Episode 3

"Dad's home!" a nine-year-old boy with messy hair shouted as he ran outside to meet his father.

"Hi Drake," his dad said, giving the boy a hug. "How was your day?"

"Pretty good. I hit a home run during baseball practice."

"That's great," his dad smiled. "I brought somebody who will make today even better. You know how we've been talking about getting a dog?"

"Yeah. We looked at that litter of puppies a couple of weeks ago. It was so much fun!"

"You're right, it was. Well, I brought home one of the puppies. He'll be a great addition our family."

"Wow! A puppy! Where is he? Let me see! Let me see!" Drake jumped up and down in anticipation.

His father reached into the car and brought out a tiny bloodhound puppy. He had smooth, short fur and long, soft ears. As far as the boy was concerned, this puppy was perfect.

"What's his name?"

"Well, he doesn't have one yet. Your mom and I thought you'd like to pick the name."

"How about Ryan?"

"That's a good choice, son. Do you want to hold him?"

"Yes, yes, yes!" Drake reached for Ryan but he was a little too excited. The puppy yelped and flinched away.

"Whoa, hold it. You have to be careful because he's only a baby."

"Sorry," said Drake, feeling downcast. "I didn't mean to scare him."

"That's okay son. You just have to learn how to handle puppies," his dad said. "This won't always be easy but you'll get there."

The next few days weren't easy. Drake tried to make friends with Ryan, but the puppy seemed scared of him. He wouldn't walk on the leash with the boy. Ryan also seemed to prefer his parents' attention and wouldn't let Drake get more than a quick scratch in before walking away. This definitely wasn't a good way to start things off.

Up in the sky, resting atop white, fluffy clouds, exist two magical places. Care-a-Lot and the Forest of Feelings are where the Care Bears and their Cousins live. Together, they make up the Kingdom of Caring.

One day, Loyal Heart Dog was walking down the rainbow street in Care Bear Town, Care-a-Lot's main settlement. He wanted to visit Good Luck Bear. Maybe they'd play checkers. He loved that game, even though Good Luck almost always won.

A sound like an out of tune clock cut through Loyal Heart's thoughts. It was the Caring Meter letting him know that there was trouble on the earth. His game of checkers would have to wait.

The dog ran to the star telescope and looked through it for the problem's source. He saw a little boy struggling to befriend his puppy.

"Poor kid. He really wants his dog to like him but doesn't seem to know what to do. I'll do what I can to help him."

Loyal Heart pulled himself from the telescope and ran straight to his rainbow roller. He flew down to earth, headed for Drake's yard.

Meanwhile, at No Heart's castle, No Heart believed he had created a way to stop caring and replace it with fear.

"Many human mythologies speak of spectral dogs that inspire fear and create chaos. I can use those beliefs to my advantage. Shadows, come to me."

Three of the wizard's shadows stepped out of the darkness where they hid, awaiting their master's orders.

No Heart read a spell in an ancient language from his spell book. As he read, the shadows warped and twisted, losing their humanoid shapes. Once the spell was finished, three smoky hounds, about the size of adult bloodhounds stood before the wizard. They waited silently for No Heart's command.

"What are you going to make them do, Uncle No Heart?" Shreeky asked.

"Well my dear, these hounds have a special power. If someone kind sees one three times, all of that kindness will disappear. The humans won't be able to help acting as nasty as possible. Beastly!"

"Yes No Heart?"

"I want you and Shreeky to take my hounds to earth. See that they create as much havock as possible."

"Right away No Heart," said Beastly.

He approached the hounds and they all tried to tackle him in order to lick his face.

"Down boys!" he said, trying to hold onto some of his dignity.

"Shreeky cackled. "Leave it to the fur ball to have a way with those mutts."

The hounds looked up from where they had playfully pinned Beastly and growled at the girl.

"Nice doggies," Shreeky laughed a little nervously. "Forget that crack about you being mutts."

"Now that you've had you're fun," No Heart said in that too calm way of his, "Get going!"

"Yes No Heart."

"Yes Uncle."

The two, along with the hounds, left for earth.

"Well, this looks like as good a place as any to start things off," said Beastly. "So sunny and cheerful. We'll fix that." He laughed in his characteristic way.

The place he had mentioned just happened to be Drake's hometown. The group landed in the park where families and groups of friends were enjoying the sunny weather. The hounds quickly got to work, appearing in front of people and draining their caring energy. When they realized what was happening, some tried to run but the shadowy hounds drained them before they got very far.

Loyal Heart had no idea that any of this was going on as he landed his Rainbow Roller in Drake's backyard.

"Please Ryan, come here," the boy begged, waving his hands at the puppy.

"You're not going to get him to like you that way," laughed the Cousin. He'd seen this kind of thing before and knew it just confused animals.

"Huh? Who said that?"

"I did. Look behind you."

"A Care Bear Cousin. I've heard of you but why are you here?"

"Yes, I'm Loyal Heart Dog. I'm here because it looks like you need help with your puppy. I know quite a bit about dogs, if you haven't noticed. If you'll let me, we'll see what we can do for you and Ryan.' Okay?"

"Okay. What do we do first?"

"Well, first sit down on the grass and take this." Loyal Heart offered Drake a bag of dog treats. "Food is a good way to help him start to trust you but you have to be patient and let him come when he's ready."

"Got it."

Drake sat cross-legged on the grass, holding a treat out to his puppy. After a while, Ryan slowly approached. He sniffed cautiously, then took the treat from Drake's hand.

"He took it!" the boy shouted, a little too loudly. Ryan jumped back.

"There's your next lesson," Loyal Heart said. "You need to be quiet right now so you don't startle him."


"That's okay. You're still learning and making mistakes is a big part of that. Just be gentle."

The lesson went on for a while. Ryan became more comfortable around Drake, even sitting for some time as the boy stroked his fur.

"See? Ryan's starting to trust you. You're getting the hang of this already."

Suddenly, the group heard barking, along with evil laughter.

"It won't be long before we've removed all the caring in this town," Shreeky cackled. "Uncle No Heart will be so proud."

"Yeah," Beastly agreed. "You are good boys, aren't you?" He scratched one of the hounds behind the ears and the other two moved in for their share of the attention.

"Those dogs have turned you into a pile of mush," Shreeky muttered.

The hounds looked at her and growled. Shreeky backed off.

"Um, Loyal Heart?" Drake asked. "What are those things?"

"Those two are Beastly and Shreeky. They've been trying to get rid of caring for a long time. The dogs are new though."

The Cousin sent out a distress call with his Tummy symbol. Help would come soon. For now, it looked like the small group was on their own.

"Get them, boys!" Beastly shouted when he spotted Drake and Loyal Heart.

One of the hounds launched himself at Drake, one at Loyal Heart and the third at Ryan.

"Leave my puppy alone!" Drake yelled as he dove to protect him. The boy scooped his dog up and wouldn't let go.

The hound who had gone after Drake before jumped at him again. Ryan saw before Drake did and barked frantically. The boy turned in time to see what was going on and looked directly into the hound's eyes.

Loyal Heart sent out a Cousin Call, blasting the shadowy dog back.

"I don't feel so good," Drake told Loyal Heart. He felt very tired and distant, like life didn't matter so much. That scared him more than the encounter with No Heart's hounds.

"I know. I feel it too. But right now we have to run!"

Drake did run. With Ryan in his arms, he sped down the sidewalk. The boy knew that he had to get away now. It didn't matter where.

The hounds still had one more trick. They came close to each other, melding into one giant cerberus-like creature. They gave chase. Loyal Heart ran, firing Cousin Calls at the monster as he did.

"Care Bears, countdown," came a familiar voice.

"Five, four, three, two, one. Stare!"


The rest of the Care Bear Family had arrived. With the group's efforts, the monster quickly faded away. Shreeky and Beastly went back to No Heart's castle. They weren't looking forward to telling him about yet another failure.

The Care Bears and Cousins searched the town, repairing any damage they found. The hounds' destruction meant that all of the people who had had their caring taken were back to normal, which meant that life could go back to normal too. Soon enough, it was time for the Care Bear Family to go home. Loyal Heart walked Drake and Ryan back to their house.

"Thanks for everything," said the boy, giving Loyal Heart a hug. Ryan licked the Cousin's face.

"You're welcome. It's what we do. Oh, before I go, I have something for you. This is a book about dog training. It should help you figure out how to be even better friends with Ryan."

Drake took the book. "Thanks, Loyal Heart."

That day, a boy and his dog started to form a solid friendship. They knew the importance of being loyal and kind.

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