White Dog reminded me, although she did not need to, that the upcoming week was going to be a busy one. The White Dog Army quietly gathered together in the office where I was working and asked for an update on the plans for Steve's birthday party.
I pulled out my list of notes. "Everyone has responded positively. Dad's work on the yard is going to have a marvelous Grand Opening. I know what foods folks are bringing. The menu is completed. We have a few things to make later in the week but we will be able to manage nicely. And I designed a banner for decoration. Seems like most of the gifts you ordered, White Dog, have arrived...you made good choices. I think we are in good shape. Are you all ready for the prep and entertaining?"
Tails thumped in happy approval. "Remember," I told the White Ones, "we also have ANOTHER thing to plan for before the party." Heads tilted and dark eyes looked at me. "Our foster family comes to stay with us on Friday. We must make sure the Studio is ready and comfortable."
The White Dog Army made the decision several weeks ago to offer safe haven to an acquaintance who is fleeing an abusive home situation. We have never met in person but share interests in dog rescue and Eskies. It was her plea on an Eskie group site that we belong to looking for some family to temporarily take in her two Eskie girls, Daisy and Skye, so that she could go into a shelter that made White Dog put a paw on my hand to stop me.
"At a time like this, the LAST thing a person needs is to have her family broken apart," White Dog said. "They need each other more than ever. They have gone through enough pain that their escape should not include more punishment."
"But we really don't know her." "We know that she and her furchildren need help," WD responded. "Think about if we were in a situation where something happened to Dad and suddenly we were homeless and on the street. We would die if we were put in the shelter, divided up or given to someone else. And you would die being apart from us even if you thought it was the best thing for us." She was right.
I looked around, this had become a family discussion as the rest of the WDA and Steve joined us. "It is a chance to walk the talk, momma. We can make a difference here in a very real way," YoYoMa said. "They could stay in your Studio. I know you had a bad experience but don't let one ungrateful person close your heart." Puff added. "That is what you do best," Taiko told me, "you give second chances." "This could be the stable, safe leg-up needed to help their family thrive," Bella pointed out. "Do you think they could be my friend," Michael questioned earnestly.
Steve was holding Sachi. I turned to both of them and raised an eyebrow. Sachi licked Steve's face as his opinion. Steve started to choose his words. "I understand the idea is crazy," I told him, "and I want you not to feel pressured by these guys to do something that you makes you uncomfortable. I am still sorting through this possibility myself."
"We rescue." he said. "How is this different? Most would think you are out of your mind but the WDA makes good arguments. If we have an opportunity to put a hand out and lift someone up, we should at least make the offer." Have I mentioned that I am so proud of my family?
I made our offer to the young woman in Georgia. She was floored and asked LOTS of questions. Seems that this kind of offer does not come along very often. A cousin agreed to drive her and her pups to us. They arrive on this coming Friday and will stay until she gets a job and some reserves. We know she will succeed...already she has investigated volunteer opportunities in town AND applied on-line for several jobs. And the White Dog Army will, at least temporarily, add two new recruits.