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Sniff

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For an entire week now, Robin would come traipsing into the store, would pretend to look around at the endless Druida statues and jars that Icabod was trying to unload on the general public, and then would run over to Sniff's cage and play with the fluffy little mutt. He would do that for about ten minutes, then would stand up, dust himself off, and give Icabod a courteous goodbye before leaving.

"If you wanna buy Sniff, just buy him," Icabod announced to Robin. "I know you've got the money, kid. Your apprenticeship with Jeremy's gotta pay plenty, especially when you bring in as much rare ore as you do."

Robin scrunched up his nose, and looked at Icabod in bewilderment. "Uh, sorry... What'd you just call him?"

"Jeremy?"

"No, the dog."

"Sniff?"

Robin snorted. "Are you kidding?" he asked. "That is a terrible name."

"But it's what he responds to. He's too old for you to go changing it." Icabod idly tossed his purple ball up and down in the air. "You gonna buy him or what?"

Robin shook his head. "Can't," he said simply. "I'd have to feed him, and there's nowhere I can just buy the meat." He paused, then muttered something under his breath. Before Icabod could ask what he'd said, Robin continued, "Plus, I'd have to make sure he has enough attention, and I'd have to play with him..." He sighed. "Plus, with how often I... Go on adventures... It just doesn't seem smart. He'd starve or something before I got back."

"Maybe stop going on those multi-year adventures, then?" Icabod suggested. "Or bring Sniff with ya?"

Robin swallowed thickly, and slowly shook his head. "I can't," he whispered. "I can't do that."

Before Icabod could ask why he couldn't, Robin stood up. Just like every other day, he dusted himself off, said goodbye, and left.

He didn't come back to the shop the next day.