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.


24 Paws of Love said...

Congratulations to Micheal!! How wonderful for him. I hope his transition goes smoothly.

rottrover said...

Congrats to Michael!! Healing vibes being sent to WD, and lastly, BOL at your comment on our blog about trying to teach squirrels not to drink and climb!!

Rottie Kisses ~

Suka said...

hey White Dog Army,

Congratulations to Michael! What a huge accomplishment! And he is growing into such a handsome young man! Good luck to him for the rest of the ceremony!

Siku Marie, glad to hear you are eating more, but we are sorry you are still in pain. We continue to send healing thoughts and prayers your way for a full recovery.


Teddy Bear said...

Congratulations to Michael! What a very proud moment for all of you! We hope you are feeling better every day, Siku. We are sending lots of hugs your way.

Teddy Bear & Sierra

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Congratulations to Michael for his graduation and his giving ways. He has learned well from his family life with you.

Paws crossed for WD to feel better.

Amber DaWeenie said...

A big congratulations to Michael. And good vibes still coming from Florida for WD.

Mack said...

This week: Pawty hardy for Michael.
Next week: Celebrate clean bills of health for all!

Rebecca said...

Michael has turned into a wonderful young man. Despite not being parents to human children yourself, I know that Michael is grateful to have a positive mother and father figure in his life. Michael is going to do great things in his life, so glad that some people can look past his slight disability and see his abilities.

Mr. Pip said...

Hurray for Michael! What a special and exciting day. We wish him much luck and success!

My paws are crossed that WD continues to feel better.

Your pal, Pip

Remington said...

Congrats to Micheal! Bravo!

Kari in WeHo said...

A big congrats!


ra husky said...

Big huskerboo wooos & congrats to Michael!

RA & Isis

Stella said...

Huge Congratulations to Michael! He has completed an important stepping stone to the future and we know many more will come his way.

Siku, You will be better soon, I think. People are taking good care of you!

Stella, Zkhat and Mom

Brian said...

Congratualtions Michael, we're all so proud of you!!! Purrs to that sweet Siku!

Ginger Jasper said...

Thats a gorgeous photo of Micheal with his huge smile. Congratulations to a young man that has blossomed so well in your care. Sending healing purrs to Siku and hope she feels so much better soon.. Hugs GJ xx

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Congratulations Michael! That is so cool that you have such a ceramony before the actual graduation - I haven't heard of anything like that and it just seems like a great thing to do!

And we are so glad that White Dog is eating more, but sad to hear she is hesitant to do things - is there any chance it could just be fear (because it hurt her recently she is tentative to try some things now) and not actual pain (I honestly don't know if that happens in dogs) because I hate to think that even after the steroid shot she is having any sort of pain - I hope that the next vet visit will help uncover what is going on so she can get better soon. We are still sending her tons of purrs and prayers!

meowmeowmans said...

Big and hearty congratulations to Michael on his graduation and his award! That robing ceremony sounds amazing, and I had tears in my eyes when I read what Michael said about the White Dog Army. Beautiful.

Siku, we are glad you are eating and getting better. We are sending our very best healing purrs and prayers for you ... and ones of discernment and wisdom for Dr. Julia as you all try to figure out what ails you, sweet one.

Asta said...

Fiwst I apologise fow not being awound to give White Dog my healing smoochie kisses fow the ouchy leg..I hope the batch I'm sending now will wowk!!!1
Second, Congwatulations to michael and the whole family fow a wondewful achievement!!!
You must all be pwoud!
Cewtainly that incloodes White Dog,Quinn,Nukja, Puff and YoYoMa

smoochie kisses to all

Bailey Be Good! said...

Congratulations, Michael!

So glad to hear that WD appears to be getting better. I hope she makes a full recovery real soon.

Sending lots of happy puppy thoughts while I still can. :)

Woofs & hugs,


Sagira said...

I just love that photo. You can tell just how happy and proud he is. :)

ForPetsSake said...

Congratulations to Michael! As the stepmom to a 13 year old that now lives with daddy and myself due to her mom's neglect, I understand what an uphill battle these years can be. You are a special family that deserves success!