White Dog and I gathered our nervous Army around us in an attempt to distract them from the howling icy cold winds that followed our snow last night. None of the White Dogs likes the wind noises and they were doubly ill at ease because the day's routine was thrown off by Michael's school closure and Steve's late start to work. The temperature was falling steadily and although Quinn and Puff seem to like snow play, even they conceded it was simply too cold to enjoy being outdoors.
White Dog set the mood of our story by explaining that this very day last year was bright, and warm and sunny. Steve wore shorts as we drove to the train station. The car windows were open. It was just us three then: White Dog, Steve and I. We pulled up in the old SUV and parked. WD and I waited while Steve went inside.
He returned with this big boy kid and his mom. They had lots and lots of boxes. The mom was in terrible physical condition. We took them to the hotel room where they were staying overnight. White Dog was not sure about any of this. Who were these people with all of the funny smelling stuff? The boy was a little scary because he kept wanting to hug White Dog tightly and he talked loudly and he was...different.
The plan had originally been that the boy and his mom would live near us and slowly become part of our lives but the mom was really sick (although no one knew) and so the plan changed. She went into the hospital and Michael came to live in our house.
Michael has been a part of our family for one year today. His arrival triggered lots of changes and adjustments and opened the door for so many opportunities that we would not have shared had he not been with us. He has grown but so have we. And across the past 365 days our lives have become something we could never have imagined...we are now a family of SEVEN (most of us rescues of one sort or another) and every day brings new wonders as the members stretch to become unique, healthy and actualized parts of our whole.
Tonight we celebrated with pasta, a family favorite, and hot tea to ward off the still ragged arctic screaming. We were together and the house was wrapped in the warmth that only comes from the heart.
Happy Gotcha Day, Michael!