Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 444
Trudy begins to cough badly. She picks up Edgar at school and proceeds to Doctor Frost’s office. Doctor Frost tells her that she has pneumonia. It is on the verge of being serious enough that he thinks about sending her to the hospital. She promises to follow his instructions, which include complete bed rest for a week to ten days. Doctor Frost warns her that if Edgar gets pneumonia, it could get very serious because he is unable to adequately cough to clear his lungs. The two of them must be separated as much as possible. Trudy calls Edgar’s school to get him excused for the rest of the week.
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Edgar still dreams about his father. One night he dreams that he could actually speak but did not on the day his father died. Edgar worries that it was a conscious choice, and he wakes up shaking. As Edgar takes care of the dogs, he becomes careless through exhaustion. Instead of putting the dog food into their bowls, Edgar throws it on the floor of their cages. One night, when he had fallen asleep in the barn, he throws enough food for all the dogs into the middle of the floor and lets the dogs out all at the same time. The dogs begin to fight over the food. Edgar knows not to put himself into the middle of a dog fight, but he accidentally falls into the middle of it. One of the dogs, Epi, attacks him by instinct, biting into his arm. When Almondine sees this, she tries to bite Epi and blind her. Trudy, having awakened in the night, comes out to the barn and sees Edgar bleeding, with Epi escaping into the night. Since the vet is out of town, Edgar urges her to call Claude for help. Trudy does so, and then sits at the table, feeling worse than before. She knows she needs to call Doctor Frost to tell him that the antibiotics are not working, fairly certain that he will put her in the hospital. She decides to wait another day.
Claude arrives to doctor the injured dogs. In high school, Claude had helped out at Doctor Papineau’s office, learning some vet skills. Twice he had purposely put to death dogs that he disliked, but stopped when the vet asked too many questions. More recently, while Gar was still alive, Claude went to dog fights and treated the wounds afterward.
Claude finds Epi behind the barn. He grabs her and tranquilizes her, putting some stitches into the cut on her face. He asks Edgar if there is another dog hurt, which there is—Finch.