By Stephen Russell and Michael Anderle
Jinx looked at the chew toy and sighed as she laid her head on her paws. She, her siblings and parents were the most advanced, intelligent canines known to exist, thanks to Kurtherian nanotech.
It was somewhat ironic that they still had an urge to chew.
Their dad’s human had threatened to turn them into throw rugs if anyone chewed on her shoes. They had all decided that despite the wonderful way they smelled, shoes were off limits.
It was a good thing humans were so accommodating towards their four-footed companions. People had created a myriad of items that satisfied the desire to chew.
It wasn’t the chew toy that had caused the sigh, however. Jinx was feeling a restlessness, something close to failure. It sat in her mind like an itch on the top of her back that she couldn’t scratch.
Once she and her siblings had reached an age where they could learn to understand the noises the humans made, their dad had told them the story of how he had met his human, Bethany Anne.
Their mom’s human had mentioned how the people of Earth bought and sold animals without regard for the animal’s feelings or desires. All five of the puppies decided that they didn’t think that sort of thing was in their best interest. They informed Yelena they would choose their own companion person.
After all, it was family tradition. Ashur had chosen, way back when, to help Bethany Anne fight the-stinky-like-death-but-not-dead creatures, and to share her life afterwards.
Jinx sighed again, wondering if something was wrong with her. Three of her siblings had already found their companions. Matrix and Snow had even chosen aliens to pair up with.
Jinx didn’t think she would be happy pairing with an alien. She secretly didn’t know how Snow put up with the smell of Kael-ven, because all the beings called Yollins had a slightly bitter odor to Jinx’ nose.
She was just contemplating heading to bed for a nap when she heard the door to their den open.
She snorted at the thought. It wasn’t a den, but she had learned that others of the canine genus on Earth lived in dens, so that’s how she thought of Yelena’s apartment.
A sharp bark followed by a higher pitched bark announced the arrival of her dad, coming to visit her mom.