White Dog heard the music and announced to Michael and the White Dog Army that the festivities were starting over at our co-op in their Earth Day celebration. There were promises of music, taste testing of locally grown foods, demonstrations, and games. The church across the street from the co-op was holding a bake sale and showing Earth themed films all afternoon in their basement. The WDA was ready and wanted to go NOW!
I gathered them around me in the living room out of Steve's earshot. He had been working on homework since early morning and was struggling with the last two questions he had to answer. The "questions" in his MBA program require lengthy research and response, often a single question's answer approaches 3000 words...and each week's assignments include four questions, discussion point postings and a quiz. It is a tough pace especially when you also work a full-time job and have family responsibilities. Steve is amazing but after 18 weeks without a breath, this week found him feeling burnt out and a bit frustrated.
"I know that dad told you that we would go and enjoy the celebration," I told the WDA. "But we all agreed when we encouraged him to pursue his Master's that we would be supportive and understanding. His homework is due today so that is his first priority. We must all be patient and give him the time he needs no matter how long that is."
Oso added, "He has been working since six this morning, doesn't he need a break? I know because I have been awake with him and supervising." Quinn took the counterpoint, "Maybe he just wants to get done and not have it hanging over his head. We all know if we go to the party that we will spend a while there, not just take a little break." "If he doesn't get finished in time to go to the co-op, he will make it up to us with something else; you all know dad is like that," Puff added. Quinn, Puff and Oso are Steve's staunchest supporters, "Dad's posse," in their eyes Steve walks on water.
So the White Ones agreed to give Steve the gift of time without guilt and Michael went to the Earth Day Celebration. The Army was secretly relieved by his return report that "that music was too loud; it was too crowded; there were long lines for the food; the movies were cool; and someone was walking around with a goat on a leash...and there were lots of dogs, including one that peed on his shoe."
We sat on the front porch and enjoyed the music distantly playing at just the right volume and watched our neighboring families heading over to join the fun. The WDA woofed and I waved and we exchanged greetings of "Happy Earth Day!"
Late in the afternoon Steve emerged.
"I am done!" he announced. There were happy wags all around. "I know it is too late to go to the co-op party," he said, "but is any pup interested in walking over to the frozen yogurt shoppe for a much deserved treat?" We were quite a group, five White earth-conscious pups, Michael, Steve and me in my wheelchair-- Oso and Puff in my arms; YoYoMa and Nuka on leashes strolling with Michael and White Dog leading the way. Quinn waited back at White Dog Ranch for his takeout order of strawberry yogurt with graham cracker stir-ins, topped by a single red gummy bear.