Soon, after leaving their settlement and emerging from the forest and onto an old and overgrown asphalt road they met a pack of stray dogs. Stray wasn’t the right word. They were mostly dosmeticated, easy to approach, which landed them somewhere between canine minstrels of old world affection and masterless ronin.
Everyone but Isaac seemed to take a silent joy as they walked. James even let the largest of them sniff and lick the inside of his palm before withdrawing a piece of jerky from his side pocket and slipping it into the dog’s mouth.
Brian, seeing the obvious favoritism of one behemoth with another, took slightly smaller bits of from his pack and slipped them as closely as he could to the rest of the pack.
There is a brief symphony of clumsy chomping the sinewy meat before everything fell into the same windy silence that usually accompanied them. The dogs stuck with them for for another twenty minutes, walking with, around, and in between them until something in the air shifted, their collective hairs and noses bristling as they all silently slid away into the brush outside the road into a place promising something even more interesting and nourishing: an easy hunt, a deer stunted with vertigo or perhaps a warren of vaguely suicidal rabbits.