May 17, 2011
White Dog and the rest of the WDA pulsed closer to Michael. He had just come up from his room, clothed in dress clothes (a first since he came to us)and we were heading to his Robing Ceremony. The pups all wanted to give nuzzles for luck but Michael was panic-stricken at the idea of white hairs on his new black "formal" slacks. So they walked him to the door, keeping a distance and then watched out of the windows and door as we loaded into Pumpkin for the start of Michael's two-day graduation ritual.
Tonight was the Robing Ceremony, held to allow families to have an interactive part in their young person's achievement. It is a recognition that the entire family was integral in making this moment reality. As the graduates' and their attending family members' names are read out, the family helps the graduate with the final steps of slipping on the hood and straightening the cap, and sharing words of celebration. As Steve adjusted Michael's tassel, our soon to be graduate noted that it "seems strange not to have White Dog, Quinn, Nuka, Puff and YoYoMa here with us; after all they are part of the family, too!" And truly it did, because the WDA, as much as any teacher or Steve or I have had a profound impact on shaping the young man who came to live with us 1-1/2 years ago. Their lessons in trust and love and gentleness and confidence are as important as any he learned in the classroom...or from my nagging.
Following the Robing, was the Awards Presentation. Michael was recognized for his work for the schools blood drives and his attempts to donate blood (although medically he wasn't able). He will get to proudly wear the blood red cord of the Red Cross over his gown at tomorrow's graduation ceremony.
The pups patiently waited while he hung up his Robe and changed out of dress clothes before they smothered him with congratulations and demands to sniff his award and questions, questions and more questions. It was a long night and very taxing for Michael who hates crowds and being in the spotlight so he gave an abbreviated version of the evening, petted each pup on the head and disappeared into his teen cave. I was left to fill in the details.
White Dog Health Update: She is eating normally and is a bit gassy (good, according to Dr. Julia because it means she is getting it out of her intestines). No limping or dragging incidents but WD is showing a reluctance to even attempt to do things which had been no brainers for her...like jumping up on the bed...she seems to stop herself before she tries. Dr. Julia says that she is probably still feeling pain which should not be the case after the steroid shot so we are going to try a homeopathic remedy to see if the problem is a simple neurological one like a pinched nerve...Thursday, White Dog will get reexamined and we will begin a trial of the new approach. As of tomorrow we have only 1 week left of Puff's heat cycle which should help the entire WDA's stress level.