A page of handwritten notes on lined, dirty refill paper.
Unlike most of the critters we encounter, there is no indication that scorpidogs were ever intended as household pets. Their design is utilitarian and built for purpose, namely security patrols. Most of the body is entirely unchanged from the basic canine bauplan, apart from a rather nasty set of canines and incisors apparently intended for intimidation as much as for practical use, if not more for the former. Examples I’ve examined often have chipped or broken teeth, with little change in their hunting behaviour and no noticeable mouth shyness. Most likely this is due to the pulp not penetrating far beyond the jaw, in a pattern that seems to indicate constant growth in an almost rodentine fashion.
The one really big departure from canine anatomy, though, gives them their name. The tail is thick, muscular and flexible in all axes, and tipped with a large glandular organ apparently derived from breast tissue. This organ, along with the keratinaceous stinger on its underside, allows a scorpidog to sting its prey with a pre-measured dose of an opiate-like narcotic or sedative. This was apparently intended to render average-size adults
unconscious to aid apprehension, but the dose-by-weight variance can alter the results, varying from rendering larger individuals merely extremely woozy to presenting a danger of death without other injuries for children. It is however the least dangerous sedative we have access to, rendering the glands vital for my new occupation.
An illustration of a scorpidog crouching to strike, with a cross-section of the tail gland.