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Little Joe was the kennel boy.
He could count the number of times he had been indoors in his life on one dirty little hand. He had a wild eye and a quick tongue, which often got him into trouble. The dogs he cared for were far more precious than he was and he knew it...
In 1861, the Russian River of Northern California was a wilderness of redwoods and grizzly bears and wolves. Wealthy hunters from San Francisco built lodges upon the shore, importing the best horses and dogs from Europe.
One day it began to rain. The remnants of the once-proud Kashaya Pomo people knew this was a storm for the ages. And the dogs in the kennels did too...
Her name was Eleanor and she was very very tired.
She was tired when she woke up in the morning, so tired that she felt like spiders had wrapped her in soft sticky webs of silk all night that were impossible to shake off in the morning. And she had cobwebs in her head that took all day to clear.
She was tired in the shower every morning and would lean against the wall, her face pressed against the tiles...
She was tired on the schoolbus and she was tired--truly tired--really exhausted climbing the stairs to school each morning...