White Dog was sleeping on the couch; the sunlight filtering through the window gently highlighted her gleaming white coat. I watched her side rise and fall and was overcome by what an amazing Little White Dog I have been blessed with.
Every morning I tell her that she is the embodiment of everything good in my world...and she truly is. White Dog willingly opened her long established kingdom, the world in which she was the constant center of attention and was pampered beyond most dogs' wildest ability to dream, to provide shelter and sanctuary for a literal Army of others...older, with issues and secrets and health problems, who demanded time for healing and attention to learn to trust and love.
Never once in all the additions and personalities and adjustments has White Dog been mean to any of the others. She is demanding. She has expectations and limits. She gets frustrated. But NEVER has she attacked one of the others without provocation and when she delivers a physical correction, it is quick, as gentle as possible, and just...and usually well overdue. She asks for respect, and the members of the White Dog Army give it willingly because they instinctively know that WD comes from a place of acceptance and understanding.
White Dog is willful and stubborn and can flash her eyes in challenge, much like her momma, but when there is a job to do, she is dependable and can always be counted on to provide more than is asked. I could not desire a more talented spokesdog for Paws To People. She works the crowd like a seasoned rock star inviting attention with her wagging tail and friendly smile. Tolerant of children and well-mannered, WD performs a treasure box full of tricks that charm and captivate. Heck, she even knows how to push our brochures forward when we sit together at our tabletop presentations. And she knows when to turn over the stage and sit quietly or lie at my side.
She is still the one who knows when I need a buddy to just sit with me or who gets up before dawn to cuddle in the darkness as I think (Bella is learning to join us now, and with typical grace WD is not jealous of her being there).
Things like vacation travel and spontaneous weekend trips are not so easy now that we are nine. In the early days, as just we three, WD was always ready for adventure and loved the novelty of sleeping in hotels. Now her adventures happen closer to home and are most often just jaunts of a few hours. But even drives with Steve to run errands elicit an excited grateful response.
I don't think either she or I saw the twists and turns our road has taken as we have journied through the soon-to-be 11 years we have been together. She is my soul mate, the Little White Dog of My Heart, my daemon.
"I love you Baby Girl," I whisper to my sleeping angel, and then reach down to Nilla, and Bella, and Sachi, and Zso..."I love each of you, too, my sweet loves!"