Animal crossbreed expert and zoologist, Robert, sighed as he faced the 20th failure of the month. It had to work but it just wasn't working out! He was full of guilt as he looked at his poor animals, getting tested over and over. He was sorry but he had to do it. It was a cruel order from the Vinceton Testing Lab's CEO, Liam Harbor, who was also his father in law. Robert was an ordinary zoologist when he met his wife. At first, he couldn't be more excited at the thought of having a father in law with the same interest as him! It was exactly 7 months after marriage when Liam asked him to work in the animal crossbreed test lab in his lab. Of course Robert accepted with a light heart, only to come back home that night with a heart three times as heavy.
"Dr. Rob, should we put the animals to rest for tomorrow?" Robert's assistant, Chris, came up to him. Chris's giant blue eyes were staring at him, waiting for his answer.
"Yes, give them the biggest cage and feed them plenty of food and water. Tomorrow might be the last day we try this," Robert said as he sighed. Chris nodded and started getting everything ready.
Rob got up from his chair and walked out of his lab. As he drove home, he thought about all the precious creatures he sent away to heaven during his experiments. He wasn't testing anything on them but in the process of extracting the needed substance to crossbreed it with another animal, some got too stressed that they passed away and sometimes the extraction didn't go too well. Especially the smaller animals.
The gray blue sky greeted Rob's morning as he got ready to leave the house once again. As he was grabbing a cup of coffee, his phone rang, vibrating in his bag, brrrr brrr. Rob thought, that is so weird! No one is probably at the lab yet! With a nervous heart, he looked on his phone screen and saw that it was Chris who called him.
He felt relieved as he answered, "hello? Is something wrong?"
"Dr. Rob, please come to the lab as soon as possible! I think it was a success! Crossbreeding the squirrel and eagle! Out of the 25 eggs, two of them are starting to crack," Chris's voice cracked as he got this amazingly exciting news to Rob.
Rob quickly kissed his sleeping wife goodbye and hurried into his car. The one project he was working on for forever might end, a good and happy ending! He arrived at the lab in 20 minutes and ran to the door, only to bump himself onto the glass.
The elevator seemed as slow as a snail and time seemed to be passing by like the wind. Ding! The elevator arrived at the 15th floor and as the door opened, Rob made sure to stay calm and professional because there were lots of other labs and many more professors and scientists. Although he walked as if nothing happened, he couldn't do anything about his heart that was beating like the morning alarm, loud and vibrating.
He entered his lab and saw Chris in front of the incubator. As Rob got near, he saw that Chris was giving it some nutritions so that the precious creature can get out of the egg completely in a safe way.
Once Chris was done, that was when he saw Rob with sparkling eyes, a face he had never seen before. Rob quickly rushed towards the incubator and saw the tiny head in between the cracks. It was a feeling that couldn't be described. That moment felt even more precious because he had been waiting for this moment for months!
"Tell me I'm not dreaming," Rob couldn't believe what he was seeing as egg by egg, each one started cracking.
"I promise you, you are not! But we have to be quick! All of them need nutrition and I don't think I have enough for all of them," Chris started panicking.
"Okay, okay, calm down. We have a total of 25 eggs. We need 5 eggs to be tested to see how much longer it would take them to get out of the egg or if they get out at all. The other 5, we need to put in a separate cage to see their growth and development. How many of the nutrition packs do you have?" Rob calmed his rushing heart and got back to his professional mind.
"I have around 10 and maybe we can give the other 5 to the testing lab. They can try seeing if they are safer to be a pet or to do the job they were created for. Once they are tested, we can bring them back," Chris suggested cautiously. Chris knew better than anyone that Rob does not like giving his creatures to the testing lab.
"Yes, let's do that," Rob accepted his suggestion for the first time.
The 10 lucky squeagles got their nutrition, 5 stayed in the incubator, 5 got into a different cage, and the last 5 got sent to the testing lab. Rob called Liam to tell him this news and Liam was happier than ever.
One month later, they came to a conclusion that the squeagles do need nutrition to be able to grow to its full size and to go live in nature. They were wild and hard to take care of. Someone needed to be with them every moment and they only slept for five hours a day which means the other 19 was eating and playing. The healthiest ones grew to be 1.7 ft. and the unhealthiest one was only 1 ft. The ones from the testing lab all died because of the different viruses and bacterias in the lab. Rob had warned them to never put them with other animals or to test harmful chemicals on them but they didn't listen.
Another month passed and now they were learning to fly. They were honestly so adorable that all lab workers came to see them during their own break time. The healthiest 10 squeagles were all so cute with huge eagle eyes on their squirrel face, pointy ears like the squirrel, brown fur all over their eagle body, and the medium sized wings next to them. According to their study, their behavior was more on the squirrel side but surprisingly closest to a dog. They were extremely friendly and lovable that no one could not like them.
Time blew away and it was the squeagles' six month birthday! Everything was going better than ever. Their lab was the center of the attention and news reporters were coming from all over the place to see the squeagles. The squeagles loved the attention and was growing up with lots of love. The size of their meals started getting pretty big however. They ate almost everything from fish, meat, nuts, and fruits. Although it was a lot of work, it was definitely worth it.
As days passed, more and more attention poured into the new animal. From celebrities, billionaires, zoos, and different labs wanted to buy the squeagle even after Rob had told them no.
Unfortunately, tragedy came with the happiness that didn't last too long. One June day, it was a great day to go outside with the squeagles. They took two squeagles at a time in a mesh case outside to the park. After eight of them had been taken outside, the last two were being taken out. Suddenly, FIRE!! FIRE!! The fire alarm pierced their ears and the squeagles started crying and screeching. Both Chris and Rob's heart dropped as they turned around, hoping it wasn't on the 15th floor. Rob fell to the ground as he saw the fire on the higher side of the building.
"Dr. Rob! There was a small gas explosion on the 14th floor but the fire is now spreading to the 13th and 15th floor. Most people evacuated but all the animals probably died because of the gas. The firefighters are putting out the fire but the building is too big," someone he couldn't remember came running up to him, out of breath to tell him this news.
"No, no, no," Rob couldn't breath. It wasn't believable.
All his baby squeagles, dead. He wanted to go see where the fire started and if it started because of someone. He barely managed not to drop the three remaining squeagles. Chris lost his mind next to him, crying on his knees. Chris was the one who was closer to the squeagles. He came to the lab an hour early to check on them and to play with them.
It was absolutely unbelievable but they had to accept the fact. It was too late to bring anything back. Everyone was ordered to go home immediately because the gas explosion had caught onto a chemical and it was starting to get dangerous. Now it was just Rob and his two squeagles that survived.
Rob had no choice but to bring them home and he was very scared and worried. Rob had asked Chris if he can take the sqeagles but he said that his parents would not allow it. Rob never had a pet before. Not even a goldfish or dog. The path he was to take with his sqeagles seemed so foggy and bumpy. As he was just a few minutes away from his house he suddenly remembered that he had forgotten to tell his wife about all of this. Rob's stomach twisted and got butterflies at the same time.
He parked his car in front of his house and turned around to see the three squeagles sitting in their cage with their giant eyes filled with curiosity and questions. Just by looking at them, all his worries disappeared, but instead brought a smile to his face. He took them out and got ready to walk into the house.
His wife was in the kitchen, making coffee with her blonde brown hair tied up in a bun. It was her day off, which made it much better. Rob left the squeagles in the living room and went to his wife, surprising her with a kiss on the cheek.
"Rob? Why are you home so early?" His wife, Olivia, looked surprised but he could see her happiness in her chocolate eyes. It had been months since they spent time together.
Rob nervously laughed and said, "I-I have something to show you. And I need to ask you something."
Olivia immediately turned around with wide open eyes and Rob could already feel all the questions pouring onto him. She held the questions and followed Rob into the living room.
"So these precious creatures are called squeagles. They are a mix of a squirrel and an eagle. They were originally created to find people during wildfires but we are developing them in a way that they will be available to live like pets in the house," Rob held the cage in his hands and started to sweat really badly. Then he told his wife what had happened at work today, expecting her to feel sorry for the creatures or be mad that he brought them home without a plan.
Olivia stared at those creatures for a while, just speechless.
"So, how long will we have them for? Where are we going to keep them? Are they wild? Do they bite?" When Olivia was talking, she talked extremely fast.
"Okay, we just need to have them for two months. We can keep them in our extra room. They don't cause a lot of mess. These adorable creatures are so smart that they are potty trained as well! Just think of them as baby puppies. They are not harmful at all," Rob convinced her.
Olivia was thinking for a long time but after thinking everything over and over, she said, "yes."
The rest of the day was used to go shopping for their food and to reorganize their room. In just five hours, they were ready to welcome the two squeagles in their family.
That evening, Olivia suggested, "shouldn't we give them names?"
"Let's name them Olaf, Dory, pleeeease!" Olivia’s eyes were sparkling like their wedding day.
"Hahaha that's pretty cute!" Rob agreed
Their first meal together was decent. Just on the first day, they could see the difference between them two. Olaf loved to eat and Dory was an adventurer. For the first time, both Rob and Olivia felt as if they were actually married. There was a lot of laughter because of the squeagles and they looked as if they were living together for months already.
After dinner, they played with them and found out their personalities. Olaf obeyed them best and was smart but on the other hand, Dory was the complete opposite. Just on the first day, they both Rob and Olivia fell in love with Olaf and Dory.
Two months never seemed so quick for Rob and Olivia. It was just too quick. Olaf, Dory, and Goofy had just opened their hearts to their new home and they had brought more happiness than ever. It was as if they took Rob's worries and sadness. Olivia loved them even more. She couldn't sleep without them next to her and she wasn't feeling lonely at all. Even when Rob was away.
On the last day together, neither Rob or Olivia could sleep. They laid in bed, thinking about how their life would be if all three squeagles left them.
Suddenly, Olivia broke the silence, "is there a way for you to keep Olaf and Dory?"
"Unfortunately, no. They are technically the lab's, not mine. It was really great having them as our pets though. Although it was just two months, we made more memories and happiness than ever," Rob sighed as he wished he could live with these life saving creatures forever. He squeezed his wife’s hand, understanding what a hard time it must be for her.
The next day, Rob had gotten barely any sleep. He stayed up all night journaling about his time with the squeagles. He quickly left for work that day, but this time, with the squeagles. Olivia cried as she fed them for the last time and looked back on how much she loved them and how much they taught her about happiness.
The squeagles were back in the lab, getting ready to get put together to have baby squeagle eggs. The process was much smoother than the first. They got the result they wanted right away after their second try. Two months later, seven healthy baby squeagles were born and Rob was on the spotlight again, reporters from all over the world, getting an award, and so much more.
However, coming back from work was painful. No squeagle flying down the staircase, greeting him. Olivia's energy decreased. Her fake smiles. It made Rob feel depressed at home and he knew he had to do something.
It was spring already and Olivia's birthday was near. Rob had planned a surprise for her and wasn't going to show her until that day. At the last minute, he decided he couldn't spend one more day looking at her melancholy face.
Exactly one month before Olivia's birthday, Rob was given two of the baby squeagles and the lab announced him as the official guardian of Dory, Olaf, and their two babies. That meant he could take them home. Take them to be part of his family!
Rob took them home one week before Olivia's birthday and surprised her the same way as when he first brought them home. Rob put nice bows and ribbons on them and named the two babies Dolaf and Ory. It wasn't the best name but he couldn't help mashing the two names together.
Olivia cried happy tears. Dory and Olaf seemed to remember her scent as they cuddled deep into her. It was the moment Rob had been waiting for. After she put Dory and Olaf down, she hugged and kissed Rob.
"Rob! Tell me I'm not dreaming right now! How is this possible?" Olivia's mascara was smudged all over her eye.
"It's not a dream and I can proudly say we are a family. Dory, Olaf, Dolaf, and Ory, are not just our pets, they are our family," Rob let out his true smile now, the smile that wasn't fake. The family cuddled on the couch, celebrating this day.
Rob learned the meaning of love and family. The true happiness that brought them together was something unexpected. Rob thought, maybe some things are actually meant to be.