Dog Run Hank The Cowdog


As promised, Frank was finally going to visit the new base Eli had gotten together for his group. Camp Baron was by no means new to him, but the building he was pulling up to was. Shuffling of paws sliding against the side of the car had him looking over towards where Dolce was currently standing, her small tail wiggling excitedly.

Turning off the car, he sent a hand over to scratch behind her ears. ”Ready to go meet some new friends?” An excitable whine answered as the dog looked towards him. Well that was all the answer he needed, carefully going to pick her up into his lap before opening the door and placing her down.

Standing up, and with the dog shaking her fur out, they were ready. Heading to the front, the sounds of laughter and chatter mixed with the occasional dog bark filled the imminent area. A cute vibrant modern cafe greeted them and for now he wouldn’t be snooping inside, not sure if his dog would be allowed in exactly. Instead, he followed the side porch around until coming to the fence. Carefully maneuvering them inside the area after unlatching the gate so no one got out, Frank would begin looking to find an empty table or Eli, a very happy Dolce prancing right by him.
As it was, Frank would find both in short order! An open table waited him in a nice shady spot, but there was a coyote who had felt him coming headed right out of the interior of the building and out onto the porch with his hand raised and a smile in his eyes.


Frank was looking much notably better than he had the last time he'd graced the man with his presence.

"About time I saw you on my turf."
Ah, there he was. Raising a hand in a wave back, Frank would head towards where Eli was currently on the porch.

Frank smiled at the comment with a shake of his head as joined him. ”Definitely. Pretty cool place you got here.”
"Well... thank you," he said, pretty pleased with himself if he was entirely honest. It had felt good to dip back into his old vibe in some ways--lots of land, plenty of animals. And while dogs weren't cows and horses, he did feel a greater kinship with canines now than he once had, so it was a blending of his two walks of life he'd gone down.

Speaking of, his gaze roved down to the pup that Frank had brought along. This was what finally got the coyote to smile, and he sunk to a crouch to offer the dog a hand for sniffing. Like with children, he was very good at putting on his less-than-natural charm for sweet animals. "What's your name, huh? I can't remember if your daddy even told me."
Following Eli’s gaze down to Dolce, he smiled as the man made to crouch, introducing himself to the dog.

As the pup eagerly wagged her tail, walking right up to sniff heavily before giving licks, Frank filled his friend in. ”Her name’s Dolce,” he said affectionately. ”Mathis picked her out so it only seemed right that he named her.”
Oh Mathis, so foreign. But Eli kept that smile and let the pup lick and gave her a few good scratches for her attention. "That sounds like a familiar word, but I'm afraid I'd don't study Italian quite the way you do," Eli deadpanned through the tease. Then, having given Dolce her well-due greeting, he was standing back up, brushing his hands off on his pants. Gesturing to the table, he said, "We can sit? Talk? You can order if you like, the house can pay for it and Heidi can grumble at me about VIP freebies later."
As Dolce warmed up to Eli a fond smile had found itself on him. It was nice to see her getting along with new people, especially weres.

The comment had him looking back up to his friend, a chuckle buffeting out. ”Yeah, well,” he grinned with a shrug of shoulders. What could you. ”It means sweet.”

Options were given and he nodded, making to head to the table with Eli. ”Sure, that sounds great. I’m betting she can find it in her heart to forgive."
"I've done worse," he assured, and made sure they got settled in together. He reached for one of the small laminated menus they kept at the end of each table for those who wandered in on their own after using the dog park, and offered it over to his guest. "How's your shoulder been doing?"

Likely healed up, especially if he'd been mindful to shift or heal himself from time to time. But it was his duty as both friend and physician to check. Besides, it was such an easy thing to ask, here in public, that wasn't weird or personal or inappropriately animal.
Sitting down, he took the laminated menu with a grateful smile before turning attention to Dolce. Leaning over, he fiddled with where her leash met with the collar, unhooking it as Eli questioned his shoulder.

”It’s all healed up now, just got over the tingly bits a week or so ago.” Undone, off Dolce went to sniff around and he began rolling up the leash, sitting back up.

”Remind me not to get on the wrong side of a cat’s mouth again.”
"I'll be sure to text you ever week with a grim reminder. It's great 'I told you so' material if you do do it again, though."

Sitting idly in his spot, he felt very nice. And seeing Frank here with his dog? Seeing her comfortable, too? It was gratifying.
That pulled an easy laugh out of him. ”It will be.” For as much as that had been a stressful time, with space, it was easy to joke around. The reality of the situation though was that the chance was considerably high giving his position. It was the same amount Eli, or any leader, had; it was just part of the job description. However, that didn’t mean a bit of humor couldn’t be added to it all.

Looking to the menu in front of him, he drifted through it. ”You have anything you recommend that I have to try?”
Eli glanced at the menu himself as if he hadn't looked at it a few dozen times already in his life. "I'm partial to the roast beef, myself. But that depends on how you feel about horseradish, I think." He personally loved it, but it wasn't something everyone was keen on. "And make sure you get Dolce the doggy-latte. She'll thank you."
As Eli explained, he looked down towards the bottom, read through the ingredients and honestly found nothing wrong with it.

A smile grew at the option for Dolce. ”Well we definitely have to do that then for her.” Looking up to his friend, he continued. ”And I think you sold me on the roast beef.”
"Good, good, my plan is all coming together," he intoned as if serious even while leaning back a bit to put eyes on the dog as she sniffed around. There was, of course, no plan. This was just lunch.

His next move would be to wave down one of the employees, but first... "Do you think getting a dog is the right move? I mean, not judging you, of course. But I just... keep wondering about maybe... my own. If I found the right one."
Frank could only shake his head at the comment. Truly, Eli was an evil mastermind then.

”Well,” he breathed in. The question had him thoughtful, looking off towards where Dolce had ended up in the yard. ”Believe it or not, but I’m more of a dog person,” Frank said, looking back to Eli. ”And it’s nice to have one again. I’m still kinda worried, but I think it’s been a good move so far.”
It was roughly where Eli's own thoughts had been. It was difficult to be positive it was the right move, but it... seemed right.

The joke about a jaguar being more of a dog person was good, and it left him a moment to mull with an amused spark to his eye as the then got a server to come over. "I was a big animal vet in another life. I don't know if I've ever told you that." He didn't really bring it up often. There wasn't much point, when he'd been forced to move on.

Then they were being asked if they were ready to order and Eli motioned toward Frank to have at it.
A big animal vet? Now that was news and he looked quizzically at him with interest. ”You were?”

And then the server came up.

Looking towards them, he gave his order, of course with Dolce’s own puppy treat included, before changing attention to Eli expectantly.
Eli asked for one of the coffees for himself and sent the waitress back on her way with a smile and a thanks and a reminder to just put it all on his own account, and then it was back to confessional with dear Frank.

"Mmmhmm," he confirmed lightly. "Lived on a good bit of land in Wyoming most my life. Mostly saw after cows and horses and sheep, but did plenty else. Only vet of any sort for miles, so if someone's dog got got by a rattler, I was the man." It felt... far away, in a way, and at the same time just yesterday. He'd taken for granted just how good and solid life had been when he'd been in it. Everything had shifted a lot since then.
Back with just them three, he learned more about his dear old animal loving friend. Wyoming made sense for the setting and Frank tried to picture a younger Eli tending to hurt cows in the pasture. The superhero of the plains' ranchers no doubt.

”What made you change careers?”
Wasn't that the fun question.

"Got bit. Suddenly cows thought I was pretty terrifying. Not really a situation you want to be in when you're trying to put your arm up their butt." Sigh.

Not exactly great lunchtime talk, but food wasn't here yet, okay?
Ah, that’d do it. Even with the heavy turn of things, a smile pulled at the comment nonetheless.

”I don’t even wanna know how that’d turn out with a shift,” he added, easily imagining absolutely insane almost cartoon level antics.
"Complete disaster, I'm sure. But yeah... it was a whole big career switch in the end. Gave it all up and took a while to figure out what was next but... It worked out."

He liked pediatrics. Genuinely! It was just so much of a different rodeo.
Frank’s smile became downcast at that, feeling for his friend here. Trying to come up with a career change after such a big personal upheaval had to have been hard. And yes, it had worked out, a testament to Eli, but it still must’ve sucked.

”I’m glad it did, though what made you land on kids? I know they can be animals themselves, but,” he laughed off the ending of that explanation and let Eli fill in.
The real answer would go untouched, barely thought about. It wasn't flattering to admit he'd done terrible things and needed to atone to prove something to himself.

The more surface reason was easier. Came with a short laugh, at that. "Animals, for sure. And I always liked kids. More than that I really wanted to get into a field where I was less likely to be dealing with unexpected stress. Bleeding humans and the like. Pediatrics is nice and steady. Scheduled. Parents are there to keep an eye on things. I don't even give stitches on the daily, you know?"

Just occasionally, when folks like Frank needed to have their arms sewn back on.
The reasoning made sense and maybe Eli here was more flexible with the hand life had unfortunately dealt him with than Frank had been. Less stubbornness, really. Pediatrics would’ve made a world of difference than suffering through emergency medicine, but here he was anyways, not wanting to pack up more of his life than it already had been.

”Yep, that would’ve sold me. Sounds like you got a winner there.”
A rarely seen, brief and potent smile.

"Yeah, I like to think it was the right move... Meant a few solid years of medical school as a middle aged man, but it's worked out." He looked at Frank, admiring in his own way the resolve to stay the course as he had with his own career. Maybe it would have been smarter to get out of emergency medicine, but... Frank had made it work. Sometimes that was all that counted.

"Kids don't take bullshit like adults do, anyway. You always know where you stand with them. I like working with them."
So essentially, his friend was smart, well versed in two types of medicine that no doubt worked well with his current status. Clearly it had worked out and he was happy for him.

A laugh escaped at Eli’s summation, nodding his head. ”Ain’t that the truth. Must be nice seeing them grow up too.” A small twinge of familiar upset at missing out on having that on the daily was there, something to be swiped away that didn’t have space to even be aired out here. Nope.
It did strike oddly close to home on them both, if for different reasons that neither of them had shared. But Eli swept his own pause under the rug with practiced abandon. "It's very gratifying," he agreed to that, nodding firmly even as his smile had finally been put to rest for the time being.

"I could probably do something crazy like you by now, but I had to go and settle into my ways again, so I'm stuck now."

His voice harbored zero complaint.
It sounded like Eli was happy though and that’s what mattered in the end, right? With an earned amused shake of his head, Frank tapped the table’s wood some as thoughts pieced together.

”Well, funny you mention that. I, uh, had an idea I wanted to run by you, see if you were interested,” Frank ventured.
Attention? Had.

"And what might that be," he asked, leaning into the table. Food would likely be here in a bit, but... well, it all felt a lot like no hurry at all. What you doing in your brain over there, Frank?
Well now that Frank had his undivided attention, time to present the idea he’d been mulling around for a while.

”I’ve kind of been toying with the idea of setting up a practice that doubles as a place for people like us.” He watched his face for a reaction. ”I know in theory every group could have someone with at least some medical knowledge, but that’s entirely based on luck and then there’s also the people without any of that to turn to to think about as well.” Hopefully, Eli wasn’t about to shoot down the idea completely. He’d take it, but it’d suck.

”It just seems like a centralized place where you can definitely get the care you need instead of someone’s home would make sense.”
Oh... welll, this was interesting.

Eli's face betrayed little, as he wasn't much of a sincere emoter. But he did let his eyes remain steadily on Frank, clear thought happening.

"I certainly get enough calls from people outside my group. Your sweet self included." He sat up a little, gaze still steady. "I think it'd definitely have a use for the community. Worth it, though? How do you see it working?"
Well not having an outright ‘you’re crazy’ was welcoming. There was actually room to ideate and explain further if needed. In fact, Eli was agreeing with the need and he chuckled at bringing up his own trist.

Was it worth it? Well, yes, he thought so. Having all the supplies they actually needed on hand without risking a too nosey eye would be relieving.

”I’m thinking it's primarily for the regular public, but after hours, or special appointments even, can be made for any were so paths aren’t crossing unnecessarily. To the outside, it's just a normal practice.” And with doctor confidentiality, they’d be pretty set.
"Get a separate phone line for the werefolk," Eli mused after listening to Frank get his idea out there. Just the skeleton of an idea. Solid, yes, but it was hard to tell right now exactly what it would look like when it was fully formed.

He mused with a drum of his fingers on the table. Looked off to the side, towards Frank's dog. "It would be a lot of work. And you'd need more than just... me." There was some hesitance to say it outright, since he wasn't sure he was being asked to but... Eli wasn't the most keen on leaving the practice he was currently at. After hours, absolutely, but his day job was... very nice, and he was very good at it, and it was secure.

Though maybe Frank just wanted a very small practice with himself as the head and others on call? That might do it, but Eli didn't want to steamroll into his own vision at the cost of what Frank imagined.
That was a good point and his brows would rise some, nodding along. It was a highlight of what else precaution wise would have to be taken.

Waiting as Eli seemed to chew into the idea some, he hummed in agreement at the statement. ”Yeah, definitely… I don’t imagine it very big, but you’re right in needing more people.” He inhaled to sigh some, looking off to Dolce where she was currently prancing towards them with a ball. ”I don’t know, there’s a lot to still think through, but figured it was worth getting your take on and see if you were interested.” Taking the tennis ball offered to him, Frank would give a soft arced throw of it further into the yard, the mix bursting after it.
"If nothing else, I'd be more than happy to take after-hour shifts. Goodness knows I could use the chance to be helpful." He laughed under his breath at himself. "But I say go for it. See where it gets you."

It was absolutely not a bad idea at all, but Eli wondered if there was a reason he'd never seen it done anywhere, himself. Surely others must have had similar thoughts... It wasn't as though Ridgefield were some anomaly. Weres, in and out of groups, had to be getting hurt all the time out there.
The offer was kind and he gave a genuine smile for it.

”With you backing me up, I don’t see how it could go wrong. Seriously, thanks.”

Anything Eli was willing to help him with was welcomed and with his support behind the idea, it seemed to make the concept more real in a way. There was still a whole lot to parse through, to really see if it was doable, but this was a step.

”I’ll keep you updated if it ever goes past where it is now,” Frank laughed with a shake of his head. There was only so much time in day, after all and his focus needed to still be the Prowl.
"You better," Eli replied, certain. "And if I cross paths with any other professionals... well, I imagine you might already know more than I do. But regardless."

Being a supportive friend wasn't something the coyote king got to do very often. More these days than he had for a while, but he enjoyed that sense of community and connection. So he'd do what he could.
”I appreciate it,” he responded sincerely with a wide smile. Knowing Eli’d be looking out for him really meant a lot. Maybe, it would do him good to have a bit of hope in his passion project. Who knew? Maybe, something in fact would come out of it.
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