November 23, 2017

White Dog and Steve went for a walk down the way armed with "leftover goodies" to share with those in need who often frequent the alley and huddle behind the dumpsters along the glamorous Route 66.

It had been a wonderful day of sanctuary, noshing, music and memories...creating LOTS of thankful comments and thoughts. We savored very moment and every bite but now it is night and we shifted to prepare for the end of the day. So we put together little bags of cheese and crackers, squares of spanakopita, roasted veggies, and a cookie...then Steve took the Little White Dog of My Heart out to become an outlaw in our city which has made feeding the homeless a crime. On the way out of the door, they stopped and circled back to the kitchen to fill several additional baggies with dog kibble...as WD put it, "Just in case."

Everyone wanted to go but understood the presence of the entire White Dog Army might be a bit intimidating to some.

So we rested our VERY full tummies.
We were grateful for comfy places to rest and for family.
We waited for WD and Steve to return with happy stories.
We were happy to be so blessed.
Tonight we ask that Universe grant you, your families and all Earth's creatures, whether they celebrate this holiday or not, at least ONE thing for which you can be grateful. ONE thing that fills your hearts with hope and joy. ONE thing that makes the bad times bearable. And we send our love so you know you are never alone.

You give us pause to be thankful this day for your friendship and support. Happy Thanksgiving.


November 22, 2017

White Dog and the entire White Dog Army had a busy afternoon. Tonight our house smells like many across America as we bake pumpkin pies and begin the preparation for Thanksgiving Day. Lingering smells of cranberries boiling meld with the scent of butter making it impossible not to breathe deeply and soulfully.

Our family does not do a large sit down feast, bowing to the more casual approach of focusing on appetizers that can be enjoyed across the entire day. White Dog and I, as is our tradition, put together a menu that still requires preparation (and LOTS of WDA supervision) but that has, as WD like to think, "the feeling of an opera tail gate party."

So across the day, we will listen to music, tell wondrous stories remembering things we have for which to be grateful, remind ourselves of those all over the world who are with us in spirit...and we will eat.

This year's menu includes cranberry covered marscapone with black pepper crackers; polenta nestled on creamy asparagus and roasted peppers; mushroom streudel; spanakopita bites; fried duck strips with sour cherry dipping sauce;  curried onions in a cheese mashed potato crust; sweet almond bars; and of course, pumpkin pie. White Dog versions of the goodies have been prepared as well...and Steve already had people at work teasing him about what his lunches next week will be.

As onions saute and and peppers are slivered, we think of those who are not in warm bright kitchens and who won't have the choice of fresh whipped cream. We wish that every being could on this night before know the simple joy and camaraderie of being together sharing the tasks and knowing without a doubt that there will always be enough...shelter...safety...friendship...love...hope...things for which to be grateful.

November 21, 2017

White Dog pushed her brother's backside and said, "Go ON! Try it out! It is just for you." CA Stormer is not a boy who likes change and he was a bit uncertain. But he moved forward and made a little bunny hop. Then he flopped against the back of his new bed.

Since the day he arrived, Stormer has ignored the myriad of beds in the house, preferring to rest on a stack of folded up blankets. But the continuing wear of hip dysplasia has made getting up and down harder and harder for him. Plus we felt a more proper mattress would provide better support and cushioning for his old arthritic joints. In part, the idea was prompted by Stormer showing interest in the mattresses in the office of late; but their height is too tall for him to "jump" his back legs up onto them and if he uses his just "fall over" method of getting onto his side he cannot get back upright.

White Dog a few weeks ago discovered the perfect choice...and it was on sale. Made of dense orthopedic foam, the height was lower than the other mattresses but was firmer. The "arms provide a perfect headrest, we think, as well as a place to sort of push off of to maneuver about. The back gives our boy spinal comfort and protection from falling off. Plus the color is restful and becoming in a manly (codgery old man, Sachi mumbled) way.

What did CA think?
We think he likes it...or is off to a good start...he would not want to rush in with a vote too soon! So his old blankets have been washed, but not yet put away until we are certain. Paws crossed.


November 20, 2017

White Dog heard Steve fussing in the kitchen after bedtime walks and gave me a tilted head, questioning look. ""Dad is putting the turkey in to slow roast overnight," I told her. "That way it will cook while we sleep, adding heat to the house, and will be done in the morning."

The rest of the White Dog Army was already assembled to watch Steve rinse and oil the huge bird that was  gift to them from our grocer.

Our Thanksgiving plans have become streamlined to the point that we do not "do" the big, tabled feast that is traditional. Instead, we prepare a list of favorite appetizers and noshes and nibble across the entire day in a casual, relaxed cocoon of music and togetherness. We eat turkey often enough that it is not a huge treat so it was not planned.

However, when Steve did the grocery shopping for this week, the clerk reminded him that, with our grocery spending total, he was entitled to a free bird of his choosing. She kindly ran back to where they were stocked and brought on to him in line. "I got you the biggest one left," she winked.

I looked when he returned with a gobbler that was not on the list and he told me the story. Bailey cleared her throat. "The White Dog Army LOVES turkey," she said. "Just put it on the floor."

"Um, no." I replied. Steve wondered aloud WHERE we were going to store a 28lb frozen turkey. "Let's thaw it and cook it," I suggested, "then we can carve it up into several containers and freeze most of those tucked into smaller spaces. I will use the bones for broth needed for the holiday cooking." "I guess that means you won't just give it to us now," Bailey clarified. "No."

It took the turk-cicle until Monday dinner time to defrost. And plans were made after dinner to prep and put it in the oven right before bedtime.

After walks the WDA rushed into the office for their usual post walk snack and then deserted me to watch the bird, as big as White Dog, slide into the oven. Every pup wanted to sleep in the kitchen to keep watch.

"As it cooks, you will be able to smell it from your beds. Come and be comfortable. After breakfast in the morning we will carve it up, sample, and make stock."


November 19, 2017

White Dog hopped off of the couch and moved under Steve's hand for a little back and tail scritching. She looked over at Zsofia and laughed at us."She has you SO well trained momma!"
Under here, momma! No, up a little and closer to my side. Not quite. A little higher...higher...Ahhhhhhh!


November 18, 2017

White Dog announced that this afternoon was to be spent cooking White Dog Army meals and every pup excitedly queued up to receive their assignments.

"Come on, Tigenegy! There are no free meals in the White Dog Army! You are the team supervising momma as she adds all of the ingredients and mixes things up."

Tigenegy wagged until he almost tipped over then rushed to bury his face in my lap. He looked up. "What does she mean? What am I supposed to do?"

"For now, move aside so I can set up a table and the big mixing bowl. Then do what your sister, Pearl does. It is not hard. You will be perfect for the job."  Pearl nodded at him. "We got one of the best jobs."

Steve helped me set up a second work space so that he could use the kitchen for processing and cutting and such...with his team.

Then Team Momma got to work. Teez was amazed. "It takes a LOT of veggies and fish and stuff to feed this Army," Pearly told him. "You are a natural at supervision."
Momma, don't forget the cranberries! Do you think I will like them? Do we get to taste test?


November 17, 2017

White Dog let out a HUGE sigh of relief and the White Dog Army sang and wagged at the news. At last we have been given the "OK" to share our most wonderful news.

"Thank dog," White Dog said, "I am not sure how much longer I could have kept the secret without bursting."

Welcome to the White Dog Army of Love, Tizenegy Marie, White Dog of Justice and Balance.
Our newest recruit comes to us from sad and sensitive circumstances. A situation still on-going so we must be vague about the details for now.

Tizenegy, "Eleven" in Hugarian and the WDA's lucky number, arrived under a cloak of witness protection at the beginning of the week. He has had the chance to get cleaned up and examined by Dr. Julia. He now sports a lion cut instead of dirty mats.
Amazingly our new boy is social and enthusiastic in his efforts to blend right in. He is a love bug and gets along with every member of the WDA, including the often crabby Stormer and nippy Sachi.
He has already found a few favorite "hangout" spots and discovered the bliss of duck jerky. We are still working on dog door skills...and "marking" (no, Sachi is NOT on that retraining team). Last night he went on a "Dad and Me" gentle walk.

Once again, we are blessed. Welcome, Tizenegy! You are forever safe and loved...and out of danger.


November 16, 2016

White Dog watched Steve carry the Errant One to time out in the bathtub. "Really, some days it seems like we should just put a pillow and water bowl in there and let him spend the day," she said.

"Hi, it is me, Sachi, reporting to you from the WDA lockup. I am awaiting the arrival of my lawyer to spring me out of this place. I have been unfairly and unjustly singled out for marking dad's leather chair. Well, yes I WAS the only one but that is not the point. Dad said I had to stay in here until he finished cleaning the chair and the carpet."
"Zsofia from the Persecuted Eskie Defense Fund here to represent a Mr. Sachi Marie against charges of willful disrespect of furniture. He pleads guilty but with extenuating circumstances...Boyz will be boyz."

White Dog looked at her sister incredulously. "What the dog kind of defense is that? He PEED on dad's chair!"

"Yes, but...oh, come on, White Dog! You know he can't stay in there forever!"

Steve had just finished the cleanup and sighed. "I can wish, can't I," WD asked me. She looked at Steve. "It is a good thing I love that Little Man," he said and went to release The Little Leg Lifter.


November 15, 2017

White Dog sat with me and indicated that she wanted to talk.

"Momma, my life has been perfect in every way since the moment I was born," she said. I stroked her side. "But I have learned so much from my siblings about the awful things that go on. Like Benson who was dumped on the streets and then got sick as a result. Or YoYoMa who was horribly abused before he was saved. Or Bella, Opal, Pearl, and Bailey who were never loved and forced to have litter after litter of puppies to sell. Or Nilla and Stormer thrown away by their families because they got old or became a bother. I thought I knew all of the ways that humans failed us...and White Dogs came to our door...

"Now I discover that there are those out there, called hoarders, who hurt dogs by loving them too much. People who may start out with good intentions, like saving the abandoned or the old from death, but who take on more than they can handle or care for and the dogs end up starving, neglected, treated like prisoners of war. I heard of one case that involves over 100 dogs and 50 cats...

"What those poor beings must suffer! And the people did not start out to be mean. And now that they have been discovered it is a sensitive complicated legal dance to get the creatures to safety and rescue them. I don't understand why they could not see that things were out of control and that they were hurting not helping. In fact, why do they resist help to fix things?"

I held her close. "Humans are often blindered when it comes to self assessment, especially if our vision is that we are doing something good. In human history there are thousands of examples where what was done was not in the best interests. In many of those instances there was not concerted rescue to save the day and horrible consequences ensued."

"But where will 100 dogs go, momma? They are sick and need medical attention, and have SO much baggage? And the cats, too. And this is just one story I know. I just want all beings to have the love, safety, and home I do. It should be a given thing."

I wrapped her in my arms. "Each of us does what we can. Think of all we know who rescue, transport, foster, adopt, support, and help spread the word. Every action saves lives and makes a difference. You, too, Little White Dog of My Heart, by taking in an Army, you provide the very love and safety you wish for them all."

WD sighed, "but there are still so many."


November 14, 2017

White Dog good naturedly nudged her brother. "This brother of mine is incredible, isn't he? I mean he rolls with everything that his disease throws at him and fights his way right back."

It is Tuesday and we just got the latest update from Dr. Julia. YoYoMa's red blood cell count was stuck at the same place it had been TWO weeks ago. It had not gone up but, then again, it had not gone down. It was acceptable...or as Dr. Julia stressed, "STABLE." His white blood cells are behaving as well. He is still suffering hair loss from the medical cocktail but new furs seem to be growing back slowly so we agreed to keep Yo groomed and to not worry. There are no irritation, infected skin, or abnormalities but we will be vigilant; one thing we HAVE learned is that IMHA is unpredictable.

"See you after the holiday," Dr. Julia said. That seemed so far off. "And remember we will be closed the Friday after so tell your kids now that they must all stay healthy for four days in a row." We both laughed but I am sure that she, like I did, whispered, "No really!" as we hung up.