White Dog was waiting for Zsofia when she came back from her pre-bed walk dragging Steve behind her. For walks Zso always wears her harness and Steve must remove her surgery recovery donut collar.
Steve took off the harness and reached for the inflatable. White Dog held up her paw. She looked her youngest sibling deep in her eyes. "When momma talks about trust, do you know what she means?" The darkest white dog shrugged. "It means that she believes in you so much that she is willing to take a chance on you just because you have shown her that you keep your promises and do what you say you will." Zsofia wagged her understanding.
White Dog continued, "I believe in you, too, Baby Sister. I trust if you make a promise not to chew or scratch your stitches that you will not. I know that collar is a nuisance and it makes it hard to get comfortable but it is around your neck to keep you from ripping open your wound or causing an infection. You are healing amazingly well." Then WD looked at me.
"Zsofia," I said, "do you promise to NOT chew or scratch yourself there?" Those dark eyes looked at me solemnly as she nodded her head. I turned to Steve. "Remove her regular collar from the inflatable. We are going to see how seriously our Littlest Miss wants to be free. Just clip on her collar and tags."
Zso rushed to his side as he unthreaded her collar from the donut; then he firmly clasped it around her neck. She gave her body a shake. She stretched her full length. She nuzzled White Dog's ear. And then took off out of the dog door.
From the yard, we heard in doppler effect as she zoomed around..."FREEDOM! I'M SO FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE!
Postscript: True to her word our Darkest White Dog has neither bitten at or scratched her sutures...and her favorite wrestling partner, Sachi seems to understand that belly contact is still not allowed.