eva became so comfortable with the Rottweiler that she ended up falling back asleep against him. The Chancellor and Heidi sighed in relief.

“Danken Gott…” (Thank God) Heidi said, covering Eva back up.

“Bless the poor dear…” Colleen said as she looked at the little girl.

“She really misses Blitz…” Hunter noted.

“Da… but what nowski…” Exile asked.

“Knowing what we do, I can assume that there must be something that has kept him from killing himself. *sigh* But only one explanation can describe Blitz’s behavior…” Master began.

“Vhat…?” The Chancellor asked.

“A repressed damaged psyche resulting in a split personality disorder…” Master stated matter-of-factly.

“In English…?” Colleen prodded.

“Instead of dealing with the pain he experienced, he stuffed it down so far to where who he was before was broken. Remember the name in the front of the journal, Orel. That is who he used to be. This ‘Blitz’ persona has been a shield against the damage. I believe that this journey back to where his pain began is a way for him to come to terms with what happened,” Master explained.

“Master, is it possible that he switches between ‘Blitz’ and ‘Orel’…?” Hunter asked.

“Yes, it is a key characteristic… ‘Orel’ must have been the one wanting the other persona to deal with the pain once and for all. I know it sounds strange, but it describes everything that has happened,” Master answered.

“Blimey… wait a minute… remember tha’ convent ‘e mentioned…? Maybe we should go see if ‘e went there…?” Colleen suggested.

“It is goodski place to start…” Exile agreed.

“I agree, Exile. Rovers, follow the trail. Keep me informed,” Master said.

“You got it, Master. Let’s go, Rovers…” Hunter said.

Muzzle tried to move to get up, but couldn’t bear to wake Eva up. The Rottweiler whined as Hunter was pulling his coat back on. The retriever smiled seeing how comfortable Eva was.

“Ok, Muzzle, you can stay here and watch over Eva. We’ll be back soon,” Hunter said.

Muzzle nodded as he pulled Eva’s blanket back over her. With that, the Rovers headed out into the cold night.

On the other side of town, Blitz’s body was void of any energy. He could barely move, but he had to make himself scarce before the police arrived. He began running through the junkyard and out through the still gaping hole in the rusted fence from when Master had called him. For the first time since he had arrived, he was thankful for the darkness.

He ran till his legs gave out in front of a section of apartment buildings. He ducked behind the garbage bins that sat beside the stoop of one of them so he could remain unseen as he rested. He felt his eyes caving as the still silence of the cold air made his breath visible. He felt the sweat that had collected in his fur turn to ice on his skin. His body began shaking, rattling the garbage bins around him. He fought to keep still, but no amount of clenching his muscles would make him stop shaking.

“Vhat am I doing here…?” Blitz asked himself.

“Besides freezing your hiney off…?” Orel chimed in.

“Not again…” Blitz groaned.

“Look... you still have demons to deal vith…” Orel said calmly.

Before he could regain much of his breath, he heard the noise of paws on the concrete sidewalk. There was a slight sliver of light between two of the cans. It was enough for him to get a glimpse of who was approaching. The low glow of the street lights illuminated the form of a brindle Boxer.

“Otto…” Blitz whispered in surprise.

He instantly regretted the noise his mouth had made. Otto’s ears swiveled around upon its exit. Blitz clamped his hand over his muzzle, cursing his inability to keep quiet. Otto sniffed a little as he grew closer to Blitz’s position. Blitz felt the sweat pouring off of him, which wasn’t helping him remain hidden. Otto could smell just as good if not better than Hunter. Blitz clenched his eyes down praying it would all be over soon until he felt something cold and wet against his cheek. The sudden cold sensation caused Blitz to reel back and reveal himself, knocking over several garbage cans in the process.

“Ahhh! Ich hasse es, wenn du das tust!” (Ahhh! I hate it when you do that!) Blitz reeled as he scrubbed at his face to rid it of the cold wet sensation.

The Boxer stared at him with a friendly smirk. While Blitz continued to flip over the wet nose on cheek feeling, Otto just sat back and waited for him to calm down. About five minutes later, Blitz looked over at the Boxer with an embarrassed but shocked face.

“Schön, dich wieder zu sehen, Spitz ...” (Good to see you again, Spitz...) Otto barked.

“Otto…?” Blitz asked tentatively.

Blitz dropped to his knees and just embraced his long lost best friend. Both canines shed a few tears before separating.

“Mein Gott, was ist mit dir passiert? Ich ... ich kann gar nicht erst anfangen zu fragen. Ich habe so viele Fragen,” (Mein Gott, what happened to you? I… I can’t even begin asking. I have so many questions) Otto asked in a bombardment of barks and growls.

“Ich weiß, Otto. Vielleicht gibt es irgendwo ... wärmeren wir reden könnten...? “(I know, Otto. Maybe there is somewhere… warmer we could talk…?) Blitz said with a shiver.

“Klar doch, Spitz. Ich habe eigentlich jetzt eine Familie. Sie ließen Mich kommen und gehen, Ich mag, die mich daran erinnert ... danke für die Rückseite auf dem Schrottplatz zu sparen. Vielleicht sollte ich wohnen näher zu Hause, oder?” (Sure thing, Spitz. I actually have a family now. They let me come and go as I like, which reminds me… thanks for the save back at the junkyard. Maybe I should be staying closer to home, huh?) Otto said with a chuckle.

“Erwähnen Sie es nicht. Eine Familie...? Ich freue Mich für dich, Otto. Glauben Sie, dass sie etwas dagegen?” (Don’t mention it. A family…? I’m happy for you, Otto. Do you think they will mind?) Blitz asked.

“Sobald Sie den Ort zu sehen ... Sie müssen Sie beantworten ...” (Once you see the place… you’ll have you answer…) Otto said as they walked about two blocks more.

In this section of apartment buildings, it was hard to tell the difference between them, save for one door. It had a large sign on the stoop edge that read: Liebevolle Herzen für Pflegeunterbringung (Loving Hearts Foster Care). Otto walked up the few steps and pulled on a white rope hanging from the side of the oak door’s handle.

Strangely, the large door didn’t open, but a smaller door set within it. It was large enough for Otto to get through easily, but Blitz was another issue. Before anything was said, Otto ducked inside and opened the larger door for the humanoid canine by the same method. The Doberman smiled as he made sure to close the door behind him.

“Ich bin zu Hause!” (I’m home!) Otto bellowed.

No humans came, but the sound of claws clicking against the tile floor permeated the entire room. There were dogs of every shape and size lounging comfortably on pillows or playing around in every corner of the house. It was a bit cramped, but no one seemed to mind. The entire house reminded him of the simple beauty of the convent, just with a few more furnishings. Otto led him to a back room that had a large fire place right in the center wall. The room was so warm and soothing with the richly painted walls and plush carpet. Otto sat on a large overstuffed pillow as Blitz settled on the soft floor against the stone hearth.

“Ist das warm genug für Sie?“ (Is this warm enough for you?) Otto asked.

Blitz was silent a moment as the fire dried the chill up from his body. He nodded in reply not wanting to ruin the experience too soon. The water and sweat in his fur began to thaw and soak his clothes, but he paid it no mind.

“Gut… jetzt was passiert ist…” (Good…now what happened…) Otto began.

“Otto, bist du das?” (Otto, is that you?) A voice called out from upstairs, interrupting the conversation.

Otto’s bark bellowed back in response. The sound of footsteps echoed down the wooden stairs outside the room they were in eventually revealing a young man of about twenty-five. He was a lean-built man with a squared-off jaw line and jet black hair that was slightly spiked up with gel. His face was gentle, but seemed to glow with wisdom. His deep-set brown eyes rounded the corner into the room to find quite the surprise.

“Otto, wo haben Sie…?” (Otto, where have you …) the young man began.

His gaze fell on Blitz and he froze in his tracks for a few moments. He knew that this being was a Road Rover because of the team’s international notoriety, but what was he doing here?

“Oh hallo, ich wusste nicht, wir hatten Unternehmen kommen…” (Oh Hello, I didn’t know we had company coming…) the young man stammered as he stood stiff

“Bitte… Ich entschuldige mich, wenn ich mich einzudringen. Ich werde, wenn zu verlassen…” (Please… I apologize if I am intruding. I will leave if…) Blitz said.

“Oh nein ... es ist nicht so! Verzeihen Sie mir, dass es so klingen! Nein, ich hätte nie gedacht, zu einem der Rovers in unserem bescheidenen Platz haben. Ich bin Chris. Herzlich Willkommen! Ich sehe, Sie und Otto getroffen haben. Er muss der beste Hund, den ich je hatte“, (Oh no… it isn’t that! Forgive me for making it sound like that! No, I just never thought to have one of the Rovers in our humble place. I’m Chris. Welcome! I see you and Otto have met. He’s got to be the best dog I’ve ever had) Chris said, ruffling Otto’s ears.

“Danke. Otto war mein bester Freund von vor vielen Jahren ..., bevor ich ein Straßen Rover. Ich bin so froh, zu wissen, er hat so ein großes Haus,“ (Thank you. Otto was my best friend from many years ago… before I was a Road Rover. I’m so glad to know he has such a great home.) Blitz said.

“Wow! Das ist toll! Hey, warum nicht wir einen Kaffee trinken, und Sie können mir mehr? Otto, sollten Sie gehen und sehen Sie Ihre Mädchen. Sie hat eine Überraschung für dich ...” (Wow! That’s great! Hey, why don’t we get some coffee and you can tell me more? Otto, you should go and see your girl. She’s got a surprise for you…) Chris said with a proud smile.

Suddenly, Otto’s face blanked out as he dashed upstairs in a blur, leaving Blitz confused. Chris laughed as they sat at the kitchen table.

“Ottos Mädchen wurde erwartet. Sie brachte an diesem Nachmittag, während er war,“ (Otto’s girl has been expecting. She gave birth this afternoon while he was out.) Chris explained.

“Otto ... ein Vater? Das ist wunderbar! Wie ist sie, wenn ich fragen darf?” (Otto… a father? That’s wonderful! What is she like, if I may ask?) Blitz asked as one of the small pups on the floor nudged a ball to his foot.

“Sie ist so ein Schatz. Wir retteten sie und ihren Bruder aus einer lokalen Pfund, wenn sie gerade Welpen waren. Wir nennen sie Addy. Ich wünschte, ich wusste, dass ihr richtiger Name. Sie ist ein herrliches Beispiel für einen Dobermann zu,” (She’s such a sweetheart. We rescued her and her brother from a local pound when they were just pups. We call her Addy. I wish I knew her real name. She’s a gorgeous example of a Doberman too) Chris said as he set two cups of coffee on the table.

“Dobermann ...? Huh, sind das, was die Chancen?“ (Doberman…? Huh, what are the odds?) Blitz said with a chuckle as he tossed the ball for the pup to chase after.

“Also, was ist Ihre Geschichte, Freund ...? Ich habe die ganze Zeit in der Welt hat,” (So, what’s your story, friend…? I’ve got all the time in world.) Chris nudged.

Blitz took a deep breath and let it out slowly. The pain of retelling his past had become dull by this point. It didn’t bother him as much, even though it still stung. As he began, the pressure that had his heart in vice-grips loosened making it easier to breath. Chris sat in respectful silence as the Doberman ended by how he ended up in his home.

“Meine Güte, Blitz ... Ich kann Ihnen nicht sagen, ich verstehe, weil ich persönlich nicht ... aber ich kann sagen, dass Sie sehr viel stärker sind, als Sie denken, Sie sind,” (My goodness, Blitz… I can’t tell you I understand because personally I don’t… but I can say that you are much stronger than you think you are) Chris said as a whine was heard from upstairs.

“Haha ... würden Sie gerne unsere neueste Ergänzung zu sehen?” (Ha-ha… would you like to see our newest addition?) Chris asked with a smile

Blitz nodded happily in response. Never in a million years did he think he could be there for his best friend as he became a father for the first time. He followed Chris up the same stairs he had descended earlier and down the hall to a cozy room on the right side of the hallway.

The room was basically half whelping and den area with a small area with medical supplies and a sink. The small whine of a newborn pup rang in Blitz’s ears. Heated towels and blankets had been stuffed in a curtained off area where the precious sound was coming from. Suddenly a deep growl was heard from the large chair next to the whelping box. A larger Doberman had his ears folded back and was showing his teeth as the Cano-Sapien entered the room.

“Einfach, Bruno ... das ist Blitz, ein Freund von Otto,” (Easy, Bruno…this is Blitz, a friend of Otto’s.) Chris said.

Bruno dropped his defense and settled back into his resting place, but he kept a curious glare on Blitz. Blitz just ignored him until a strong familiar scent filled his nose. It smelled like…no that’s impossible. Blitz shook his head of the thought as he walked softly into the den area.

“I am definitely going crazy…” Blitz thought.

“Addy, Sie und Otto haben Besuch,” (Addy, you and Otto have a visitor.) Chris said as he gathered a few items from inside a small cabinet.

Otto pushed the soft curtain open a bit to allow Blitz into the sacred space. Otto had the proudest smile on his face.

“Ich habe einen Sohn, Spitz… einen Sohn…” (I have a son, Spitz… a son…) Otto said with tears of joy.

“Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Otto! Und Sie, Fräulein...” (Congratulations, Otto! And to you, Miss…) Blitz began as he got to his knees to see the new family.

That’s when he saw her… sleek back coat with beautiful light brown marking typical of a Doberman… beautiful mahogany brown eyes that sparkled… kind and gentle expression… if he didn’t know any better he could’ve sworn he was staring at his own mother. Suddenly, that familiar smell came rushing back into his nose.

Addy looked at him blankly as if she had seen a ghost. Before she could indulge her thoughts, the little pup she had just birthed began to stir and whimper.

“Hush jetzt meine Kleine. Komm jetzt…” (Hush now my little one. Come now…) Addy soothed as she picked the pup up so he could be seen.

He was such a beautiful mix of Otto’s brindle coat with the sleekness of a Doberman. His tiny muzzle and paws were black as well as the tip of his little tail.

“Wie heißt er doch?” (What is his name?) Blitz asked.

Addy smiled as she answered, “Zelin ... wir beschlossen, dass, wenn wir hatten einen Sohn hätten wir ihn nach einer meiner Brüder zu nennen ... Ich habe ihn vor langer Zeit verloren ...” (Zelin… we decided that if we had a son we would name him after one of my brothers… I lost him a very long time ago…)

“Zelin…? Eine sehr gute Namen, Fräulein Addy,“ (Zelin…? A very good name, Miss Addy.) Blitz said with a happy sigh.

“Mein richtiger Name ist Elise und der Leibwächter draußen ist Trage ...” (My real name is actually Elise and the bodyguard outside is Trage…) Elise confessed.

The same names… it couldn’t be coincidence, could it? Elise kept giving him the same strange looks that Trage was giving him, like she knew him somehow. Blitz ignored it as he began to back out of the whelping box.

“Er ist wunderschön. Ich freue mich für Sie beide,” (He’s beautiful. I’m happy for you both.) Blitz said.

“Danke, Blitz,” (Thank you, Blitz) Elise said sweetly.

Chris was sitting in the chair Trage had been in previously and the large Doberman had relocated to a pillow on the floor. Blitz leaned out of the whelping box and sat with his knees bent and cradled his head in his arms.

“Sie ok, Blitz ...? Sie sehen aus wie Sie einen Geist gesehen,“ (You ok, Blitz…? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.) Chris noticed as Blitz’s breathing became harder.

“Chris, du hast gesagt, dass Addy und Bruno sind Geschwister und kamen von einem Pfund. Wissen Sie mehr Informationen über sie?” (Chris, you said that Addy and Bruno are siblings and came from a pound. Do you know any more information about them?) Blitz asked, hoping to rid himself of this nagging feeling.

The smell began to grow stronger and stronger with every breath Blitz took. The mix of chamomile flowers and sweet spice brought back the memories of his mother and brothers and sisters cuddled together on cold nights. Trage had stood from his place and was quietly sniffing the Doberman’s hand with a confused look. Elise’s nose was sticking out of the whelping box apparently smelling the same thing.

“Nun, ich hatte das Pfund gegangen, um zu sehen, ob es irgendwelche Hunde brauchen mehr eins zu eins Betreuung und die Dame, die den Ort zeigte mir diese Familie von Dobermänner, die vor dem in der Nacht gebracht worden waren läuft. Es gab eine Mutter und vier Welpen. Oh, die arme Mutter, hatte ihr die Kehle alle in Stücke gerissen worden. Die Welpen wurden geschlagen und, so gut abgeschnitten. Ich brachten wieder hier zu mir nach Hause, damit ich ein besseres Auge auf sie zu halten,” (Well, I had gone to the pound to see if there were any dogs needing more one on one care and the lady who runs the place showed me this family of Dobermans that had been brought in the night before. There was a mother and four pups. Oh the poor mother, her throat had been torn all to pieces. The pups were beaten and cut up as well. I brought them back here to my home so I could keep a better watch on them.) Chris began.

Blitz’s mind flashed the memory of when he found his family. His mother’s throat had been torn apart by Wouter. His brothers and sisters were covered in blood. He felt his body shake.

“Nein… it couldn’t be…” Blitz thought.

“Shut up and keep listening…” Orel quipped.

Chris continued, “Leider starb die Mutter am nächsten Morgen. Sie verlor zu viel Blut. Einer der Männer hatte eine durchbohrte Bauch, und ich konnte ihn nicht stark genug, um die Infektion zu bekämpfen bekommen. Er starb wenige Tage später. Eine der Frauen war so von Blutverlust und Kopfverletzungen, die sie gerade weg am Tag nach der männlichen verblasst geschwächt,“ (Sadly, the mother died the next morning. She lost too much blood. One of the males had a pierced abdomen and I couldn’t get him strong enough to fight the infection. He died a few days later. One of the females was so weakened from blood loss and head trauma that she just faded away the day after the male.)

“Mein Gott…” Blitz thought as reality began to become clearer.

Orel just smiled as more and more light came into the Doberman’s mind’s eye.

Now that he had been freed from his former prison, it was all a matter of cleaning up the debris left from the initial breakdown. The cloud of darkness that had formed the devilish beast from before had shattered into a few wisps that were beginning to fade away into oblivion.

Light continued to stream through destroying more of the blackness which made it easier for Orel to force the out of the forefront of the Doberman’s thoughts for good.

“Gott sei Dank, Addy und Bruno überlebt. Ich begrub den Rest der Familie in meinem eigenen Hof. Auch wenn ich sie nur für eine kurze Zeit, fühlten sie sich, als hätte ich sie schon immer. Warum sind Sie so interessiert?“ (Thankfully, Addy and Bruno survived. I buried the rest of the family in my own yard. Even though I only had them for a short time, they felt like I had always had them. Why are you so interested?) Chris finished.

Blitz was shaking as he tried to hold back his tears. He couldn’t deny it any longer. He kept his head bent down the entire time Chris relayed the story of what happened after he had escaped. Chris reached over and touched the Doberman on the shoulder in support.

“Blitz, was ist los?” (Blitz, what’s wrong?) Chris asked.

“Die Familie, die Sie pflegen hatte nicht nur vier Welpen,“ (The family you care for didn’t have just four pups.) Blitz stated.

“Was bist du…?” (What are you…?) Chris asked with a puzzled look.

“Es gab fünf. * sniff * ich bin, dass fünften Welpen. Jahrelang habe ich geglaubt, meine ganze Familie war tot und hier meinem Bruder und Schwester sind ... glücklich und lebendig,“ (There were five. *sniff* I am that fifth pup. For years, I’ve believed my entire family was dead and here my brother and sister are… happy and alive.) Blitz confessed as he began crying once again.

“Blitz…” Chris said as he realized what he was witnessing.

Blitz looked over to the larger Doberman sitting beside him. He had tears in his eyes as well.

“Trage… ich bin es… Orel…” (Trage, it’s me… Orel) Blitz said.

“Orel… OREL…!” Trage barked as he lunged at the Doberman in front of him.

Orel wrapped his arms around his brother and refused to let him go. He couldn’t bear to. He was so full of joy he couldn’t even think. Chris backed out of the room, leaving the family to reconnect.

Inside Blitz’s mind, as soon as he said his true name, Orel laughed gleefully as his form began to glow. The darkness and painful memories disappeared with screams of reluctance into the oblivion of memory banks.

“AAARRRROOOOO!!! I AM BACK!” Orel howled.

The scene of a run-down fall out bomb shelter and terrifying monsters faded away to a peaceful serene garden scene. Orel walked over to the large tree that had formed and leaned against it with a relaxed face.

“One more to go…” Orel said was he settled back into his original place from years ago.

“Orel… ist es wirklich…?” (Orel, is it really…?) Elise tearfully said from her whelping box.

“Ja, Elise, meine kleine Schwester ... Ich habe dich vermisst. Sie sehen so viel wie Mutter,” (Yes, Elise, my baby sister… I have missed you. You look so much like Mother.) Orel responded as he nuzzled her face.

“Orel… Ich bin so glücklich du lebst! Und man konnte sehen, Ihr Neffe geboren ...*sniff*” Elise said.

“Spitz, ich denke, das macht uns in-Gesetze,” (Spitz, I guess that makes us in-laws) Otto said with a chuckle.

“Ja… Ja, es…” (Yes… yes it does…) Orel said as the tears finally stopped.

“Orel ... wie hast du überleben? Wie haben Sie ein Rover zu werden? Was hast du denn die ganze Zeit?” (Orel… how did you survive? How did you become a Rover? What have you been doing all this time?) Trage rattled off.

“Ja, was hat Sie hierher zurückkommen?” (Yes, what made you come back here?) Elise said, ending the question string.

“Einfach, Elise ... Erzählen Sie uns in Ihrer eigenen Zeit, Bruder ...” (Easy, Elise... Tell us in your own time, Brother…) Otto said, emphasizing the last word.

For the next two hours, their long-thought-dead brother recounted how he had managed to outsmart the street pack to survive being attacked, his name change, his time spent at the convent, being taken away and tortured by the junkyard owners, being called to be a Road Rover, his life with the Chancellor of Germany and his teammates, his heartaches of being rejected by Colleen and the Chancellor, and finally his journey back that led to him finding them again.

“Sie haben ganz die Reise, Orel hatte, das ist sicher,” (You have had quite the journey, Orel, that’s for sure) Trage said.

“Ja… was wollen Sie jetzt tun?” (Yeah… what do you plan to do now?) Elise asked as she moved Zelin around to nurse.

“Um Ihnen die Wahrheit zu sagen, ich weiß es wirklich nicht. Ich will nicht, euch alle wieder zu verlassen, aber ich weiß, ich kann nicht hier bleiben,“ (To tell you the truth, I really don’t know. I don’t want to leave you all again, but I know I can’t stay here.) Orel said.

“Warum kannst du nicht zurück zu Ihrem HQ gehen,” (Why can’t you go back to your HQ?) Otto asked.

“In gewisser Weise, ich fürchte, die anderen werden nicht akzeptieren, mich nach diesem kleinen ... Eskapade zurück,“ (In a way, I’m afraid the others won’t accept me back after this little… escapade.) Orel confessed.

“Orel, ich glaube, sie kümmern uns um Sie mehr als Sie denken, sie tun,“ (Orel, I think they care about you more than you think they do.) Elise said as she nuzzled his hand.

“Ich weiß, du hast recht, Elise. Sie klingen wie Mutter auch. Vielleicht sollte ich wieder ... zumindest ich, dass ...” (I know you’re right, Elise. You sound like Mother too. Maybe I should go back…at least I would know…) Orel said hugging his sister again.

“Sie können jederzeit zu besuchen ...” (You can visit any time…) Trage emphasized.

“Yeah ... keine Entschuldigung, nicht sehen uns ... vor allem mit einem neuen Neffen kommen ...” (Yeah… no excuse to not come see us… especially with a new nephew…) Otto said.

“Orel, möchten Sie, ihn zu halten, bevor Sie gehen ...?” (Orel, would you like to hold him before you go…?) Elise asked.

“Ja, Elise ... Ich würde zu lieben ...” (Yes, Elise… I would love to…) Orel said with an endearing smile.

Gently, Orel picked up the small pup and wrapped him in a red fuzzy blanket. Zelin whimpered a bit at the new sensation as he lay on his uncle’s chest.

“Shhhhh ... es ist okay, Kleiner ... Onkel Orel ist hier ... Shhhhh,” (Shhhhh… it’s okay little one… Uncle Orel’s here… Shhhhh) Orel soothed as he ran his fingers over the pup’s tiny ears.

“Liebes kind, weine nicht (Dear child, don't cry); wenn das Herz mir auch bricht (even when my heart is breaking); schmeig dich an, ich bin für dich da (nestle to me, I'm there for you); ich bin dir na, meine liebes kind (I'm close to you, my dear child); Deine Mutter, bewacht (Your mother watches over); dich bei Tag und bei nacht (you day and night); droht Gefahr, eile geschwind nur zu mir her, meine liebes kind (when danger is lurking, just hasten swiftly to me, my dear child); Du bist süß und noch klein (You are sweet and still little); ich will lieb zu dir sein (I want to be kind to you); sei vergnügt, niedlicher Spatz (Be merry, cute sparrow); du bist meine Schatz, meine liebes kind (you are my darling, my dear child),” Elise sang.

The all too familiar lullaby made Orel’s heart melt. It was the same one that their mother sang to them. Elise remembered every word beautifully. Little Zelin stopping wriggling and snuggled into the blanket, gently falling asleep. After sensing this, Orel carefully replaced the small pup with his mother as he gave his family one last embrace.

“Ich verspreche, ich werde bald wieder zu kommen. Ich liebe dich alle,” (I promise I will come back soon. I love you all) Orel said.

“Wir lieben dich auch, Orel. Seien Sie sicher,” (We love you too, Orel. Be safe.) Elise said.

Orel nodded as he quietly exited the room. As he descended the stairs, Chris met him with a smile.

“Chris, ich danke Ihnen so sehr. Kann ich Ihnen eine Sache, wenn?” (Chris, thank you so much. Can I ask you one thing though?) Orel asked.

“Natürlich ... was ist es Blitz?” (Of course, Blitz… what is it?) Chris answered.

“Bitte rufen Sie mich an Orel. Wo hast du meine Familie zu beerdigen? Ich möchte sie sehen, wenn ich könnte,“ (Please, call me Orel. Where did you bury my family? I would like to see them if I could.) Orel said.

“Folge mir,” (Follow me.) Chris said as he led the Doberman out to the small garden out back.

Thankfully, the rain had stopped. For such a small space, Chris had made it look like the most palatial spread anyone could want. A small vegetable area had been framed off from the rest of the lawn next to a couple of apple trees. Flowers of all sorts were lined against one side of the fence that stopped short about four feet from the gate. Chris walked over to a small headstone that he had made and motioned Orel’s gaze to it.

The beautiful rose granite slab read: In Erinnerung ~ Himmels Drei Engel (In Remembrance ~ Heaven’s Three Angels). A fresh bunch of flowers decorated the small ceramic vase that was attached. Orel knelt down and pressed his head to the stone. He sighed deeply; finally feeling free of the burden had carried for so long.

“Ich liebe dich alle,” (I love you all.) Orel said as he felt a sense of closure.

Orel turned to Chris and hugged him tight. Chris was shocked at first feeling the tight embrace squeeze his lungs slightly.

“Vielen Dank, Chris, für die Pflege meiner Familie,” (Thank you, Chris, for caring for my family.) Orel said.

“Keine Problem. Orel, ich kann nicht atmen ...” (No problem. Orel, I can’t… breathe) Chris squeaked.

“Oh, es tut mir leid,” (Oh, I’m sorry…) Orel said as he released him.

“Ich hoffe, Sie kommen wieder zu uns zu sehen,” (I hope you will come back to see us.) Chris said reaching his hand out.

“Oh Ich habe vor, wenn Sie mich haben,” (Oh I plan to, if you’ll have me) Orel said, shaking his hand.

“Natürlich! Wünsche ich dir auch,” (Of course! I wish you well.) Chris said.

“Danke,” (Thank you.) Orel said as he left through that gate.

“I hope Master isn’t too upset, but… at last I feel like me again…” Orel thought with a relaxed smile.

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