Two things brought me the idea of having the party help out a pack of blink dogs as they fought their mortal enemy, a displacer beast. I felt the party needed a good win, something to lift morale after the jermaline debacle and death of the boy. I was judiciously trying to avoid the low-level humanoid fights that seem so common in D&D, but there just aren't a lot of monsters appropriate for low level characters (or at least I was having a hard time coming up with some). I read somewhere, probably ENWorld, that one could challenge a low level party with a higher level foe by simply making that foe wounded somehow, lowering its hit points in a believable way.
But what monster? I remember kicking the idea of a wyvern around, but then had a flashback to my first ever D&D character. He was a Mentzer red box era elf (Taelsyn, thanks for asking) that I played throughout 6th and 7th grade. His "treasure sheet" contained, I kid you not, a "pack of blink dogs". (He also rode a gold dragon). I believe the thinking was we saved the creatures from some awful fate, so they followed us around as helpful servants. I remembered that displacer beasts and blink dogs were enemies, and the idea of the party stumbling into a fight between blink dogs and a displacer beast seemed perfect. The blink dogs and the party could help each other out and, if the party was successful, they could gain some sort of allies in the process (though no one tried to adopt any of the dogs and write them on their character sheet). Sadly, the blink dogs were never heard from again.
Rereading this entry also made me realize that soap and bathing became a reoccurring theme for this group. I've never head of a group being so conscientious about cleanliness. Katja takes a lot of baths.