What is one character trait of Storm in Woodsong?

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Storm is an intelligent dog who communicates with Gary Paulsen and helps him better understand the limits of the sled dogs.

Paulsen says that Storm:

But there was one dog who taught me the most. Just one dog. Storm. First dog . . .

Joy, loyalty, toughness, peacefulness—all of these were part of Storm. Lessons about life and, finally, lessons about death came from him. He had a bear’s ears. He was brindle colored and built like a truck, and his ears were rounded when we got him, so that they looked like bear cub ears. They gave him a comical look when he was young that somehow hung on to him even when he grew old. He had a sense of humor to match his ears, and when he grew truly old, he somehow resembled George Burns.

One major character trait that stands out from the colorful portrait of the much-loved dog is his intelligence. He plays games with Paulsen where he hides things from him as he works; when Paulsen looks for the item, Storm pretends not to be involved and then—when the item is found—he shares in the humor with Paulsen.

His intelligence is also clear because he had what Paulsen calls "scale eyes." Storm would watch him load up the dog sled and let him know by looking at him a certain way if the sled was getting overloaded. Paulsen says that Storm made his disapproval known. He also used his intelligent mind to let Paulsen know once on a trip that the dogs were overtired and needed a longer break. Paulsen tried to play fetch with him and Storm simply refused to pick up the stick. After more food and rest, he took it in his mouth to indicate he was ready to carry on.

Paulsen says that the stick was an indicator to him in the future that he was doing the right thing. If Storm was holding it in his mouth, then he could be assured that he was doing right by the dogs.

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The dog, Storm, had many unique qualities.  Storm was a special part of Paulsen’s team.  Paulsen had grown to love all his dogs, but Storm was special.  In chapter 7 of “Woodsong” Paulsen tells us that Storm is an “honest” dog.  He also lets us know that Storm was loyal and tough.  Storm is also playful and enjoys playing tricks.  Once, Storm buried Paulsen’s hat in the snow.  Paulsen says Storm “smiled” at him when it was found under the snow.  Storm helped Paulsen finish the Iditarod musher race in Alaska.   Storm and the other dogs on the team saved Paulsen’s life more than once.

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