White Dog sounded the alarm that set the entire White Dog Army into red alert. I opened an eye and turned to her. "You DO know you are barking right in to my ear?" I asked her as she continued. "The ear that leads right into my headachy pounding head." I slowly moved my head to look out of the window,
"NOW what?" I sighed, "Hasn't this week thrown us enough challenges?"
There were two uniformed officers standing patiently ignoring the frenzy at the window, clearly waiting for me to rise, drag myself to the door so that they could...what? I crawled to the door trying my best to hush the WDA into more law abiding behavior, pushed them all back into the house, and opened the door to the front porch.
"We are from Animal Welfare," the man and woman announced. I could not imagine a reason they were standing on our step. "Don't worry you are in compliance, up-to-date and there is not a problem," the woman quickly reassured. "We are here to so a house and yard check."
I looked puzzled. The young man explained, "It is routine to check on homes that have multi-dog permits to make sure there are no issues with cleanliness or hoarding. We would just like to come in and look around and see the yard." I started to describe the sad week of losses we had been through and how the dogs were not at their best. Then I stopped myself. "I am part of the City's new Senior Hospice Foster Program," I said. The male officer was aware of the program but his partner apparently was not; he quickly brought her up to speed. "We are grieving but come on in, just beware of my little guy," I pointed at Sachi scratching on the door glass. "He is an ankle-biter." Silently I asked for him to be calm and not embarrass us all.
They got about halfway into the front room before Zsofia leaped at the male, landing with her front paws on his shoulder and licking his face. "Oh dog," I heard White Dog groan. He stiffened for a second but then his posture relaxed and he obliged our baby with ear scratches. I was holding YoYoMa by the collar as a precaution; when he gets excited, he spins in circles. He sat calmly at my side but stayed at full attention. Puff stood on her bed and barked. Bella poked her head out from under the chair only far enough to bark and growl before darting back under.
"I don't know what you want to see but this is where we spend most of the day. They sleep pretty much anywhere and as you can see we have lots of water bowls. At night they sleep in the bedroom or office." I gestured into the hallway. "Feel free to take a look." Taiko wandered out of the bedroom yawning and rested his head against the woman officer's side. "You can get to the yard through the kitchen door. I am not able to take you out there but you may have a look if you want."
"You have really nice art," the male officer exclaimed. "I really love your collection." He took a few minutes and truly looked over the paintings and photographs that cover our walls. "Who took the photos?" he asked, referring to the photos on canvas of each of the White Dogs that hang on our fireplace. "My husband, Steve." Zso still was cuddling him and I was starting to wonder if I was missing some subtle test being given. The woman officer moved two steps and took a peek in each direction down the hallway. "Looks good."
"Some of the pups will follow when you go outside but they are all gentle." "Oh, we don't need to go into the yard," they both said. "Everything looks great." "I'll be sure to put in a good word to our foster people," the woman added.
With that, the surprise inspection was over...but Sachi could not help himself. As the young man turned to close the door Sachi nipped him on the ankle. The WDA gasped. But the officer laughed, "You warned me. He IS a fierce one!"