The little hound pup's nose twitched. So many interesting scents, he didn't know which to follow first. He hung back by his human's heels as she opened the gate, then shot through before she could shut it in his face.
His nose led him across the street and around the corner, hot on the trail of two Yorkies, a Maltese, a squirrel - no! three squirrels! He raced up the street as fast as his little paws would take him. Past the house with the Yorkies, past the yard where a big dog woofed from behind his own fence, and even past the bush that every dog for two miles marked. He raced up to the next corner, his nose promising him squirrel, french fries from the pub and some type of bird.
A loud clang as something lunged towards him. It smelled of steel and grease and angry human. It lunged again, this time clipping his ear.
He peed himself in fright, wheeled around on his back paws and headed straight for home. His speed easily tripled what it had been on the trail of the squirrel.
Up ahead, his human kneeled on the grass, her arms outstretched as she called his name.
He skidded to a stop in front of her, his body shaking with terror. No clanging steel teeth behind him but it had been a slow beast.
The pup leapt into his human's arms and let her carry him home. She smelled of disappointment, fear and concern. But also of love. He burrowed his nose in the nape of her neck, rooted through her ponytail so that all he smelled was her.
Terror faded. The scent of squirrel and other dogs lingered, less demanding now. Love filled his quivering body, calmed him. As long as she held him, he was safe. Content.