Tiberius doesn’t believe in wasting time. As soon as he got to the Bridge, he began looking for a new Husky to join his pack. I saw him going into the dream machine so he could inspect each dog simultaneously and pick one to be his successor. I asked him if he had questions ready for the applicants. “I don’t need them,” Tiberius said. “I am a husky; all I need is one sniff, and I’ll know which one is the right candidate.
I was skeptical and asked if I could join in observing his process. Sniffing is a lot less work than talking, and if Tiberius’ method worked and could be adopted by others, we would not have to spend so much time looking for the next generation. Tiberius told me he would be happy if I accompanied him.
While walking to the dream machine, which allowed us access to several mortal dreams simultaneously, Tiberius told me he was honored by his name, which belonged to a famous Roman emperor, who was grandfather to Nero, Julius Caesar, and Caligula. “The dog I choose today will be my son, and the next dog my grandson. I have to ensure I get a Caesar, and not a Nero, or worse yet Caligula: A dog that refuses to be neutered or pee on the pads.”
I mentioned a Nero wouldn’t be bad, substitute chewing on a bone for fiddling, and it is exactly what a dog would do while the city burns. Tiberius was adamant that he would not settle for less than a dog who could one day become the father of Caesar, a great leader (and not the tiny white dog food model.)
We entered the room, and there was a line of Huskies with their tails up. Tiberius welcomed them, then led me behind them. He walked up to the first one, sniffed, told the nervous dog to relax, tried again, and said there was a distinct whiff of fear, which would not do.
He moved to the next, sniffed, and whispered “bipolar” to me, and after a third, he told me the pup had digestive issues. He was becoming discouraged when he came to the last one, which didn’t smell too soft, or too hard, and he pronounced that this one would be “just right.”
Tiberius was further assured when he found out that the dog's name was Cochise, a great leader who could even give Caesar a run for his money. Tiberius was very assured his family line would reflect his personality.
Tiberius was further assured when he discovered that the dog's name was Cochise, a great leader who could even give Caesar a run for his money. Tiberius was very assured his family line would reflect his personality.
That night Tiberius arranged for Cochise, who will not go by Chief, to meet his new parents and help rebuild their parents’ hearts. Tiberius visits Chief every night to review how he did and learn how he can do better. So far, Chief has been a model student.
Much more than me. I didn’t learn anything about butt-sniffing. All smells the same to me.