White Dog had just received her second brushing of the day; the rest of The White Dog Army, save YoYoMa, also gleamed from a repeat round of the morning grooming ritual. Yo was stalking around the edges of the room, avoiding me and trying to be invisible.
He whimpered and jerked when I called his name and ordered him to come. He knew why he was being summoned and started crying about it as he trudged over, head hung low. "Buck up, Big Boy! It is just a brushing; no blood, no gore, you'll feel MUCH better!" After two thick brushfuls of floof his whining made me fear what the neighbors thought and i released him.
"You need a hobby, Momma," White Dog pronounced and was seconded by the WDA's wags. "I have a hobby. It is called trying to keep up with a certain pack of White Dogs who are blowing coats." "No, really!" she insisted, "if you don't find something to keep you occupied you will brush ALL of the fur off of our hides and we will be left as naked as Nuka was when she first joined the Army."
Nuka's coat and skin had been so neglected that before she came to us she was surgically shaved from neck to tip of tail. Imagine our shock upon seeing her for the first time in person; it took almost a year for her skin to heal and her furs to grow back.
"You greatly exaggerate, Little White Dog of My Heart. What sort of hobby do you think I should take up?" Suddenly there was an entire WDA discussion about how my time could be spent better than it already is. "You could bake more, you know cookies and stuff," YoYoMa suggested. "I am a diabetic and you are 4 lbs overweight; how about Eskie tie dying instead?"
"Needlepoint?" This was Puff's idea. "Because you would let me have a basket full of colored threads and not immediately want to steal them, right? Maybe I could learn how to twirl a lasso and practice ropin' me some Little White doggies?"
"Um, pottery making might be fun with one of those spinning things," Oso tried. "Picture this Little Man, me sitting at a potter's wheel with a big 10lb bucket of wet clay and a blop on the wheel throwing water everywhere and six (extremely) long haired white supervisors filling the every space around me like you do now when I paint." "Probably not a good idea, huh?" he responded.
"Meditation and yoga?" Quinn, my zen-boy ventured. "No way, dear one! I am an old woman and there is no way I am getting down on the floor and folding myself up. Besides I have seen what happens when dad does yoga with the WDA...I don't think THOSE positions are traditional ones and I certainly could NOT do a Bridge with you sitting on my chest.
Nuka came out of the office where she had been napping and saw the brush still on my cart. She turned and turned trying to reach the top of her haunches but then came trotting over. She presented herself to be brushed and twisted her body as I ran down her back so that I would get just the right spots.
"Like I said," I teased WD over my shoulder. "I have a hobby that is really more like a full time labor of love. Want to go again after Nuka?"