Puck carried a takeout bag clamped in his teeth, while Su-Ma carried a tray of drink cups. Mist had straws and napkins tucked under her wide, rainbow-streaked rhinestone collar. She trotted up to Jennifer and sniffed at her at knee-level, going a full circle before getting close enough to touch. Jennifer swallowed down the tightness in her throat at this sign of the delicate dog's slow emotional recovery. Moving her hands so Mist could see what she was doing, and not startle, she reached to take the straws and napkins out from under the collar, then stroked the dog's back, murmuring praise. Su-Ma was still the only one who could touch Mist's head and neck without sending the dog into shivering semi-paralysis. Despite most of her hair having grown back, she still showed the scars from the abuse she had suffered since puppyhood.
"And you did a good job, too," Jennifer said, turning to Puck so she wouldn't see how Mist nearly turned a somersault to race back to Su-Ma's side. She scratched his head and down his nose before taking the bag from him. "Seven-layer burrito, huh? Just when did Mist tell you that was her favorite?"
"She didn't, but since she doesn't get sick from the bite she gets of mine, makes sense she likes it." Su-Ma stepped back from sliding the drink carrier onto the passenger seat of the truck. She tipped her head toward the back. "Any progress?"
"All I got from George was 'sealed,' whatever that means."