My New Trail starts in the neighborhood where the ocean lives. I paid extra attention to signs of what kind of neighborhood it was as I patrolled my new turf and surf. The ocean must not be a good neighbor, because it had worn the paint off of any house that wasn't paying attention, and wherever there was metal it had tagged it up with bubbles of rust.
Mom and I have never been so badly matched as dance partners, so there are only so many places where Mom can walk with her elderly meatwad shuffle and I can frolic like a light-footed freight train. But I'm so starved for sprinting that even the old familiar places are exciting. When I smelled the beach coming, I whimpered a happy song and crawled up to the copilot's seat to look out the front window for all the dogs just waiting for me to chase them around in the sand.
I'm a brave dog, but Mom's new legs were terrifying. Whenever she used them to clack and swing herself around the house, I shivered and cowered as far away as I could get and still watch her. Mostly Mom spent a lot of time in bed just like I do, napping and getting bored right there with me. Since her monster leg was in bed with us, I sat on Mom's shoulder or lay my head on her chest and watched it so that I could bark at it in case it got up and tried to attack one of us. The good thing about me protecting Mom from her monster leg was that we did lots of snuggling and cuddling when The Leg wasn't watching.
The Little Mermaid is a story of a fish-person who sees a prince playing with his dog and realizes that swimming is scary and she wants to be a human so that she can run around and wrestle with the Prince, just like the dog. She goes to the Sea Witch and asks to be a human, but the sea witch says she has to be debarked in return. So when she sees the Prince, she can't bark in his face to make him chase her.