Humphrey was never far away after that.
Zach let his new friend in. The dog man was a hit at Zach’s work so he joined him for another day.
Zach never had a chance to watch Blood Wreck. Every day Humphrey and Zach’s friendship grew. After work Humphrey would stick around to hang out. He always begged Zach to join him at the park. Then afterward, back at the apartment, Humphrey would get tired and fall asleep on the couch.
Spencer was left to finish Blood Wreck alone in his room. His usual spot on the couch was taken over by Humphrey and his routine sleepovers.
Every morning, Humphrey, when he didn’t sleep over, waited out in the hallway with the daily newspaper and donuts. If Zach didn’t let him inside after a couple of hours he would start howling and begging to hang out.
Every errand Zach had to run Humphrey followed him. The overly friendly dog-man was his new companion and Zach had no choice in the matter.
Everyday he was there. Every night he was there. Zach had a new best friend.
“I don’t know what to do,” Zach confessed to Clare while hiding out in her apartment across the hall from his own. This was a rare moment of solitude for Zach. Humphrey was busy. He had an appointment with his doctor, checking for heartworm and other diseases.
“Just tell him you don’t want to hang out,” said Clare.
“I’ve tried,” said Zach. “Then his face gets all mopey. I can’t deal with it.”
“Does he have other friends?” Clare asked. “Can’t he go hang out with them?”
“He has to,” said Zach. “He’s always going on about the people at the dog park. He has a ton of stories about how great they are. He won’t shut up about them sometimes.”
“Then see if he wants to hang out with them,” said Clare. “Maybe invite some of them over for a party. You know, remind him he has other friends he can spend time with.”
Zach nodded his head.
“That’s a great idea!” said Spencer appearing from another room. Zach had to do a double take to make sure it was really him.
“What are you doing here?” Zach asked, looking back at Clare. “I thought you were running errands.”
“I left like seven hours ago,” said Spencer. “I’ve been hiding.”
“Against my better judgment,” said Clare. “But he is keeping Odin quiet, so I let it slide.”
“I haven’t touched anything,” dismissed Spencer. “And Odin is the one that broke your lamp. Not me.”
Clare grimaced, but let the matter go.
“Hiding from Humphrey?” Zach said getting back on subject.
“Yes!” said Spencer. “Dude is annoying. And he smells like wet dog. You want him out, I’m sure Mr. Andress will kick him out once he gets a whiff of the apartment.”
“He doesn’t technically live there,” said Zach. “I tried.”
“Fine,” said Spencer. “Then we go to the dog park. Clare is on to something. We just need to find Humphrey’s friends and get them to invite Humphrey over to their place.”
“Then what?” Clare asked. “He’s still your friend.”
“Then we move,” said Spencer.
“I’m not moving,” said Zach.
“Well, you guys have to figure something out. You can’t hang out here every day. Odin is gone tomorrow. I won’t need you around, Spencer. Zach, maybe more so.”
“Thanks,” said Zach.
“No,” said Spencer. “I’m not staying in the apartment with Humphrey knocking on the door every second looking for you. We need to solve this.”
“Let’s go to the park,” said Clare. “Maybe we can find out more about Humphrey, and go from there.”
“Good idea,” said Zach. “We have a couple of hours before Humphrey is done with his appointment.”
“Then let’s get moving,” said Spencer. “There is no time to waste!”