White Dog looked around the room. It was like viewing aftershocks from a tremendous upheaval. Puff clung to Taiko's bed; the little corner she usually laid on when her brother hogged the whole mattress. She seemed lost. Poor Storm was suffering from a major attack of her stress colitis; she was bloody from her anxiety. YoYoMa lay watching the spot where Taiko had been wrapped in a blanket to begin his final journey. Even the baby, Zsofia mourned in her way as she put her favorite toys in Taiko's kennel.
We struggled hard to not make this a day of heartbreaking firsts...the first morning without saying, "Good morning Taiko Marie Sehi-Smith! I kiss your nose."...the first breakfast with an empty bowl...the first time Steve's boy did not come to him in the early morning and lie in quiet companionship as he was brushed.
The first day we referred to the White Dog Army as seven, not eight.
We were not very successful as tears flowed freely; even the bright blue New Mexican skies joined us as they opened to cry along. But we felt them with us, ALL of the White Dogs...Quinn, Nuka, Oso, Darby...and Taiko...and while it ached and hurt there was a comfort in feeling that connection.
The White Dog Army shared memories and were so thankful for a rescue friend's short video, taken before he sent Taiko to us, that showed our boy's fine stubborn streak as he tried to teach him how to use his doggie door. Kevin's confident tone turned to pleading and then defeat as smiling Taiko just stood, smiling and totally uninterested in coming through the flap.It was quintessential Taiko and it made us laugh.
The first day Taiko was free of the horrific monster that tried to steal his glorious beautiful spirit but that only got his broken body. A day of freedom and victory for our Tender Heart.
Time and love will ease our grief...and our belief that we are not really apart...ever.