Besty was a busy dog. He was hardly found sitting still in the farm-house at the foot of the alps. Besty’s day started with taking the sheep to the mountains along with Joe, the shepherd boy and returning home by noon. Then he patrolled the surroundings, always sniffing around and looking for signs of trouble. There was no time for rest or relaxation, as he took his job very seriously and constantly pushed himself. When there was nothing else to do, Besty just took off at top speed covering the farm’s perimeter (which his master created with wooden stakes and barbed wire) and doing the rounds. He would run to the back of the house for his quick meal thrice a day and would get back to work. He was just two years old.
Besty’s parents were very pleased with his focus to work. “He will make us proud one day”, said Goldy, the 14-year-old wolfdog to Daisy, Besty’s mom. “Yes, he will, he has your natural instincts and my speed”, she replied proudly. As the two big dogs of the farm-house lay beside their master in the living room by the fire, they spoke about how Besty has quickly taken up some of the responsibilities of Goldy at the farm-house. Just then, there were quick footsteps, that almost sounded demanding! “Here he comes, the attention seeker!”, said Goldy cheerfully. “He is just a pup, don’t speak like that”, Daisy replied as she saw the little Gutsy, Besty’s brother, settle beside her. “Mom! I am hungry”, he said. “What! you just had your meal and I saw you playing with the kids and eating half of their cake”, Goldy tried to put on a serious face, but couldn’t control his smile.
Gutsy was the cutest of the farm-house, but also very lazy, at least he seemed so with his attitude. He wondered why Besty kept running around, while there was no trouble to be worried about. His schedule was very simple – eat, play and be cuddled around by the members of the house. “He is still young, he will learn in time”, Daisy often told Goldy. “Besty started when he was barely a year old and I don’t ever see him lazing around, I wonder when will Gutsy realize his true potential”, Goldy shook his head dismissively as he left along with the sheep. He saw Besty running ahead of the herd and felt proud.
“But mom! I am stronger than Besty, look at my muscles and I can tear down a tree branch with my teeth, I just don’t find the need to do so”, Gutsy tried to comfort his mom as he walked around majestically around the farm-house. “Well, you can’t tell your real strengths until you test them son”, Daisy replied with a raised eyebrow, but he didn’t pay attention. “It’s action time, where are the kids now, I need some attention and I am hungry too”, he thought.
As days passed by Besty continued to train and push himself while Gutsy worked on being cute and friendly. Or that is what everybody thought, although seemingly he looked stronger and muscular. He once asked Besty, “Why do you get so worked up Bes? let us worry when there is something to worry about”. “I could cover the entire perimeter of the farm-house in 20 min if I ran top speed, but I want to be able to do it in half of that time Gus! If I lose a day, I lose my practice. Dad is so good at sniffing, it seems he could sense danger from a long distance, I haven’t figured that out yet”, Besty replied. “You have not seen me chase down the frisbee, I can run faster than the wind”, Gutsy announced and walked away as he said, “and by the way, I can sniff what’s cooking in the next farm-house several miles away”.
Besty noticed Gutsy’s speed and strength when on chance occasions he saw Gutsy dash at top speed down the hills playing with the kids or pulling out the logs of the perimeter mischievously but effortlessly. “If only he could train more seriously and took to the chores…well, he is enjoying himself and so am I”, he thought.
One day, Besty saw some weird-looking tracks around the lake by the farmhouse. They didn’t seem familiar at all as he clearly recognized all the tracks that belonged to the animals at the house. “I should check with dad”, he told himself and ran to the mountains where Joe was with the sheep and looked for Goldy. As he approached the patch in the mountains where the herd usually stopped by for grazing he could see a group of 6 or 7 grey moving figures by the bushes approaching the sheep. He quickly alerted Joe and his dad of the approaching danger.
“Wolves!”, Goldy instantly recognized them. He was a big built dog and Besty grew up into a fine strong lad, but 2 of them were no match for 7 wild wolves. “Son! you have to scatter them, I will stand here and protect Joe and the sheep, you dash at them and scatter them away, you are stronger than them one to one”, he encouraged Besty, but was very worried. Besty looked at the approaching wolves and marked them. He dashed at the one that looked weaker of the lot and was slightly lagging behind. Before the wolves realized, Besty shot past them and kicked the wolf with full force. It flew in air and hit a nearby rock. Three wolves continued to move towards Goldy and the pack while the other three went after Besty. But his speed was no match for the wolves. He kept them busy and attacked them one by one as he scattered them around. When he looked around he saw that Goldy managed to scare two of them away but was engaged in a tussle with one of the heavy-looking ones. He dashed towards Goldy for help and as the wolf almost positioned itself to cut through Goldy’s neck, Besty leapt in the air and hit it from behind. The wolf skidded forth, lost its balanced and tumbled down the mountain before it regained its balance and dashed into the bushes. “This is a rare attack, these wolves don’t come down so much to the base of the mountain, we must be careful, run towards the farmhouse and alert the others”, Goldy was still panting as he told Besty.
As Besty ran down the mountain towards the farmhouse, he saw 5 dark four-legged figures including the heavy-looking one approaching through the back yard. “They are not giving up easy! I wonder where Gutsy and mom are”, he thought as he picked up more pace.
As he made his way to the hen-house he heard screams from the hen! Gutsy was standing between the hen-house and the approaching wolves and looked playful, as if he was about to play with the children. One of the wolves from the pack lunged at Gutsy. Gutsy gently bent down, anchored his legs tightly in the ground and deflected the wolf with his body. The wolf almost froze in shock with this unexpected counter attack from a cuddly dog. It reeled in air and fell with a thud. Besty stopped in his tracks and couldn’t believe his eyes. Was this his cute looking brother kicking butt of wild wolves effortlessly. In any case, there was no time to be lost and he could not let anything happen to his mother. He barked at the top of his voice as he darted past the wolf pack with full speed. The wolves were hurt by his heroics in the mountains and attacked all at once with rage. Besty was quick, he leapt aside, bit them, kicked them and got them to chase him around. No one could beat his speed and stamina. Gutsy was no less, he showed his strength and agility and thrashed two wolves all by himself. He had a powerful muzzle and his bite was too strong. In a very short time, the wolves realized that they were tackling two very tough dogs – one seemingly fast and the other unpredictably strong.
“Where is the master today”, Besty thought as he continued to bark and fight the wolves. In some time Joe returned with the wounded Goldy and some more men from the neighborhood, but both the brothers were already taking care of the wolves by then. The wounded wolf pack ran into the bushes and disappeared into the forests.
“This is a strange attack in a hundred years”, an elderly man remarked to Joe. “And even for something as rare as that, we have Besty & Gutsy to save us all”, Joe patted Besty as he was carried into the house to take care of his wounds. “You were awesome Gus!”, Besty remarked. Daisy and Goldy were pleasantly surprised. “I told you mom, I am strong, you thought I was only playing around, but I was training in my way”, Gutsy remarked in his playful voice as he licked at the small wound on his paw. “I saw the tracks that Bes saw. I recognized the scent and was watchful. As I strolled around the perimeter of the house, I saw the pack approaching through the back side and countered them”, he stated matter-of-factly. “He has your instincts”, Daisy fondly licked Gutsy’s face as she remarked to Goldy. “But like I always tell you Gus, you will know how good you are only when you push yourself and not take it for granted. We are proud of you son”, she remarked to Gutsy. “I am hungry mom, I can smell food, I think the master has returned”, he ran into the house. Goldy laughed out loud, “some things don’t change! but I should give it to the kid, he is good at this!” and followed him into the house.