White Dog and The White Dog Army were ready when Michael came upstairs this morning. They greeted him with a rousing "Happy Birthday #22" song that followed him out of the door as he headed off to church. The song resumed when he returned later and he gave out hugs of thanks before he headed back into his "cave" to answer texts and emails from well-wishing friends.
The WDA set up a system of keeping watch to prevent Michael sneaking up on the gift wrapping process that was headed by Steve, White Dog and Taiko. The others lurked in the kitchen looking innocent but in reality ready to sound the alarm should they hear any noises indicating the birthday boy was heading upstairs. Bella and I went to work on the computer to create a special card from the WDA based on a T Rex short arm joke (Michael finds these hilarious).
We all wiggy wagged with excitement when we saw Michael's look of curiosity at the pile of gifts wrapped in puppy party wrapping paper sitting on the table as he left to volunteer at Fat Katz. He was polite enough not to ask (but was dying too) and the WDA coyly ignored the stack and said nothing just to raise Michael's anticipation.
Steve and I went to an interesting lecture about cancer in kitties given by Dr. Barbara Kitchell, world famous comparative oncologist. "It is good that you are going to find out about how this evil monster affects cats," White Dog said as she sent us off. "I hope you will learn some things that we can share and help others know what to look for and do to protect those purry friends."
The White Dog Army patiently waited at home knowing that we would meet up with Michael and take him out to dinner...for seafood, Lobsterfest to be exact, at one of his favorite restaurants. They knew when we returned we would all have cake and open presents.
When we got home, I carried a surprise for the White Ones. An unexpected addition to the celebration. Our sweet but distracted waiter in a crowded and noisy room had misheard my order and brought the wrong dish. He quickly made to right his mistake, but placed the extra entree on the table saying, "start on this while I get what you ordered right away." I protested but he explained that the food could not be re-served and would just be thrown away.
Michael offered to help with the shrimp but clearly most of the meal came home as leftovers. Imagine the White Dog Army's excitement at the prospect of CRAB LEGS along with the cake!
At first Michael was concerned about how the pups would manage to get the meat out of the legs. "Watch!" Steve told him as he handed the claw piece to YoYoMa who laid down with it between his paws and ate the entire thing. "He ate the skeleton part!" Michael pointed out in panic. WD, Taiko, Puff, and Bella were happily munching away. "It is OK," Steve told him, it will not harm them.
Because Oso sometimes has difficulty chewing, Steve had pulled the meat out for him. Oso wolfed it down and then stretched for the shell. It was a room of VERY happy White Dogs and a very full Michael who asked if we could save cake for the next day (the restaurant had provided red velvet birthday cake as part of his meal so we were not surprised at his request).
The White Dog Army munched on sweet potato cookies as a cake substitute as Michael opened his gifts and laughed at the card. After hugs and thanks all around, the birthday boy headed off to shower and bed.
"I think that was pretty successful," White Dog summarized. "Especially for someone who DIDN'T want a party or to be fussed over," Puff added.