White Dog and her cohorts were not happy that Steve returned to teaching and would not be home until after his late class tonight. But they didn't mount a protest to him. They leaned against him and demanded goodbye pats and stared lovingly out of the window as if they were sending a hero off to battle.
THEN they turned and looked at me. "Hey, it is not my fault," I said as the Army, in unison, shot me a dirty look and then flowed past out of the room. Nobody talked to me all morning and when I entered a room which ever White One was there, left. There was lots of jockeying between White Dog and Still Another White Dog to sit and watch with pained haunted looks out of the window. The Other White Dog and Another White Dog stood side-by-side at the door doing the same.
At lunch all politely took their chicken jerky (yes, we are even out of duck!) and huffed off. I found their subtle protests in the form of shredded tissues on the bed, and in the overturned wastepaper basket in the office, and in my pen and pillow silently finding their way out to the deck, and in their little short-tempered arguments with each other. I stopped myself as I started to say, "All of you, just wait until your father comes home," shocked at the echo of my mother's voice in my head.
It is still two hours until Steve returns. White Dog sleeps on my chair. Quinn is stretched across the front door. Nuka is at the hearth. Puff lies in the middle of the room. It is a precious scene, but one I am not invited to be a part of.
"But it is not my fault," I want them to know and to understand that I, too, detest the long Thursdays, but they have made up their stubborn Eskie minds...at least for THIS Thursday.
It will be a little galling when they hear Steve pull in the drive and send up a giant cheer for his return and then mob him with love at the door. From that moment until bedtime he will trail White Dogs every time he moves and it will be a total lovefest...which will be exactly what Steve will need.
P.S. Look, Khyra, mom got the year right...FINALLY!