White Dog has been my daemon, my partner for ten years today. She arrived alone and frightened in a tiny carrier from Kansas. The baggage master at the airport had forgotten her, locked up and left. When Steve went to claim our three pound fluff ball no one was around. He could see her carrier but could not get to the little face he could watch crying. Within minutes he had climbed the ranks of airport personnel high enough to find someone who could open the door and release her.
When they picked me up at a class I was taking, White Dog did not yet have a final name. Many of you have heard the story of Steve generating eight double-column pages of options to consider. We had narrowed things down to three or four, but all I knew was that Baby Molly WASN'T going to be the name.
I took her in my arms and she stared without fear into my eyes, seeing the soul hers was paired with and I knew her name was Siku...the one sent to melt the Ice I had surrounded my heart with after Sheena died.
That was ten years ago. You have followed the journey. Our first post was June 24, 2005, when White Dog had been with us a little over four months; we have published 3,498 blogs of our life as it has unfolded through joy, adventure, change and sorrow.
The Little White Dog of My Heart has opened our hearts so that we could become an Army and determined a mission that gives our family hope and charges us to change the world.
I brought our the photos and the White Dog Blog--the First Year to share with the White Dog Army tonight as we celebrate our special girl. Of course there is to be feasting. WD will start with her favorite triple cream brie on sourdough rounds with cranberries. Dinner is mango stuffed porkchops served on a bed of kale garnished with grilled pineapple "halos" as Bella called them. After dinner there are meaty round butcher bones to enjoy (at least until it becomes a game of who can collect the most). We will listen to WD's favorite music by her friend in Japan, Take Abe (whose birthday, coincidentally, is also today). Later we will cuddle on the bed, watch a movie, and eat popcorn.
This is a day of love for our home, even though we do not celebrate Valentine's Day. For the last decade, this day has always been reserved as Siku Marie's Gotcha Day.
I look around at my assembled Army as we share the glow of the evening and the peacefulness of family. For a moment I am saddened because, with the exception of Zofia, we have not known the joy of baby pictures and discovering the world together as we have with Siku. To have been there when Puff dug her first hole or to cuddle away Taiko's fears during his first thundertorm would have made such a difference. But I look around me again and see a family, formed from amazing determination to overcome hardships and I know in my heart that this is how it is meant to be. And I am proud of all the Gotcha's we celebrate. I squeeze my Baby Girl and whisper, "I hope you understand that what you have created is so much bigger than just one little white dog. Thank you."
From all of us, Puff The Magical, YoYoMa, Taiko The Tender Heart, Bella E. Premurosa, Sachi the Undaunted, and Zsofia the Sky-Eyed...and from Dad and I we want you to know how grateful we are for the balmy February day so long ago that blew you to us and changed our lives for ever. Happiest of Gotcha Days...for us all!