They drove to Sophies house. Li Du felt complacent after giving the puppy a name. He thought the name was very pleasant, simple, and fit the occasion.
However, he read Sophies hardened face and asked, "Dont you think the name is perfect?"
Sophie looked at Ah Meow lying on the window with its dopey eyes, and said, "No, its just beyond my expectation. I thought you would name the puppy"
"Ah Wong?" Li Du asked excitedly.
She couldnt help but laugh. "Exactly!"
Li Du nodded proudly. "I knew you would think like that. Ah Wong is too common, but Ah Ow is rare."
Sophie sighed, petting the puppy. "Well, as long as youre happy."
"Owwuu, ow!" the little puppy cried softly.
The puppy was temporarily entrusted to Sophie; she would take good care of the little creature. Sophie had volunteered to take care of it as she did not believe others except herself would know how to do it properly.
Li Du felt embarrassed and said, "I could take care the puppy by myself if you could just tell me how to take care of it. After all, you have to go to work."
Sophie shook her head. "Forget it, just leave this little pup to me until it learns how to walk. Otherwise, Ill be very worried. This puppy is too small, and it was born less than ten days ago. Its difficult for most people to take the responsibility."
She made a soft and comfortable bed for the puppy, put it in a small cage, then placed it on the bed in her room.
She found a wicker basket, stuffed it with some green leaves, and placed a soft gauze padding over the leaves.
"Those leaves contain a natural smell, and create a cool feeling. Also, the breathable gauze will keep it from feeling too hot." Sophie patted the basket.
She also put an alarm clock in the basket.
Li Du asked, "Do you want him to develop a sense of time?"
Sophie laughed, "What? This is a mechanical alarm clock that makes a rhythmic sound. He will think this is his mothers heartbeat, and it will calm him down."
She waited until the puppy urinated a little. She used a cotton swab dipped in its urine and rubbed it around the cage.
"The smell will also make it calm. We cant use its mothers smell, so this is the next best thing."
Li Du said, "You know a lot!"
Sophie shrugged. "My dad taught me all of this. I had many small pets when I was young, like rabbits, chickens, and a pony."
"You must be excellent at equestrian skills."
Sophie smiled. "No, Im just a beginner. My pony was disabled in regards to his hind legs. It couldnt walk far and got tired easily when I was on his back, so I didnt ride much."
"I know there is a ranch which has some good quarter horses. If youre free, we could go horse riding."
"I wish I could," Sophie sighed, "but look, I cant go anywhere before this puppy is able to take care of itself."
She was right. Li Du looked at Ah Ow sleeping next to the alarm clock and sighed.
The little creature was too weak. They doubted whether it could live.
Sophie took care of the puppy for Li Du, so he decided to make dinner for her in return.
There werent enough ingredients in the fridge, so he drove all the way to the Amish community. Upon arriving at his house, he asked Tomasson, "Hey buddy, can I get some vegetables?"
"Take whatever you need, neighbor," Tomasson smiled. "I cant finish eating all of this anywayjust pick as much as you like."
Li Du asked, "Do you need anything? I can keep an eye out for a tool or whatever else you might need."
Tomasson considered this briefly. "Its almost fall. There will be much farm work to do, but my carriage is too old. It might not make it through the whole season."
Li Du nodded his head. "Got it. If I find a carriage, I will get in touch with you."
"Thank you so much! If you are able to find a carriage, you can ask me for anything."
Li Du said, "Well see."
He picked some vegetables and fruits, then he headed back to Dr. Sophies place. He waited until evening to start cooking.
They had done a great job on the community afforestation. Even near Sophies place there was a good-sized forest nearby.
Li Du spent some time in her backyard. "Hey, Sophie! There are mushrooms in the woods back here!" he said excitedly.
"Yes, it has been raining here for a few days. Mushrooms easily grow in the woods after the rain, but are they edible? I dont know."
Li Du nodded. "Should be no problem! Ive checked, and most of them are straw mushrooms and white mushrooms. They are non-toxicdont worry, Ive eaten them ever since I was a little boy."
"Are you sure?" Sophie asked. "I would suggest not taking the risk. Every year I have been involved in a rescue where people are hospitalized after consuming wild mushrooms."
She obviously wasnt very interested in using them as ingredients. "Forget it," Li Du said. "We have enough ingredients."
After a while, Sophie ran to him in the backyard like a little girl and said, "Ive been thinkingwhy dont we go and pick the mushrooms!"
Li Du laughed, "Arent you not interested in the adventure?"
Sophie showed him a book and said triumphantly, "Ill bring this: the Wild Edible Mushroom Guide. We can identify each mushroom after weve found it and make sure its edible, then we will pick it."
Both of them left the house. After he closed the door, Li Du went back in to drag Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles out of the house.
He was afraid of Ah Ow getting killed by them. He believed that Ah Meow was capable of doing it.
The two of themalong with Ah Meow and Crispy Noodlesheaded to the woods to look for more mushrooms. There was a denser forest a little farther away from Sophies house. This area Flagstaff was surrounded by green. Though many communities were still in the construction process, they respected its original landscape and ecology and tried to preserve the grassland and woods.
Sophies community was one of them. Li Du asked, "How old is the building?"
"Still young," Sophie answered. "I think its around 30 years old."
"Isnt that an old house?" Li Du asked.
"Below 50 years isnt an old house. My parents live in a house with more than 60 years of history!" she laughed.
There were many old houses in the United States. The more historic the city was, the more older houses there were.
People preferred to buy an old house, not because it had a thick atmosphere of history, but because many times it was cheaper. New houses were more expensive, which brought financial pressure onto people.
As long as the old house was built, it was hard to tear down, as real estate in the United States was semi-permanent. The land belonged to the owner until they sold the property.
Demolition costs of old houses was often very high. Developers were reluctant to spend so much money for the project. People were reluctant to relocate unless the house was really too old, or the money that developers were willing to pay was good enough.