White Dog laid down next to me as I worked. "This new schedule of dad's is awful," she said. "Now we don't even have our Fridays." "Dad now has Mondays, it is just like Fridays only on the other side of the weekend. Besides, we still have each other." The rest of the White Dog Army raised their heads just to sigh.
"Come on, White Ones, we can make this hard or we can make the best of it. Who wants to help make a special treat?" That stirred some interest as I went out to the kitchen and put three plump chicken breasts in the stockpot to cook.I needed to boil the chicken for salads and this was a chance to engage my pack.
YoYoMa, Taiko, Sachi, and Bella sat surrounding me at the stove. Puff hung out in the doorway and White Dog watched from Steve's chair. I emptied the ice cube tray into a glass and poured myself some water. Then I sat on the bench and explained. "I am making chicken for dad's and my supper salad but WE are going to borrow a few little cubes and put one in each section of the ice tray. Then we are going to fill each cube spot with broth from the pot. Will you supervise?" Tails wagged knowing they would also probably get the imperfect pieces as samples. "Then we will all need to be patient because I will put these special chicken cubes in the freezer. Once they are frozen you all can have them."
The WDA watched me cut and pour and put the tray away. Then we went into the living room. One or the other of them walked out to the kitchen to check every few minutes.
"Sweet loves, it will take a couple of hours to freeze." Faces fell. I grabbed my notepad. "Want to see what you all look like with those unhappy mugs?" I teased and began quick pen sketches of them with exaggerated frowns and droopy pouts. White Dog looked over my shoulder and laughed. "Puff you are such a sourpuss," she said. Every pup came over to see my sketch.
"Draw us as kitchen helpers," YoYo asked and I quickly drew White Dogs in toques wearing aprons and with spoons in their mouths.
"Now make us butterflies," White Dog pleaded after watching a pretty yellow one buzz our window. "Wait a minute," I said and went to my art chest to grab my colored pencils and actual sketch pad. "All of the WDA together or one at a time?" The WDA exchanged glances and Taiko responded, "together, in a field of flowers." "OK this is going to take a little time," I cautioned. Obligingly, the WDA all laid down around me so I could see faces and they could comfortably watch me work.
After a bit, I showed the pad to White Dog, on the arm of my chair, and then turned it so all could see. In light breezy strokes I had rendered each of the White Dogs with bright colorful butterfly wings flitting and dodging over a meadow full of lavender and sunflowers. I had had fun with the work and was tickled when I received the WDA's nuzzles of approval.
"Guess what?" I said getting up to go into the kitchen. I was followed by a blizzard of white that did not need to guess. Each waited by his or her bowl to receive the now frozen chicken stock cubes. "Please, loves, either eat them from your bowl or if you want to play a bit, take them out to the deck."
One-by-one the WDA grabbed their cube and headed out of the dog door, except for Puff who laid down with paws surrounding her bowl and licked the frozen treat around and around in her bowl, easy to reach and self-contained.