Fluffy didn’t mind being outside. It was warm these days and the long winter of being cocooned in the house had sparked claustrophobia. At least outside he could smell the northern scents and defend his food bowl from those no-good squirrels and co-conspiring gray jays.

Furthermore, Fluffy had been out on edge by suspicion. Earlier in the week, he came across a peculiar and menacing animal trail. The scent was not of his acquaintance, Ben, or any other neighbourhood dog. It was indeed a dog-like scent, yet more musty and wild. It seemed best to be outside on the watch.

His owner would be going to bed soon. Fluffy would be retrieved and forced inside. The usual bladder-stretching night would ensue. Holding it had become more of a burden in his old age.

For this reason, a final relief should be initiated soon; he could hear the TV was no longer on and his owner would be starting the pre-bed rituals. Behind the shed was a favourite marking spot, forming the western corner of his precious territory. The particular tree knew him well, yellow icicles clinging to the lower trunk.

With no foreshadowing, a terror clamped down on Fluffy’s neck. The she-wolf had been watching him, and opportunistically barrelled down upon him. The killer instinct: right for the jugular.

Fluffy’s thoughts were of his perceived unluckiness. Why me? He braced for the life-ending penetration of teeth, but only felt pressure. And though the wolf was terrifyingly strong, the power was less than anticipated.

She was an old wolf, lacking most teeth and her youthful power. This old bitch was past her prime, weak, and likely forced out of the pack. She was now a desperate wolf, and sustaining her weakened life meant dining on town dogs.

Fluffy’s fighting was futile. His ignorant self-confidence and foolish domestic pride was no match for harsh and wild.

With the grip tightening, Fluffy began to see light tracers. Not enough blood or air to the brain. Unconsciousness, followed by death, seemed inevitable.

But suddenly a ruckus could be heard behind the wolf, which now appeared to be fighting two battles. She was forced to abandon Fluffy’s neck to protect her own back.

Fluffy saw his owner, wearing nothing but boxers and gum boots, and wielding a metal snow shovel. The man teed off on the wolf’s ribs. The wolf retracted. A second blow made her realize defeat. She lopped into the frozen darkness.

Fluffy was soon being inspected and cooed by his owner, who remarked in astonishment that no teeth punctures could be located. No blood at all in fact, saved by the wolf’s toothlessness.

During that week, seven more pet dogs would face the same haggard wolf, but unfortunately these attacks ended in death.

Fluffy however, had a new wild shimmer in his eye. And a new view of his owner, whom he thought was less than caring in the past. Since that day, Fluffy never left his owner’s side. He was sworn to be on the watch and scent for the toothless wolf.