Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Zombie or Post Apocalyptic themed fiction/stories.

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Fenris » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:50 pm

You. You don't make me cry. You're not allowed to do that!
Damn... Crying commences.

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Raven927 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:22 pm

I don't usually get emotional in fiction stories...but damn man great work. It's like the Dead Island promo trailer, but the whole story not a 2 min scene.
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THATS-WHAT-ITS-ALL-ABOUT!

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by DannusMaximus » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:23 pm

Focus in...

You’ve seen the pictures a thousand times, sometimes in color, sometimes black and white. Pictures of a smooth-faced young infantryman, fresh out of training, sitting formally for a platoon portrait or goofing with his buddies on the way to their great adventure. Full of optimism and hope and bravery and life. You’ve seen pictures of that same young man taken after brutal weeks of clawing through the sweltering Vietnam jungle, or deadly slogging through the Normandy hedgerows, or endless bloody patrols through the mountains of Afghanistan, or countless miles marching through the ravaged American South. The eyes are old now, and hard. The face and body are lean and creased, ragged. They are no longer smiling. Many of the friends in the old pictures are absent. They look weary. They look dangerous.

A terrier mixed-breed is walking down a road. It has been weeks since he left his home and went searching for his humans. His short coat has grown thicker, long dormant genes switching on in the realization that this fur might be all that stands between life and freezing death. The spiky hair is slate gray with grime, a perfect camouflage for his surroundings. He is slender but well-muscled, legs able to churn out miles of hard travel per day. The post-human world is a smorgasbord of food for an enterprising animal, and this one has learned quickly. His eyes are bright and alert, his ears and nose more sensitive than ever, sharpened from use. He is wary, moving like a veteran soldier expecting enemy fire, stopping frequently to find cover and observe his surroundings. The dog is wearing a ragged blue nylon collar with a single metal tag dangling from it. The tag reads ‘Buddy’.

Zoom out…

The city and suburbs are a memory, and have given way to an exurban landscape of upper scale housing, cloverleafs, gas stations and deserted strip malls. The main road the dog is following is riddled with abandoned vehicles and bodies, swarms of scavenger birds moving in groups along the open road. The sick/dead things patrol the road and surrounding landscape. There is no hint of human movement during the day, only faint glimpses and scents of it at night.

Zoom out…

There is an enormous pile-up on the road a few miles north of where the dog is walking. A burned out tank sits across the northbound lanes, other military vehicles make up the balance of the road block causing the traffic jam. The soldiers manning the road block are dead, or have deserted, or now wander the countryside, sick/dead things in body armor and Kevlar helmets, draped with weapons and gear that have ceased to have any meaning to them. The road beyond is largely devoid of vehicles. A large billboard has been erected next to the checkpoint. It has been tattered by the weather, but is still legible.

FEMA / DOD / CDC SAFE ZONE CAMP ATTERBURY
28 MILES AHEAD
PREPARE TO BE STOPPED BY OFFICIALS
DEADLY FORCE IS AUTHORIZED


The billboard has been vandalized, words crudely spray painted in bright red across the center of it.

OVERUN BY INFECTED! THEIR ARE KILLING EVERYONE! TURN BACK!!

Zoom in…

The little dog has stopped. His nose is pointing directly into the breeze. The scent he is following has been growing stronger all morning, and has spiked once again. He is quivering with anticipation, tail wagging furiously, barely able to keep himself from an all-out sprint for the source of the odor. He begins walking again then breaks into a trot, eyes darting in all directions, ears pivoting wildly. The odor is like a beacon, a flashbulb, a spotlight in a dark sea. His pace quickens. He begins to run.

Zoom in…
Holmes: "You have arms, I suppose?
Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by TacAir » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:01 pm

And I thought I would never say this.....

Leave us hanging!!!!!????

Moar!!!!
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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by SimonZayne » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:12 am

I can tell you that Sadie is really enjoying this story.
She isn't normally allowed to sleep on my bed, but after reading this I invite her up.
You are a great story teller man.

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Sadie says thanks.

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Mister Dark » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:01 pm

So, umm, DM.


...moar?

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by DannusMaximus » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:11 pm

SimonZayne wrote:I can tell you that Sadie is really enjoying this story.
She isn't normally allowed to sleep on my bed, but after reading this I invite her up.
You are a great story teller man.

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Sadie says thanks.
Zayne, Sadie is about the cutest thing ever. She's very welcome.

And now, some moar...
Holmes: "You have arms, I suppose?
Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by DannusMaximus » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:17 pm

The Martin’s green SUV was buried in traffic near the front of the huge pile-up, their scent pouring from the vehicle like a river. Buddy was sprinting as fast as he could towards the smell, abandoning any attempt to hide from the sick/dead things which were shambling awkwardly among the cars. Several of them tried turning towards the dog as he raced by and invariably fell flat on the pavement with the abrupt weight shift. Even if one had managed to turn without face-planting they would have had no chance to catch him. Buddy had been fast and agile even before The Sickness - - he was mostly terrier, after all, a breed known for wicked speed and the ability to turn on a dime while tracking small animals. Long weeks on the road had further sharpened his reflexes and toughened his legs and now he was setting a blistering pace towards his goal, darting across lanes and zig-zagging around obstacles almost faster than the human eye could follow. He was mere yards from the vehicle now, and could see that one of the back doors was already open for him. He LOVED car rides! Buddy leaped through the door and bounded into the large back seat, tail wagging madly, spinning in circles with joy, bursting to catch the first sight of his humans.

The vehicle was empty.

Not entirely empty, actually. It was still stacked with camping supplies, food, and other items that The Man had loaded into it, but none of these held any interest at all for the dog. Buddy’s ears perked up. He LOVED to play hide and seek! He spent the next few minutes gleefully searching under seats, peering under the vehicle, and nosing though piles of abandoned baggage. The initial euphoria was passing, though, and Buddy began to realize that his humans might not be playing hide and seek. They might not be here at all. Buddy sat down in the back seat. Where a human might have grown suicidal with rage and depression, Buddy was merely puzzled. He tested the air again with his nose. The scent was strong, but Buddy suddenly noticed that it wasn’t particularly fresh. His canine brain had essentially whited-out as the scent had grown stronger that morning, and he had stopped really analyzing the odor, had been merely following the familiar smell mindlessly like a salmon swimming upstream. He began pacing around the interior of the car, nose working, peeling back layers of scent.

The Man had sat here.

The Woman had sat here.

The Little Girl had sat here.

The Man and The Woman had left the car at the same time, both moving to the back door Buddy had entered through. Both had entered the back of the SUV. The Woman had grabbed the Little Girl, The Man had grabbed items from the back storage area. The odors got mixed up immediately outside the open door but began trailing as a group to the east, off the road and away from the traffic jam. Buddy now noticed a large splatter of dried blood on the rear door, driblets of it patterning away from the SUV. He followed it. The Little Girl’s pink backpack was lying discarded off the shoulder of the road, a crust of dried blood also smeared across it. It was The Man’s blood. There was a lot of it. Buddy followed the trail further away from the road, jumping across a large ditch and ducking under a barbed wire fence, leaving the roadway completely.

The blood trail was growing fainter now, along with the initially strong smell. He began tracking across a bean field and towards a house located several hundred yards away. The soy beans had not been harvested that season (just one of many routines disrupted by The Sickness), and the frozen rustling of the 3 foot tall plants played havoc with his hearing and limited his vision to only a few feet in every direction. He stopped every few feet to listen and look, peering down the rows and straining his large ears. Fortunately for Buddy, the presence of the plants made it possible to visually track to some extent - - there was a fairly obvious trail of broken stalks leading away from the road. Unfortunately for Buddy it seemed that the Martins hadn’t been the only family moving away from the road across that field. There were numerous trails of broken plants moving every which way through the large field, and he had to take precious time sorting out the scents and tracks as they criss-crossed each other.

It took over an hour for Buddy to make his way from the road to the tree line which bordered the east side of the large field. The light was rapidly fading and a stiff, cold breeze had begun sweeping across the field, moving the beans in waves and rattling shrubs and tree branches. The gray sky was spitting snowflakes. Buddy needed to find a place to bed down for the night. He was only 100 yards or so from the farm house, a likely place to find shelter and, hopefully, food. He hiked his leg and peed on a shrub near the spot where the scent of his humans trailed into the woods. The mark would make it easier to find the trail when he resumed his search in the morning, a trick he had discovered completely by accident a few days after he left his house. He had filed that discovery away in his growing body of survival knowledge along with other useful tidbits (e.g., DO NOT attempt to share a skunk’s sleeping area without permission).

Task accomplished, he walked cautiously towards the house, but stopped outside when he was still some distance away. Buddy could hear and smell at least 3 of the sick/dead things inside, groaning and thumping as they tried to escape their rustic prison. The sick/dead things didn’t communicate with each other exactly, but Buddy had learned enough in the past weeks that he had begun to recognize certain sounds and how they related to their patterns of behavior. The creatures made a constant moaning sound that a human could hear, but also vocalized in ranges just below and just above normal human hearing. The trapped creatures were making a high-pitched keening sound, similar to that a dog would make just before it attacked. Dangerous. Best not to go too near. Buddy changed directions towards a series of outbuildings closer to the woods, settling on a large dilapidated barn. He squirmed underneath a splintered section of siding and went inside.

Buddy let his eyes adjust for a few minutes, but the gloom and his limited color vision (Buddy saw all the colors of the world as shades of yellow, blue, and gray) made him still primarily reliant on scent and sound. The barn was mostly quiet, but Buddy could smell a variety of other animals, a scattering of mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, and other smaller creatures which had taken refuge there. Annoying, perhaps, but certainly not dangerous. He snugged himself into a pile of straw near the rear of the barn and tucked his tail over his nose, quickly drifting off into a peaceful sleep. He dreamt of playing hide and seek with The Little Girl, the pink backpack over her shoulders tauntingly near but always just out of reach.
Holmes: "You have arms, I suppose?
Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Braxton » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:43 am

Image
Pepotiz demands MOAR!
Image
Jeriah wrote: you are NEVER completely certain of any other human being: not your parents, not your brother, not your wife, nobody.
Actually I think under some circumstances people sometimes don't even know themselves, but that's a bit existential for this thread. :lol:

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by MVegas » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:34 pm

So does Capone!
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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Smü » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:31 pm

Image

Samson doesn't understand a word ...
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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Braxton » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:09 pm

Smü wrote:Image

Samson doesn't understand a word ...
Um....

That's because its in English, Not German.
Image
Jeriah wrote: you are NEVER completely certain of any other human being: not your parents, not your brother, not your wife, nobody.
Actually I think under some circumstances people sometimes don't even know themselves, but that's a bit existential for this thread. :lol:

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by DannusMaximus » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:45 pm

Buddy would have slept longer, but an errant piece of straw had worked its way down the pile he was hidden in and was subsequently inhaled by the snoring dog. He startled himself awake with a huge sneeze. Buddy poked his head up from the pile, straw hanging off his large ears and draped across his snout. He sneezed again then stood and shook himself, stalks and dust flying in all directions. He stretched. A bit of scratching. A yawn. A bit more scratching. Buddy was NOT a morning dog. He settled back on his haunches, chewing his tail and taking in his surroundings drowsily.

The barn was large and open, stacked with machinery, straw bales, tools, and the hundreds of other items that a farmer might accumulate over a lifetime. Gray sunlight filtered through gaps and cracks in the wood siding of the barn, motes of dust sparkling in the cold air. The barn was busy with other small animals, the sounds and scents of their morning activities adding a rhythm to the otherwise quiet scene. It felt safe here, peaceful. Buddy was hungry, and he quickly sniffed out a likely candidate for breakfast. He shook a final time and made a beeline towards the source of the odor.

Several dozen bags of feed were stacked in one of the front corners of the barn. Most had split or been chewed open, the corn and oats and other grains spilling out in piles on the dusty floor. Dozens of mice and other small creatures scattered as Buddy approached the food. In another place and in another time Buddy would have immediately given chase to the critters, running after them until he had collapsed from sheer joy and exhaustion (truth be told he had never actually caught anything he had run after, but that was mostly beside the point). Buddy hadn’t engaged in such a pastime since he had left his house. He had been too focused on his tracking, and had little energy left for such pleasant diversions. Besides, running around in the open was too dangerous. The sick/dead things were growing more aggressive by the day.

Buddy settled in and began eating the feed with gusto. The mice and sundry other critters he had driven from the area (already at a safe distance, and perhaps sensing that he wasn’t interested in making a meal out of them), settled onto their tails and commenced a noisy litany of complaints against the dog for interrupting their otherwise normal routine and making such a hog of himself. Buddy wasn’t particularly listening. He munched contentedly, which seemed to irritate the chattering masses even more.

Awful dog!
Mine!
Mine!
Go away!
Mine!
Go away!
Stop it!
Mine!


Buddy ate until his belly bulged, thought briefly of confronting the squeeking protesters, then decided it was beneath him and waddled off, leaving them to cautiously make their way back to the spoils.

A series of buckets were strategically placed throughout the barn, aligned with some of the larger holes present in the dilapidated roof. At one time the buckets had served to keep rainwater from covering the floor and making a muddy mess of things. They now acted as a convenient water supply for the barns new owners. Buddy pawed away the thin crust of ice which had formed on one of the buckets overnight, then took a long drink of the cold water. Belly full and thirst quenched, he made his way back to the opening he had snuck into the night before and wriggled back through it, exiting the barn.
Holmes: "You have arms, I suppose?
Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by DannusMaximus » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:33 pm

The morning air was clear and frigid. Snow had fallen overnight and a thin layer covered the ground and nearby trees, muffling sounds and covering scents. Not good for tracking, nor for staying safe. More often than not Buddy smelled and heard things long before he had a visual. With those primary senses suppressed he would have to be extra cautious. He scanned the treeline, nose working, ears erect. Nothing. It was quiet except for the soft rattling of frozen branches. Even the scent of The Sickness seemed dampened. He worked his way to the bean field and tracked back to the place he had marked the night before. Buddy stopped at the treeline and peered intently into the woods, his breath hanging in the air like a crystalline fog, a glaze of frost forming over his whiskers and eyelashes.

Make no mistake - - Buddy was a city dog, and contrary to popular belief a domesticated animal had no more innate ability to survive in the wild then a human did. The Man had enjoyed taking him to local parks to play catch or jog, and the family would occasionally take short weekend trips for picnics or hiking in the nearby state forest, but he had really spent very little time in forests, and certainly had no experience alone in them. The environment seemed at once peaceful and threatening to the small dog. A human might have turned away from the alien landscape, perhaps attempting to rationalize their decision by pointing out the threat of frostbite and exposure, or the very real danger of getting hopelessly lost, or the Herculean difficulty of tracking such a faint trail into the wild, broken undergrowth. Buddy was blessedly unburdened by such second-guessing or decision making. His Humans had gone into the woods. He would follow them.

The first several hours were difficult. An eerie silence had settled over the frozen woods, making every errant sound seem like a death-threat. Each time he heard a branch crack or a clump of snow fall from a tree Buddy would become a statue, standing for long minutes until he was sure the sound meant nothing. Shaking from the cold, Buddy tried to walk cautiously but was constantly stumbling over half-buried limbs or blundering into piles of leaves. Bare branches and thorny scrub closed in on him and pulled at his ears and fur. There were no familiar sights or scents or sounds for him to orient on, only the smell of his humans trailing away into the dark woods.

Buddy was fortunate in at least one respect. He was now tracking people who were moving exclusively on foot, and the scent signature, while still old, was far stronger than then one he had been following on the road. The Little Girl in particular was helping, even though she didn’t know it. She was constantly tugging at small branches or picking up sticks along the trail, or running her small hands along leafless bushes and tree trunks. These scent signatures were so strong and so unique and so obvious that they might as well have been runway lights to the small dog. He followed them, stopping frequently to mark his trail, going deeper and deeper into the strange countryside.

Time passed and Buddy plodded on, following the trail as it twisted through the hills and valleys of the forest. At one point he topped a small rise and was panicked to see one of the sick/dead things mere feet away from him, its scent masked by the snow and ice covering it. It had fallen over against a downed tree and was staring at him, unmoving, legs tangled in a snarl of brambles. The creature was making a high pitched sound of rage, seemingly trying to move towards Buddy but frozen in place. Its stiff limbs began to move sluggishly, but it couldn’t coordinate the movements. Buddy made a wide circle around the sick/dead thing and moved on, glancing back towards it from time to time while it continued to struggle uselessly against the frozen prison of its own body, locked in a hopeless struggle against the cold. It soon disappeared from view.

As midday approached, Buddy rested briefly by a small creek. He was moving more confidently now, using his small size to his advantage as he wormed through the frozen underbrush. The scent signature of his humans was still strong even though a light breeze had begun to blow, and his eyes were finally getting used to distinguishing forms against the backdrop of trees and shrubs. Full of energy and still pleasantly satisfied from his big breakfast, he took a long drink from the cold stream and made his way up the opposite bank, stopping for a moment at the crest of the ridge to take in his surroundings. He wasn’t entirely at ease, but had come to the conclusion that woods might hold far fewer dangers then he had expected.

He was wrong.

The wind was blowing the wrong direction for Buddy to smell the hunger of the human who had been stalking the small dog and was now looking at him silhouetted on the ridgeline. The crackle of the starving man’s foot on a dead twig as he leaned forward and sighted along the barrel of his shotgun meant nothing to Buddy, just another odd sound in the still foreign surroundings. The rustling of his gloves as he slowly squeezed the trigger was lost in the soft whisper of branches moving in the chill breeze.

Buddy felt the gunshot a split-second before he heard it, the blast slamming into his side and tumbling him down the snow covered embankment, his yelp of pain drowned out by the thunderous blast, a splatter of blood turning the snowy ground crimson where he had once stood.
Last edited by DannusMaximus on Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Holmes: "You have arms, I suppose?
Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Lurch » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:19 pm

Oh. You. Did. Not!

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by by-the-throat » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:41 pm

!!!!!!!!!!
You're a real dick, DM :lol:
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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Hudsonhawk777 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:38 am

Can't believe you just did that, what a way to introduce Cliff to a story, we need something man.
Following the path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked.--Unknown

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Smü » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:41 am

...and the award for most-hated-poster of the month goes to ... :
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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by DannusMaximus » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:49 am

Smü wrote:...and the award for most-hated-poster of the month goes to ... :
Ouch! :lol:

Buddy's a tough little guy. I give him a better than 50% chance of surviving this particular setback...

Moar to follow, promise, but it might be a few days.
Holmes: "You have arms, I suppose?
Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Braxton » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:56 am

He better make it.
Image
Jeriah wrote: you are NEVER completely certain of any other human being: not your parents, not your brother, not your wife, nobody.
Actually I think under some circumstances people sometimes don't even know themselves, but that's a bit existential for this thread. :lol:

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Fenris » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:57 am

Holy wtf omfg....J00!!!!1!!

i am dissapoint.

-fenris-
"How quickly a man takes on the qualities of darkness. Men who live by night; the soldier, the thief, the traveller by night, the vagabond... theirs is a different way of thinking, and they do not fear the dark nor what may come upon them by night because they themselves are of the night, a part of it." ~louis lamour

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by nathat » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:04 am

Well done! You made me hate someone in a story who is doing nothing more than I would have done. If I was hungry about to die, dog is more than fair territory. But somehow you have made me hate this hunter :).

Keep up the good work!

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by Mister Dark » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:25 am

DannusMaximus wrote: Moar to follow, promise, but it might be a few days.

Ummm. No? You CANT leave us hanging like this!!

Poor Buddy. :cry:

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Re: Buddy (A dog's view of the ZPAW)

Post by EdRider » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:49 pm

Wow, I was really digging Buddy.

I hope he at least gets to provide a last meal for his starving girl with the pink back pack.......

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