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Illustration via Max Fleishman

Gamer goes way, way out of his way to save an orphaned dog in Skyrim

This is how you actually pretend to be a hero in a video game.


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 5, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 11:53 pm CDT

The thing about adopting dogs in a fantasy game is worrying about all the dragons that might eat them.

Patrick Lenton, an Australian writer with a penchant for short stories involving monsters and super heroes, is also a fan The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It’s an open-world fantasy game in which players are encouraged to live another life in another universe. So when Lenton during a Skyrim session found a dog whose owner had been killed, Lenton decided to adopt the puppy.

This, then, required keeping the dog safe from goblins while Lenton mined ores in caves, or protecting his pet from giants while walking on the great, open plains of Skyrim, and of course preventing the doggy from being killed while Lenton fought off the odd dragon attack, because Lenton couldn’t stop the dog from following him around. 

Lenton began telling his story Monday on Twitter.

One of Skyrim’s downloadable expansions, Hearthfire, ups the ante on Skyrim’s simulator factor by allowing players to build their own homes, marry other characters, and even have children. Those children can also adopt pets.

This gave Lenton a way to keep the dog safe: Build a house, adopt a child, and then hope the child bonded with the dog. The dog would stop following Lenton and start following the child, keeping the dog safe at home.

Lenton didn’t want to stop adventuring in the interim. Of course that meant the dog tagged along and he’d have to protect it from all the horrible monsters that exist in the land of Skyrim.

After spending months of in-game time finishing quests to earn a royal title and a plot of land, Lenton finished building the house and adopted a homeless child. But she, in turn, adopted a different animal other than the dog that had been following Lenton around, because the children decide who their pets are going to be on their own.

That meant adopting another child, and hoping that child would adopt the dog. Lenton along the way also wound up killing a few people because who lets someone get away with insulting your beloved dog?

Lenton did, eventually, adopt another child, who adopted the dog, and Lenton was then free to gallivant about Skyrim looking for fun, adventure, and to kill things with swords.

H/T Buzzfeed |  Illustration via Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Apr 5, 2016, 6:46 pm CDT