When a pack of senior dogs find themselves transported back in timeand turned into puppies!they must make their way back home, helping real-life historical dogs along the way.
In this second adventure, Baxter, Trevor, Newton, Titch, and Maiathe time dogs!find themselves transported through time and space to 1805 on the Missouri River. There, deep in the wilderness, the puppies must help Seaman, the dog of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark.
About the Author
Misa Saburi was born in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and raised in Tokyo, Japan. She currently lives in Brooklyn where she illustrates children's books, including Monster Trucks and Bearnard's Book, written by Deborah Underwood.
Read an Excerpt
THE SQUEAKY, FREAKY FLYING MACHINE
I was woken by the whiff of rotting tuna.
I sat up and sniffed. The tuna smell was old cat food. I was also picking up hot sauce, wet carpet, and chicken poop. I may not be as quick on my paws as I used to be, but my nose is as sharp as ever.
Clatter, bang, clatter.
The noise was coming from the dog flap in the back door. I did a quick head count. Baxter, Maia, and Newton were all with me on the rug by the fire. "Security alert!" I barked. "Action! Action!"
Baxter grunted in his sleep.
Maia opened one eye.
Newton didn't do anything. He's a little deaf these days.
I gave up and raced down the hall. "Stop right where you are!" I shouted. I slipped on the wooden floor. Scooting to a stop, I found myself nose-to-nose with Titch.
I should have known from the smell!
Titch is a stray, but she turns up at Happy Paws Farm most days. Usually around mealtimes. Right now, she was halfway through the dog flap. "What's up, Trevor?" she barked, almost knocking me out cold with a blast of tuna breath.
"What's up? What's up is that I was having a nice quiet nap. Then someone started breaking the door down."
"Not my fault they make these dumb flaps so small!" Titch wiggled her huge head. Her raggedy ears bobbed up and down, but she was still stuck. The dog flap flipped up and smacked my nose. "I'm going on a road trip," she said. "Any of you old-timers want to tag along?"
Maia, Baxter, and Newton padded sleepily into the hall. About time! The house could have been invaded by pests by now; rats or raccoons, or — even worse — a cat. "No, thank you!" Maia yawned. "We do not want to ride the garbage truck with you again, Titch."
"Relax, Princess Fluffybutt!" Titch laughed. "No garbage trucks this time. I'm talking about the squeaky, freaky flying machine."
Baxter's ears drooped. "You mean the van?"
"Speak up!" barked Newton. "Did someone say van? Have you forgotten what happened last time?"
By jiminy! How could any of us forget? Baxter had only climbed into the old van to look for his favorite tennis ball. The van started beeping and wobbling. I called the pack to action. We jumped aboard to rescue him. Next thing we knew, we were zooming into the sky ...
"Aw, come on!" said Titch, bits of cat food spraying from her mouth. "What else do you have planned? An action-packed afternoon of dribbling in your sleep?"
Titch had a point. It was one of those long, rainy days when nothing much happens. Last time, the van took us to a place called Alaska, where we joined a team of sled dogs on a life-or-death mission. My tail sprang up. I was ready for another adventure. But then I remembered. Old Jim would be coming to fetch me soon. I couldn't gallivant off and leave my human all alone.
Newton tipped his head to one side, thinking. He's a border collie. He's the brains of the pack and he does a lot of thinking. "It would be interesting to see Balto and the team again," he said.
Baxter's ears perked up again. "And play in the snow ..."
Maia did a little prance. "I have a dance class with Ayesha tonight, but I could squeeze in a short visit."
I made a pack decision. "Count us in," I told Titch. "As long as we're home by pickup time."CHAPTER 2
NO DOGS ALLOWED
"Road trip!" whooped Titch. "Let's go!" Then she remembered she was stuck in the dog flap. "Can someone help me out here?"
Baxter gave a shove. With a clatter-flap-clatter and a loud grunt, Titch shot back and fell over on the doorstep. She's missing a back leg; balance is not her strong point. We all jumped through after her and dashed and splashed across the yard to the barn. The van was parked inside with the back doors wide open.
We scrambled aboard.
Newton made for the driver's seat and ran his nose over the shiny box beside the steering wheel. The control panel, he calls it. Shaking raindrops from my fur, I jumped up beside him. All of a sudden, the control panel sparked into life. Lights flashed, buzzers beeped. The air crackled with the smell of thunderstorms.
The van lurched from side to side.
"Oh yeah!" yelled Titch. "The freaky flying machine is on the move!"
"Wait!" cried Maia. "Where's Baxter?"
I ran to the door and looked out. Baxter was standing outside the barn like a startled squirrel. "All aboard!" I barked. "Remember the pack motto: Never Leave a Dog Behind!"
"I thought the van would be parked outside — like last time." Baxter's voice was muffled by the tennis ball in his mouth. Like most Labrador retrievers, he likes to chew stuff — especially when he gets scared. And he gets scared a lot. "We're not allowed in the barn," he whimpered.
So that's what this was about! Baxter lives at Happy Paws Farm full-time. The rest of us just stay here when our humans are busy. Baxter's humans, Lucy and her grandma, make inventions in the barn. Mostly shiny things that beep and zap and give you the heebie-jeebies. Point is, the barn is strictly No Dogs Allowed.
"Baxter, buddy!" Titch hollered over my shoulder. "We're not in the barn. We're in the van. It's a totally different thing."
At last, Baxter sprinted across the barn — with his eyes closed, as if that meant he wasn't really there — and jumped into the van.
Just in time.
The van lifted off the ground. Higher and higher we rose. Past the inventions hanging from racks on the walls. Past the pigeons roosting in the rafters ... Suddenly Newton looked up. "Ah, we probably should have thought this through," he murmured. "We're inside the barn. We're going to crash into the roof ... any ... second ... now ..."
I braced, ready for the smash of solid van against solid roof.
But it didn't come. No crashing or smashing. Just a fizz that rippled through my fur. Then, somehow, we were out of the barn and zooming up through a dark, shimmery sky.
The back of the van is kitted out with furniture. Maia sat on the bed. Titch tried to open the refrigerator. I checked the corners for rats. Then I curled up by the doors to wait. When I woke, the van was rattling and creaking — just like it did last time. We began to plummet, down, down, down, faster and faster. "Hold your positions!" I barked. I stood to attention, my ears and tail held high. I like to set a good example to the pack; otherwise they can panic. Especially Baxter.
We hit the ground at last. Thud, bump, scrape.
I turned to Maia. She may be a fluffy little papillon, with pink ribbons and a sparkly pink collar, but she's a lot tougher than she looks. She's also done agility training. Maia is my go-to dog for special operations — like opening doors. "I'm on it," she said, standing on her back legs and pressing the handle on one of the doors with her paw.
"Look out, Alaska, here we come!" Titch dove out through the doors, just as they flew open. "Last one in the snow has to kiss a cat on the nose!"
No one moved. We just stared out after her. We didn't want to kiss a cat, of course.
It's just that there was no snow.CHAPTER 3
Titch picked herself up and shook mud from her fur.
By jiminy! I thought. Alaska sure has changed! We had landed beside a wide river. Sunshine sparkled on the water. Plains of long, golden grass stretched away on either side.
"Most peculiar," Newton murmured. "It's winter at home. But it's summer here." He frowned at the control panel. The lights had settled into a pattern of glowing lines:
"I wonder what that means ..."
I jumped down from the van to assess the situation. Closing my eyes, I searched the air for the scent of Balto and the sled team. A million thrilling smells crowded into my nostrils. I forgot all about assessing. Dizzy with excitement, I raced along the riverbank. Life of every kind was bursting out all around. Flocks of geese and ducks flew low over the water. Herds of antelope and elk grazed on the plains. The air buzzed with bugs and the grass rustled with small scurrying creatures.
My legs felt so springy I couldn't help jumping like a grasshopper.
Maia danced in a cloud of yellow butterflies.
Baxter splashed through shoals of shimmering fish.
Titch rolled in a giant cow pie.
Even Newton quit wondering and joined the fun, rounding up rabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels.
All of a sudden, I remembered: this happened last time we came to Alaska, too. We had changed from "old-timers" to puppies again.
I wanted to explore everything at once. Nests, burrows, droppings, trails ... But then something stopped me in my tracks. "Alert! Alert!" I called. "Attention All Pack!"
"You won't catch many rats making all that noise!" Newton laughed. Now that he was a puppy, his ears were working again. I guess everything sounded extra loud to him.
But it wasn't rats I was worried about. It was the trail of fresh paw prints. For a moment, I thought it was Balto. The prints smelled like dog. They looked like dog ... and yet ... Titch placed a huge front paw inside one of them. There was room to spare.
And it wasn't just the size of the prints that puzzled me. The shape was odd, too. The pads were kind of joined together. Newton peered at them. "This dog appears to have webbed paws like a duck or a goose. Hmm ... most interesting."
Titch's fur stood on end. "That's not interesting!" she shrieked. "That's a freak of nature. Half dog, half duck!" She bared her teeth and whipped around. "Where are you hiding, Duckzilla? You don't scare me!"
Baxter shrank away, looking around for his tennis ball, but he'd dropped it when he was splashing in the river. "It's a m-m-monster!" he wailed.
I had to get the pack under control. "Don't panic," I said. "There's no such thing as monst–oomph!"
That oomph was the sound I made as something very big, very black, and very shaggy leaped out from a thornbush and landed on top of me.CHAPTER 4
THE WRONG TRAIL
"Aaagh!" I yelped.
"AAAGGH!" roared the thing, as it sprang away from me.
Baxter peeped out from behind Newton. "Is it going ... to ... eat ... us?" Newton shook his head. "It's just a dog!"
"Of course I'm a dog," said the giant dog in a deep, rumbly voice. "What did you think I was?"
Maia flicked her ears "A monst —"
"A monstrous bear," I cut in. This guy would take us for a bunch of nincompoops if he thought we believed in monsters. I bowed politely, trying to give a good first impression of my pack.
The dog began to sniff us over. Then he noticed we were all staring at his webbed paws. "You pups never met a Newfoundland before?" he asked. "Kings of the Water, they call us. We swim like fish, swift and strong."
"Show-off!" muttered Titch. She had no time for good impressions. "So, Duckzilla," she snarled. "What's the big idea? Leaping out at people like that?"
The Newfoundland shook his head. "Duck-zilla? Seems you've mistaken me for someone else. My name's Seaman. From the Lewis and Clark tribe. Who are you pups with? The Hidatsa? Arikara? One of the Sioux nations?"
Baxter and Maia stared at him, their mouths hanging open. Even Newton looked puzzled.
Titch broke off from scratching at a mosquito bite on her butt. "We're with the flying van, buddy."
"The Fly-Ing-Van?" Seaman repeated. "Nope, never heard of them. Well, anyways, sorry about jumping out at you." He sniffed suspiciously in Titch's direction. "Reckon I mistook you for a buffalo."
Titch growled at him. "Do I look like a buffalo?"
Seaman shrugged. "No, but you sure do smell like one."
Maia giggled. "So that's what the giant cow pie was!"
But Seaman was already heading off into the long grass. "Can't stand here shooting the breeze all day," he called back. "Work to do. One of my humans wandered off yesterday. Gotta find him."
I shouted after him, "Yesterday, you say?"
"Yup!" said Seaman, without turning around. "Went off hunting. Didn't come back."
"You're on the wrong trail, then! The scent you're following is human, but it's old." I sniffed the grass. "At least five days, I'd say."
Titch blocked Seaman's path, standing as firm as her three legs would allow. "So, here's the deal, Duckzilla," she said. "We help you find your human. You give us an all-you-can-eat dinner at your place."
Seaman pushed past her, but Titch didn't give up. "Go on, Trev. Do your thing."
I don't take orders from Titch, of course. But there's nothing I love more than a good tracking mission. Nose down, tail up, I set to work. It didn't take long to pick up another human scent. Wood smoke. Gunpowder. Grease. Less than a day old, too. I locked my nostrils onto the trail and pushed through the tangle of young willow trees along the riverbank. The others raced after me.
I looked around. A big round face was peeping out from the branches of a mighty cottonwood. A human face.
"Yup, that's York," said Seaman, pulling up next to me. "What the blazes is he doing up there?"
We soon found out. A creature the size of a truck burst out of the bushes and charged at the tree.
Suddenly it caught our scent and swung around to face us.
Fear and excitement chased each other up and down my spine.
This time it really was a bear.CHAPTER 5
NOW OR NEVER
"Doggone it!" muttered Seaman. "It's a grizzly."
The grizzly bear snarled, showing us his yellow fangs. His small black eyes glinted with rage. But it was the human he wanted. He reared up, threw back his head, and roared. Then he smashed his front paws down onto the trunk of the cottonwood tree. Again and again, the grizzly struck. The tree swayed and creaked under the relentless attack.
A patch of dark blood matted the fur on the bear's shoulder. "Looks like York got a shot at him," said Seaman.
No wonder the bear was mad, I thought.
Newton pointed at a long wooden object lying in the grass. "He's dropped his gun."
A branch crashed to the ground. "HELP!" the man cried.
Seaman cussed under his breath and began creeping toward the bear. "I'm going in," he said.
I stood to attention. "We'll provide backup. It's our pack duty to help out a fellow dog."
"Are you totally nuts?" Titch snorted. "That monster will chew you up and spit you out like one of Baxter's tennis balls."
"Wait!" said Newton. "I have an idea. We all charge at the bear from different directions at exactly the same time. He'll be so confused, it'll give the human time to jump down from the tree and get away."
"Charge?" Baxter gulped. "As in run? Toward the bear? That sounds s-sscary."
"It's simple if you get the timing right," said Maia. "Just like a dance move."
Seaman stopped creeping. "All right. We'll give it a try. You pups get into position and wait for my signal."
It was a good plan. But who did Seaman think he was, giving orders to my pack? That was my job. I bit back my frustration and waited for his signal. Crash! Another branch broke. By jiminy! What was Seaman waiting for? It was now or never. "Pack, attack!" I barked. "Go! Go! Go!"
I charged at the bear.
Behind me I heard Seaman shout. "No, not yet! I'm not ready!"
But there was no turning back now.
A giant paw was coming straight at me.CHAPTER 6
THE RIGHT MOMENT
I twisted away. Just in time. Claws as long as knives sliced tufts of fur from my side. The grizzly took another swipe. I tried to dodge again. I stumbled and fell. Those deadly claws were almost at my throat when I saw a flash of fluffiness racing toward me.
"Maia! Get back!" I yelled.
But the bear had seen her, too. At the last moment, the giant paw swerved away from me and batted Maia high into the air. Then it swept at me again. This time I was ready. I leaped onto the back of the paw. The bear roared and raised his paw to his mouth, trying to bite me. I sprang past the long yellow fangs and landed on top of the bear's nose. Clinging on tight, I dug my teeth and claws into the soft flesh of his snout.
The bear squealed in pain. Blood filled my mouth. I didn't know whether it was mine or the bear's. I couldn't hold on much longer. But if this was the end, I would go out fighting.
And now, at last, the others were joining the battle. Newton, Baxter, and Seaman rushed in, barking and gnashing their teeth. The bear spun around, swatting them away like mosquitoes.
Crack! The gunshot split the sky in two. The man must have escaped from the tree and found his gun. He fired again. The smell of gunpowder filled the air. The shots missed, but the bear took fright. With a grunt of defeat, he dropped to all fours and lumbered away.
I jumped clear and rolled into a bush. When I opened my eyes, three faces were peering down at me. Newton and Baxter looked worried. Seaman looked furious. "You harebrained maniac!" he bellowed. "You could have gotten us all killed! I said I'd give the signal ..."
"You were too slow," I snapped.
Seaman growled in frustration. "I was waiting for the right moment. You, young pup, should have done the same."
"It was the right moment. The moment before the bear shook the man from the tree and ate him for dinner!" I sat up and looked around. "Where's Maia?" I gasped, suddenly remembering the bear throwing her into the air ...
"I'm right here!" Maia's voice came from near the tree. She was busy smoothing down her fur. "I did an awesome double backflip and landed on a branch." She sighed. "Don't tell me no one saw it."
"I was kind of busy," I muttered. I tried to sound mad at her. Really, I was just relieved.
"Don't fight, guys!" Baxter wagged his tail. "Newton's genius plan worked. The bear has gone. The human is safe."
"Oh yeah! Go, us!" Titch strolled out from behind a rock.
"Us?" I spluttered. Now I really was mad. "Tell me. What exactly did you do?"
"Relax, Trev!" Titch tossed her head. "Someone had to keep a lookout. In case Old Grizzly's bear buddies showed up to join the fight."
I looked at Newton, Baxter, and Maia. We couldn't help laughing. If Titch had a pack motto, it would be Look After Number One.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Time Dogs Seaman and the Great Northern Adventure"
Copyright © 2019 Helen Moss.
Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1. The Squeaky, Freaky Flying Machine,
2. No Dogs Allowed,
4. The Wrong Trail,
5. Now or Never,
6. The Right Moment,
7. Goodboy, Hero,
9. Look Before you Leap,
10. No other Options,
11. Bad Attitude,
12. Tall Tales,
13. The Magic Nose,
14. Nothing but Trouble,
15. Shadows on the Wall,
19. The Parting of Ways,
20. All Clear,
About the Authors,