White Dog and the others had been anticipating this evening all day...Steve was to graduate with his MBA! Plans were that after the ceremony we would come home and order salmon burgers and malteds for everyone from the diner down the street that makes its own root beer, salmon patties, and in the summer offers butcher bones for pups dining on the patio. We already had checked ahead and made sure that they would allow us to carry out bones.
Sometimes things do not go according to plan. It was critically necessary for me to skip the ceremony in order to guarantee things would be ready for the double events Paws To People is attending on Saturday. I felt beyond awful and exhausted all of my possibilities for alternative solutions. Steve understood but my heart...and the White Dogs...didn't. I begged him to ask a co-worker to take a photo of him in full graduation regalia: robe, colors, new stole and honor cords.
Steve attends EVERY graduation ceremony and sits on the dais. It is part of his duties as the head of two departments. But his initial reaction about his MBA was that it was no big deal. His dean and the head of the school argued to call him out and recognize his achievement...not just for the impressive gpa he maintained but for its value as an example to others. Going back to school after 30 years is not an easy feat and to do it while working a full time job and juggling life commitments is an inspiration to new students facing those same issues as undergrads. He finished with an impressive 3.96GPA. He agreed to "walk" and receive his stole and honor braids.
The White Ones swarmed him when he walked through the door. "Well!" they all yipped. Followed by "Woohoo! Let's hear it for Dad!" I could tell something was not right.
"How was it?" I asked as I kissed and hugged him. "Uneventful," was his reply. "Did you get a photo?" "Nothing to photograph." I was clearly puzzled as was the WDA who quieted and sat waiting.
"They didn't even mention me. I had no diploma waiting. No stole. They did not even read off my name as a grad. Am I invisible?"
"What?!" was our collective response. "Yep, no one in the world even cared." Taiko whimpered. "Except you guys."
Our friend Valerie had dropped off her famous caramel apples for our Christmas gift giving. SHE had remembered and left Steve a little box tied with ribbons of her best candies. She did not remember the ceremony was tonight but she knew it was imminent. She was a lifeline of kindness and her thoughtful gesture saved the day.
"WE are so proud of you. We know how hard you worked and how often it would have been easy to just walk away from the project. We respect you and love you and are so very blessed that you are ours." The White Ones surrounded him, pushing and shoving to get closest and show their love.
"Whether the world knows it or not, we have a reason to celebrate! Let's go pickup that salmon and those bones...and honey, go crazy get the full size root beer shake! There is a new grad in our house!"