1183. The old man called Otis over and began to pet him in an absent-minded way as he explained to the Boy exactly what he wanted done to the hurdy-gurdy handle. Otis by this time had become acclimated to being often petted and stroked and although he had not come to like it, he could put up with it without complaint.
1184. On the other hand, Otis was aware that he liked the same sort of affectionate treatment when it was applied to him by the Boy. He knew this was extremely un-wolf like, but as with so many other contradictions and confusions in his life he pushed it almost completely out of his mind.
1185. But the vet was a vet, and in the same way that the Boy could not look at a horse shoe without noticing the wear pattern, so the vet could not handle an animal without engaging in a kind of clinical examination. He noticed right away the temperature of Otis' nose, the amount of oil in his fur, the sharpness of his nails, and the texture of the pads of his feet. He did all of this without thinking about it in any way, all the while talking about the hurdy-gurdy handle.