Duskfire Glacier when the summer dies
Duskfire Glacier

Zeta
811 Posts
Ooc — Kat
Coach
Therapist
Master Ambassador
Offline
#1
All Welcome 
She felt the telltale itch in her paws. Instead of giving into it this time, Meerkat focused her energy on serving the glacier pack. No, it didn't hurt anyone if she went off on a foray now and again, though there was still much ground to gain right here. She still wanted to get in the mothers' good graces and help them with their pups. And they wouldn't be young and small forever.

Deciding to reach out and grab the elk by the antlers, so to speak, the yearling chose a central spot in the lower reaches of the territory and raised her muzzle, requesting an audience with @Tzila, @Lane and @Imaq. She wanted to know them more than in passing, plus get acquainted with their children, when they were ready. More than anything, Meerkat wanted to know just how best she could help the den mothers with rearing their cubs. Whatever they needed, she'd be happy to provide.

After issuing the call, Meerkat reclined on her haunches and glanced at the sky. There were scattered clouds and the air was hazy over the glacier. From this angle, it kind of reminded her of looking up at the caldera. She felt a pang, wondering how her family was doing. She should visit someday or, at the very least, ask a messenger to send word.
Duskfire Glacier

Iota
203 Posts
Ooc — R/Rachel
Away
#2

Things were still a bit turbulent, undoubtedly. Even so, Imaq found the lingering aches were fading and her strength returning. Her healing was linear to Siku’s growth, both emerging and joining (or rejoining) the bustle of pack life. The huntress reminded herself to take it slow, knowing her son’s delivery had been strenuous upon her health and feeling guilty anytime she thought of worrying @Rye. 

When Meerkat’s howl rose through the pines and Caverns, she deliberated for a moment — pausing in the process of fluffing out her family’s bed furs to soak in the fresh air and sunshine, cracked gaze sliding to Liak where he played nearby. His father had been unfaltering, and unbelievably sweet, in his overprotective nature regarding their cub but he was of an age to socialize now and Imaq had heard great things about Meerkat from her intended. She didn’t think it would be too much too soon to go and visit with the young she-wolf for a spell.

With a soft beckoning sound, she called Sikuliak to her side and gathered him up gently before loping away from the Caverns, towards the origin of the summons. 

Though her new pack mate had also called for Lane and Tzila, it seemed that the woman-who-hunts was the first to arrive with her child. She settled on her fluffy haunches across from the fallow agouti and placed the month old pup at her paws before turning a friendly smile in the Redhawk’s direction. 

“Greetings. I am Imaq, you Meerkat, jah?” She asked, doing her best to speak clearly and fluently as her tuliped auds lowered slightly with self-consciousness. 
"...and all around was the bitter arctic cold and the immense silence of the North..."
Duskfire Glacier

Gamma
309 Posts
Ooc — Zoo
Medic
Ranger
Offline
#3
TLDR: Lane aint coming. I'm sending you one Veteran as a consolation prize. Stand by.

Since returning to Duskfire Glacier after her eight-day walkabout, Lane's mothering had improved noticeably. She was attentive and patient with the children (as much as she could be, at least) and had passed the last few weeks with them rather quietly. She answered the questions they asked, taught them the things they requested to be taught, and also introduced a few herbs and medicinal concoctions (non-toxic, of course!) to see if either child might show an interest. 

She found it much easier to be a good mother, now that she no longer felt like a prisoner in the Glacier. Kigipigik had provided to her a light at the end of the tunnel. She had a way out-- a pack waiting for her when the pups were ready to do without her. She would not have to stay here forever, aching for a man who was married to someone else. 

As she channeled a restored energy and spirit into her pups, she also kept them away from the caves of their birth as much as she could manage. It had just been too much for her, having to pretend everything was okay with Imaq and Rye every damn time they crossed paths. She had moved her own pups' rendezvous point incrementally further and further away, sighting the excuse that she wanted her children to get to know the different territories around their claim.

One of the newcomers issued a summons for Lane and the other mothers, which admittedly piqued Lane's curiosity, but not enough for her to actually go and attend. She was not confident enough in her ability to have a conversation with Imaq and come across the whole time as perfectly fine. Lane liked Imaq, really-- and that was actually the main reason she was staying away from her. She didn't want to hurt Imaq's feelings, which seemed inevitable if the wolfdog realized that Lane was acting strange around her.

So Lane stayed away. Veteran had heard the call too, and he seemed personally offended by Lane's lack of response. He whined and needled her about it until she finally snapped, "Well if you're so curious, you go see what she wants!" And.. he did just that. It still astounded Lane how independent the boy had become in just a few short weeks, especially given his needy personality when he was younger. 

Perhaps @Wayfarer would go with Veteran to answer Meerkat's call, or perhaps she would stay with Lane. Lane realized that the pups were becoming their own people, and she couldn't predict with certainty anymore how either might react to a given situation.

Lane's Pregnancy Timeline
Weeks (9/9)
As of June 25th, Lane has given birth. Happy birthday, Wayfarer and Veteran!
Duskfire Glacier

Omicron
45 Posts
Ooc — Zoo
Offline
#4
As soon as Veteran left the rendezvous point, he realized that he had no idea where he was going or who he was looking for. But it was too late for that now-- he was already on his way, and he was too annoyed with Mother to turn around and admit defeat. 

Eventually, he managed to stumble upon an unfamiliar wolf and the Spotty Lady. She had a name, he'd just forgotten it. He liked the way she talked. 

"Im-aq, Mee-kat, Jah!" he echoed proudly. After a long moment, it registered that these were introductions. He knew introductions! He had practiced them with Mother, because he intended to be a guardian when he grew up. 

"I'm Veta-win," he stated, with as much decorum as he could muster, given that he was an eight-week old pup who couldn't yet pronounce his r's.
Puppy Development
Neonate: June 25th- July 9th
Transitional: July 10th- July 23rd
Socialization: July 24th- August 26th
Juvenile: August 26th- January 26th
Duskfire Glacier

Zeta
811 Posts
Ooc — Kat
Coach
Therapist
Master Ambassador
Offline
#5

She wondered if there was another scout in the ranks and whether Towhee might take it personally if she used a messenger. Before Meerkat could worry that thread too much, someone appeared. Actually, it was two somebodies. Her lips parted as her attention fell to the small pup before eventually bouncing up to the absolutely striking she-wolf accompanying him.

She didn't have to wonder if this was Tzila, Lane or Imaq. She introduced herself in a soft lilt. This was Imaq, Rye's intended. That meant this was his son, Sikuliak, or Liak for short. Meerkat felt greatly honored that Imaq had not only come but brought the child along. And, of course, it didn't hurt that the youngster was cute as a button.

"Hi there," she said brightly to both mother and son. "I'm Meerkat," she concurred with a nod. "It's so nice to meet you both. I was ho—"

A small voice cut across hers and the yearling's brown eyes immediately sought the source of the sound. They clapped upon a small, sooty puppy who declared himself to be Veta-win. Meerkat's lips curled into a smile, her tail sweeping the ground as she motioned him closer. She glanced beyond him but didn't see any sign of his mother.

"Hi! I'm Meerkat," she introduced, wondering if he belonged to Tzila or Lane. He looked a few weeks older than Sikuliak. "I'm so glad you're here. I've been wanting to meet you. Is your mother nearby?"

While she kept her eyes fixed attentively on young Veteran, Meerkat gestured for both Imaq and the two pups to come closer and gather around her. She wondered if the two young boys knew each other well. She wondered so many things and was thrilled she would get the chance to learn a lot today. And she was excited to actually meet two more of the six pups themselves, which more than made up for the other mothers' absences.
Duskfire Glacier

Pi
12 Posts
Ooc —
Offline
#6


Sikuliak was entirely invested in a ladybug that was unfortunate enough to cross his uncoordinated path, to the extent that his mother went ignored — she was playing with furs but it had grown boring when Anñnak no longer wanted to play tug of war — until she called out to him. He’d already accidentally squashed the insect and then gobbled it up (6.5/10 for the satisfying crunch and nasty flavor) so the blue merle wasn’t too put out to have his play session interrupted. Even if he had been, Siku would’ve been easily placated watching the world swirl as his mother loped along — giggling now and again with the bouncing motion in high-pitched squeals. 

The half-wolf was ready to pitch a fit when his dam slowed to a halt and placed him at her paws, until he caught sight of Meerkat and froze with a signature case of wide-eyed baby awe as the Qeya-Black drank in this new person.

And then suddenly there was another one! Except tiny, like him! And man, was this guy funny with the way he mimicked Mama’s voice. Siku promptly lit up at Veteran’s introduction, grinning wide to reveal a mouth of milk teeth as an excited coo escaped him. 

”Wet-win, wet-win!” the bearberry babbled in imitation, to the best of his ability. 

Meerkat’s response captured his fleeting attention once more, jaws slackening slightly as his baby blues  followed her every expression and gesture. 
Duskfire Glacier

Iota
203 Posts
Ooc — R/Rachel
Away
#7
Imaq's eyes wandered up to meet Meerkat's, a gracious smile beginning to form as her haunches gave a slight twitch of happiness. It had been sometime but the she-dog could never forget how some reacted to her presence, as if she were any less a child of the spirits or a living thing because of her mother's blood. It was a relief to know that her husband's friend would not be included amongst their numbers and might become a friend of her own in time. 

Veteran's entrance interrupted the Counselor and prevented Imaq from responding as she moved closer, nudging Siku encouragingly though he seemed to be taking this impromptu playdate pretty well. 

She aimed an indulgent smile in Veteran's direction, not at all perturbed by how he picked up on her harsh accent and attempted to imitate it. "Jah," she confirmed for him, perhaps needlessly. "I am Imaq. Imaq was there when Veteran was born, helped to heal sister Wayfarer when you both were babes." She didn't figure he would remember but perhaps the boy would like to know this connection between them. 

"Imaq has had her baby and could not come see Veteran or Wayfarer, or Veteran's mother. But Imaq come to see you all soon, jah?" she promised encouragingly. "Imaq bring Siku to see Veteran?"

She gestured then to her son who was still staring saucer-eyed at Meerkat, referencing that he was in fact the baby she spoke of.

Her gaze flickered back to Meerkat contritely, for she hadn't meant to monopolize the conversation -- especially considering this was the Redhawk's stage so to speak.
"...and all around was the bitter arctic cold and the immense silence of the North..."
Duskfire Glacier

Omicron
45 Posts
Ooc — Zoo
Offline
#8
You could have knocked Veteran over with a feather when a little voice echoed his introduction. He hadn't seen the other pup before, but he sure did now! His face lit up and he bounded over to close the distance. 

The Stranger-- what was her name? Mee-kah? It was Meekah, right? --she was saying stuff. She asked if Mother was around. 

"No," Veteran answered her simply, very much distracted. He mouthed at the other boy's muzzle, trying to tempt him into play. 

Now the Spotty Lady was talking to him. Veteran didn't digest much other than his young playmate's name. See-ku. That was easy! 

"Jah!" Veteran echoed excitedly, too distracted and excited to really understand what he was agreeing to. "Jah, Siku!" He waited for the boy's response with bated breath.
Puppy Development
Neonate: June 25th- July 9th
Transitional: July 10th- July 23rd
Socialization: July 24th- August 26th
Juvenile: August 26th- January 26th
Duskfire Glacier

stars cannot shine without darkness
461 Posts
Ooc — Mai
Offline
#9
OOC: Better late than never. Also power playing Ensio until he gets re-added again. <3

Tzila had been understandably preoccupied when the voice of Meerkat rang out, asking for a visit. Had it not been for the handful of her three children, whom she had been in the midst of showing how to dig to form a cache, then she would have responded immediately. Shaking herself clean, she nudged her daughter and two sons in turn. Makatza and Arius, were for the time, to engrossed in the educational activity. Ensio however, did pull away and fly at the hocks of his mother.

He was less than presentable, his pale coat save for his dark painted face, riddled with the brown stains of the earth. Clucking her tongue with a low laugh, she reminded herself that he would need a good washing later. That is, if she could convince him that a bath was a good idea. Not an easy task, being the headstrong, spirited boy that he was.

Her dark form materialized out of the distance, where ahead, she saw their newest, Meerkat. Gathered with her was Imaq, her son, Sikuliak and Veteran. Tail waving high in friendly display, she wasn't shy about announcing herself. "Ah you must be Meerkat. Sorry for my late arrival, but I had my paws full." She smiled warmly. "I've heard a bit about you." Imaq and her son, as well as Veteran had not been forgotten. They too, received a warm touch of her muzzle, being particularly gentle with Sikuliak. Clearly taking after his mother, Ensio was even bolder. He thrust himself right into the thick of the action, bypassing everyone else and launching himself to bounce his paws against the chest of their newest member. "Heee-ooo! 'M Esio!" He beamed.
Duskfire Glacier

Zeta
811 Posts
Ooc — Kat
Coach
Therapist
Master Ambassador
Offline
#10
Meerkat's day = made. :D

She received a clear and simple, "No," from young Veteran. She laughed under her breath, wondering why his mother wasn't with him, though she could hardly dwell on it for long. The pups noticed each other and their exchange was pretty darn endearing. Still thrilled that they were here at all, Meerkat beamed as she bore witness. Was this the first time they were meeting one another?

When Imaq spoke, the sandy yearling looked to her. Though her words were directed at Veteran, her ears twitched as she listened and processed these interpersonal details. It sounded like Imaq had been there for Veteran's (and Wayfarer's) birth, not long before retreating to her own whelping den to bring little Liak earthside.

Somewhere during Veteran's excited cries of "jah!" a second she-wolf arrived, with yet another puppy in tow! Meerkat dipped her head as the woman greeted her. She realized she didn't know if this was Tzila or Lane, as she didn't offer a name. Before she could think of asking, her small boy with a smudged face stole Meerkat's attention by flinging himself at her. She leaned down to say hi, then nudged him toward the other two pups.

When she looked up from that, the newcomer was greeting Imaq. When she was certain she wouldn't be interrupting the two of them, she replied, "Yes, I'm Meerkat. You guys have no idea how thrilled I am to have you all here." She was still missing one mother and, by her count, three of the pups. At least she'd met Arius before this. In any case, she wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. This was a greater turnout than she'd expected!

She paused momentarily to watch the three little boys playing before drawing her attention back to their mothers. Meerkat stood, moving a little closer to her fellow she-wolves to give the children room to play while the grownups held a conversation. One of her forelegs accidentally bumped one of the pups—she couldn't be sure which—and she stopped to apologize before finally mustering her focus.

"Anyway, thanks so much for coming! I basically wanted to introduce myself and let you know I'm working hard to achieve my mastery in coaching. I'd love to help you with the pups whenever you and they are ready for that sort of thing. I'm happy to play, teach, whatever you guys need..."
Duskfire Glacier

Pi
12 Posts
Ooc —
Offline
#11


Siku had never interacted with another child before, seeing as he was the only pup in his litter and had been too young to leave the den for some time, but he had never been treated unkindly by any of the figures in his short life. He responded to Veteran's nearness, curiosity, and nuzzling with excited laughter. "Wet-win," he babbled repeatedly, enamored with his new bestie, as he tumbled forward to clumsily chew at the Duskfire's sooty snout in return. 

The adults were forgotten for the moment, at least until another new person arrived -- with another kid to play with to boot! When Ensio was gently directed toward his half-sibling and Siku, the bumbling puppy made a beeline for the pale boy -- eager to sniff and play with him too, occasionally glancing towards Veteran as if to make sure he hadn't gone anywhere.
Duskfire Glacier

Iota
203 Posts
Ooc — R/Rachel
Away
#12
Imaq laughed, shaking her head ever so slightly in bemusement. She should've realized he was too young -- or maybe just too distracted -- to understand most of what she was saying but no matter. Veteran seemed onboard with the idea of seeing Siku, and Imaq, more often. 

Her attention shifted from the children's endearing interaction to the arrival of Tzila and Ensio, brushing her muzzle against the rusted blackbird's in return. She watched quietly for a moment as the two women acquainted themselves, smiling when her seaglass gaze slid to the boys where they tussled happily. It was good to see Siku playing with other children, especially since there was a chance that Ensio could be his brother. Imaq doubted this though, thinking that she could see some of Wintersbane in the boy even at this age. 

Meerkat's words pulled her focus back to the other she-wolves of the Glacier, nodding brightly at what the young woman suggested. "Imaq love that! she chirped brightly, haunches wiggling faintly. "Siku little but need teaching when bigger." She hoped her son would grow to be close with all of his packmates, not just the various Duskfire children. It was the kind of community he would've had in Kallalit Nunaat, an extended family to guide him.
"...and all around was the bitter arctic cold and the immense silence of the North..."
Duskfire Glacier

Omicron
45 Posts
Ooc — Zoo
Offline
#13
"Siku!" Veteran emitted the other boy's name cheerfully, in response to Siku's-- frankly adorable-- utterance of his own. Yep, best friends for life. It was solidified. 

But then-- oh snap!-- Veteran's other best friend got there with his mom, Tzila. Now they were a TRIO of best friends! Veteran couldn't be any happier. 

Tzila's muzzle came down over him, and he put a few frantic licks on her chin, begging to be fed mostly out of habit. Food didn't happen though; Tzila moved away after her quick greeting. The adults had important conversing to do, it seemed. That was okay, though. The kids had important playing to do. 

Ensio propped himself up on Meerkat's chest, which looked super, duper fun to Veteran. Ensio was so close to her face! She must have so many cool smells! Siku was already toddling over to meet Ensio, and Veteran followed. So Meerkat ended up with all three pups bopping around at her feet, engaged in various antics. 

Veteran responded quickly to Meerkat's offer. "I'm weady now! Twain me fwo Gwardian. Pwease, Meekah!" He was aware that he was fighting a lot of best friends for Meerkat's attention, so he ended up shout-begging in desperation and sounding more than a little whiny.
Puppy Development
Neonate: June 25th- July 9th
Transitional: July 10th- July 23rd
Socialization: July 24th- August 26th
Juvenile: August 26th- January 26th
Duskfire Glacier

Rho
35 Posts
Ooc —
Offline
#14
A fourth child invited herself onto the scene, late but fashionably so. Wayfarer had initially tagged along after her mother after Veteran opted to respond to the call, stubbornness trumping curiosity, but the latter persisted. She would pause to look over a ruddy shoulder and stare in the direction her brother had gone, often enough that Lane would vanish from sight, which... meant that she should go with Veteran?

She glanced around at the adults present, but her focus was soon solidified on the smallest of cubs. This one she didn't really care about, whose existence she'd barely noticed, but Wayfarer decided she wasn't too thrilled about his proximity to her brothers.

So with her tail flagged and tufted ears thrust forward, the earthen Duskfire moved in close to Tower over the littlest pup. She invaded his space and reached to sniff at his mottled furs, nose roughly shoving at him as she did so.

"After all we've been through, everything I've done,
it can't all be for nothing."

Duskfire Glacier

stars cannot shine without darkness
461 Posts
Ooc — Mai
Offline
#15
Having been so caught up in arriving on scene with Ensio in tow and dividing her warm welcome onto Meerkat, Tzila had failed to introduce herself. Ears dipping in a flutter of self embarrassment, she shook her head to clear it away. There was so much going on with her, Imaq and the new addition. Not to mention the kids, including Wayfarer who made her late appearance. It was enough to send her mind buzzing.

"We are thrilled to have you, Meerkat. And, please, forgive me for not introducing myself sooner. I am Tzila, Wintersbane's partner. You've already met Ensio there..." She gestured down to her son, somewhere in the tangle of jostling puppies. "His brother, Arius, you may have met already. But their sister...Maktaza...she is a little harder to track down."

Her expression fell some after mentioning her daughter. Concern and a little bit of frustration and confusion flitted over her face. "Oh I am sure your skills won't go to waste." She tried to put on a brighter face again, for the sake of their company and the children. Tzila wouldn't cave in so easily where her daughter was concerned. Worst come to worse, then she may turn to Meerkat. Only as a last resort. "We have our paws full with all these tikes running around. They seem to like you. You must be a natural."
Duskfire Glacier

Zeta
811 Posts
Ooc — Kat
Coach
Therapist
Master Ambassador
Offline
#16
Imaq quickly expressed her enthusiasm, which really heartened the yearling. She definitely understood that some of her charges were too young for instruction just yet, though she would be at the ready. Tzila similarly welcomed Meerkat into the fold as the kids' coach and she couldn't have been more chuffed, truly. She responded to their warmth with a beaming smile of gratitude.

But nothing else delighted her more than one of the pups picking up on the conversation and interjecting with a plea to be taught. Meerkat laughed as the gaggle of puppies surrounded her. She caught young Veteran's eyes and opened her mouth to respond to his request when yet another puppy appeared on the scene, making a beeline for Sikuliak. The newcomer's display spoke of a bid for dominance.

This was absolutely natural, though Meerkat tried to catch the girl's attention by saying, "Hey there! What's your name?" And who do you belong to? she wondered, hoping she would soon be able to keep everyone straight. "My name's Meerkat."

She realized this might be a great opportunity to demonstrate some of her skills. Backing up a few steps, the yearling sat back on her haunches and clapped her paws together. "Can I get your attention," she said in a raised voice, "please?" She smiled and winked, hoping at least some of them would oblige her.

Either way, she decided to continue. "I'd like to play a game! It's called Whispers. We're going to form a circle," she instructed, complete with gestures. She caught Veteran's eye to get him to take the position directly to her right. She also beckoned Imaq and Tzila, waiting patiently for everyone to form a circle around her and just hoping the pups were were willing to cooperate. Hopefully having some of the mothers here would facilitate that.
Duskfire Glacier

Iota
203 Posts
Ooc — R/Rachel
Away
#17
The shepherd became distracted with the other adults for a moment, though her cracked gaze still occasionally searched for Liak amongst the other children. With all the chaos going on, she almost didn’t notice when Wayfarer arrived on the scene until she began nudging her son just a bit too roughly for the she-dog’s tastes.

 She was fully aware that soon Siku would begin interacting with the other pups more — and learning his place in the pack’s hierarchy as a consequence. He was the only child in the group that did not bear the Duskfire surname and both his parents were lower in the ranks than others who had procreated that year. It was inevitable that he would find himself placed beneath Tzila and Lane’s children, unless he strove particularly hard against such a fate. Such a time was a ways away still and in the meantime, the one thing Imaq would not abide was the navy merle suffering the same bullying and prejudice that she had faced amongst her own kin.

As such, she drifted away from the women, gravitating towards her son. A soft rumble escaped her as she took up a spot near he children, a few feet behind Sikuliak. The spotted femme did not interfere just yet, since Wayfarer wasn’t really causing the boy any harm, but her presence — complete with an alert gaze and floppy auds pricked in the girl’s direction — would hopefully act as a deterrent against any negative behavior. If not, she was not adverse to correcting Wayfarer with a harmless nip and removing her son from the situation. Conflict or whispers of her being a helicopter mom be damned.

Meerkat seemed to have realized what was going on since she seemed to try and direct Wayfarer’s, and the rest of the children’s, attention back to her with a game. Eager enough to comply, Selkie scooped her son up with another rumble and moved to join the circle — glad that any crisis was averted. 

She settled Sikuliak between her fore paws, though she sequestered him by no means. He was free to toddle back off to join the other pups if he wished. His dam nestled on her freckled haunches comfortably, looking towards the Counselor for further information attentively.
"...and all around was the bitter arctic cold and the immense silence of the North..."
Duskfire Glacier

Pi
12 Posts
Ooc —
Offline
#18


Thankfully for Sikuliak, he had no idea what was taking place. 

Sure, Wayfarer was sniffing him a little more aggressively than he was used to but he was accustomed to people poking or smelling him every now and again. Without any siblings to have played with in such a manner, most of the older pup's dominant display went right over his young head. Liak simply returned the favor, sniffing the ruddy girl with excited vigor as he attempted to gnaw at her in the same manner Veteran had just introduced him to moments prior. Tiny ears twitched in time to his mother's voice but it was not a beckoning sound so he stayed put, following after Veteran and Ensio -- and possibly Wayfarer -- as he went to pester Meerkat some more. 

"Siku! Mee-kah!" he crowed in the beginnings of a reedy howl, not wanting to be discluded even if he didn't understand exactly what Veteran was asking the Counselor to do. (Plus, he might've found a new role model in the older Duskfire pup and might be emulating him just a tad.)

When Imaq gathered him up and moved him to the circle, Sikuliak promptly decided f*** the nine and abandoned his mother's protective side (and her silent rules) to go and sit with the other children wherever they happened to take their places.
Duskfire Glacier

Omicron
45 Posts
Ooc — Zoo
Offline
#19
In his enthusiasm to wrangle a confirmation from Meerkat, the boy hadn't noticed his sister's arrival until she was practically on top of Siku. 

"Wayfwah!" he chirpered in surprise, inadvertently answering Meerkat's inquiry. "Him is Siku," Veteran told Wayfarer, since she seemed super interested in the smaller pup. She.. didn't like him more than she liked Veteran, right? Surely not.. The boy was about to reach out to Wayfarer in an effort to distract her attention back to her favorite brother, but he was interrupted by Meerkat's clap. She followed it with an announcement.

..A gAmE?!! This was turning into the best day ever! The boy lit up with delight when he saw Meerkat gesture for him to take the place of honor beside her. He just about fell over himself to get to his rightful spot before anyone else could take it from him. 

Meerkat had introduced the game as "Whispers," which immediately sparked Veteran's curiosity. Whispers were for secrets, and he loved secrets. "Pssspssspsst," Veteran babbled out loud with a grin, proud to demonstrate that he already knew how to do a whisper. His gaze craned up to Meerkat as he sought her approval.
Puppy Development
Neonate: June 25th- July 9th
Transitional: July 10th- July 23rd
Socialization: July 24th- August 26th
Juvenile: August 26th- January 26th