White Dog clung to my shoulder as though she were carved from my bone. It was a day of neediness that seemed to affect all of the White Dog Army, including our extended family, Skye, Daisy, and Jupiter. There was a chill in the air and a sense that soon we would be living in the early dark and colorless days of winter. Everyone wanted to huddle together but even more than that, each wanted to be held and wrapped in personal reassuring warmth.
I was surrounded by nine eager faces, each pleading with eyes and wagging tails to be placed in my lap. Heads pushed under my hands for the comfort of ear scritches and soft massages. I failed in having enough hands, legs to press behind, or laps.
The best I could offer was rotated lap time, head rubs spread out across the pack and LOTS of warm, comforting conversation. Eventually, Puff and YoYoMa took up positions at either side of my two feet and curled up. Bella poked her head out from under the chair to rest it between my heels; and Zsofia claimed the space across both of my foot/paws. Sachi squeezed in between Puff and Zso. Jupiter and Daisy climbed into my lap. Taiko stood off to the edge for a while before finally overcoming his claustrophobia enough to lean over Puff and lay his head along my thigh on the chair. Skye was too shy to force her way in; she forlornly curled up in the pillows on the couch and watched out of the window for her Mom (who was at work).
"Speaking of work, " I whispered to the settled White Ones. "I am not getting much done."
White Dog, who I thought was snoozing, answered me. "Momma, believe me when I tell you there is nothing that you could be doing right now that is more important than making this group feel calm, safe, secure and loved. You will have time to to clack on your keyboard and shuffle papers, but right now, you are giving a piece of yourself in the name of love. Look at those faces. Look at mine. Today we need you just to give us extra love and attention...and we are all so grateful."
I kissed the Little White Dog of My Heart and rested my head against her. Suddenly the mess on my desk seemed pretty trivial...and so did the press of my bladder.