Samuel has Spencer in a fireman carry, and Samuel runs. He runs for life; his own and Spencer’s. Samuel’s maneuverability is very limited in the snow. He has to get back to the jeep for safety. Samuel already used his handheld radio to contact headquarters to report that Spencer was unconscious and there were wolves near.

Samantha is dead. Samuel touches the emptiness within him. It is cold, hollow, and empty, like a quiet cave in the middle of winter. Lee had given Samantha to Samuel, what would Lee think now that Samantha was gone? Why did Lee give Samantha to Samuel again?

Samuel’s feet feel heavy. Life is going to change. Samuel does not want life to change, not like this. Samuel wants to stop and change life back. And yet, Samuel knows what he has to do. He needs to keep pushing forward.

As Samuel walks, something interesting happens behind Samuel. A grey wolf appears behind Samuel. It is the same wolf that appeared to Samuel in the forest, and it is the same wolf that Samuel tried to shoot a moment ago. It appears as if the grey wolf is giving Samuel confidence to keep going, like how a parent is behind a child when helping the child to walk. The parent is ever so close ready to adjust the balance of the child. Eventually, the grey wolf disappears again when Samuel reaches the jeep and puts Spencer safely inside.

Samuel leaves the ranger headquarters and heads to the diner. Samuel orders food and he kind of eats. He fiddles around with the peas and chopped carrots. Every now and then he stares absentmindedly out the window towards the mountain. It has been a long and tiring day. Spencer is now in the nearby hospital for the night with minor abrasions and a concussion. Spencer would be fine.

Samantha’s body was still on the mountain. Samuel regretted leaving Samantha’s body behind, but he had too. Spencer’s life was at risk, and Samuel needed to help him. It was a hard choice to make, but Samuel chose the right thing to do.

The waitress sits down in front of Samuel. She lays a piece of a chocolate cake and a fork in front of Samuel. Samuel appreciatively takes the fork and begins to eat the cake. She thinks the cake would help cheer Samuel’s mood a bit. Before the waitress leaves she mentions to Samuel that Samantha was a great and beautiful dog. Samuel says thanks as the waitress leaves, and he continues to eat the piece of cake. Something sweet would help now.

Samuel pays the bill and leaves the diner. As Samuel drives back to his apartment, he cries. Samuel lets it come. There is no strength in trying to maintain reason at the moment. Reason served its purpose with rescuing Spencer. Samuel needs time by himself to realize that Samantha is gone and would no longer be there with him.

Samuel arrives at his apartment complex. He checks the mail after leaving the jeep. A crisp white envelope surprises Samuel. It’s from Lee. Curious, Samuel opens the letter as he enters the apartment. Samuel pulls out a photo. The photo is him and Samantha as a pup. This was a photo when Lee gave Samantha to Samuel.

Samuel flips the photo over to see a note written on the back. The note said, “I thought you’d enjoy this. Lee.” Samuel lays the photo on the table. Samuel puts his head on the table, and Samuel resumes to cry. Everything is coming out now. Memories overflow the emotional floodgates: the stress of work, the anxiety of trying to do what is right, and the memories of the past.