November 19, 2014
When Steve flew in Terry's streamlined little racing plane to rescue Still Another White Dog, she was broken and nearly feral. Heart worm Stage 3+, ears scabbed and scarred from flea bites, thin lackluster fur, and eyes that never stopped darting and looking for escape. She had been kept outdoors in all seasons of Kansas weather with no shelter save straw strew on the ground. An ex-breeder bitch past her usefulness in a backyard breeder situation gone VERY wrong.
She was terrified of her new surroundings and made a beeline out of the dogdoor to the back corner of the yard where she tried to climb the block wall to escape or dig a nest for herself at every opportunity. For weeks I cried myself to sleep in White Dog's furs because Puff would not even let me touch her. On the sage advice of friends, I learned to sit quietly and ignore her...as hard as it was...waiting for her curiosity to override her fear. Eventually she came close; then actually touched my outstretched hand; and finally, nearly three months later, allowed me to briefly stroke her neck.
Puff arrived four years ago. Today.
In that time Puff the Magical has grown into her name. She is the most tenacious being I have ever met. SAWD is the embodiment of my motto, "NEVER Surrender!" She is the inspiration for what I want to be when I am 87. (At 16 dog years, that is my Little Old Lady's approximate human age).
But she is not forceful. Puff has never been one to insist on a pack rank but confidently accepts the reality that they all are really equals. Just as quietly she nurtures. Zsofia had a baby fascination with Puff that as the "baby" grew was enough to knock Puff off of her feet. She is the one who sat with Quinn, cuddled with Nuka, spent hours beside the buggy that held Oso during his final days. SAWD is the one who saw Taiko's grief the other night over Michael's sudden departure and softly settled touching her brother's paw...and that is how they spent the night. And of course, YoYoMa thinks our cougar is one hot momma. Each of the White Dogs has felt the benefit of The Magical's caring nature.
She is not a softy, though. Make no mistakes. Puff is the only member of the White Dog Army who White Dog allows to prance close and challenge her; SAWD is the senior most member of the WDA both in age and in how long she has been with us. And Bella has experienced a few disciplinary nips as Puff mentored the "new" girl in the White Dog Army way.
From waiting and praying that my Little Old Lady would someday let me caress her, I have somehow earned her love and trust. Some of the most precious moments of my day are those times when all of the WDA is napping except she and I. She will sit next to me, two peaceable old ladies. Together we will watch the trees bend in the wind or the shadows on the wall.And then without a word or big too-do, Puff will reach out and cover my foot with her paw. And there we will remain, joined congenially as we observe the passage of life.
This morning we all shared bacon and oatmeal with butter and cream...Puff is a breakfast lover at heart. It was a clear blue day (just like the one on which she arrived). And we celebrated our girl.
Happy Gotcha Day, Puff The Magical, Still Another White Dog! You are our matriarch and we hope you know how totally and completely you are loved. Siku Marie, YoYoMa, Taiko the Tender Heart, Bella E. Premurosa, Sachi the Undaunted, Zsofia the Sky Eyed, Dad and I all hope to have you with us for many many more of these celebrations. Without you we would be less.