White Dog stood in the empty space. "It is the end of an era," she sighed as slowly the rest of the White Dogs came to stand with her and attempt to see out of the window from the ground.
These were the window chairs that most of the WDA has grown up using to watch the neighborhood, to sing to the mailman, and to gather on to greet the arrival of Pumpkin in the driveway.
The summer sun had faded the deep garnet and the nesting of countless White Dog naps had worn the fabric, but the furniture was sound. We have a friend trying to muster together any bits of household materials she could to help a family newly rescued from homelessness who moved into a tiny apartment but had nothing. Our friend was excited by the prospect of two real pieces of living room furniture; so we bought a couple of pretty throw covers and donated the chairs.
We were not let bereft. There were two perfectly lovely handmade chairs in our basement waiting for a chance to be useful once again. White Dog had, as a pup, slept in one. They were placed in storage when we decided some years back to do a bit of redecorating.
Steve bought the chairs into the living room and after thoroughly vacuuming every white hair from the temporarily open space (as if that were possible), he installed them in the place the old red ones held.
The White Dog Army stood shocked. "Well, what do you think?" I asked. Not a single dog would go close enough to even sniff. It truly was a situation of "you try it"..."no, YOU go first"..."I am NOT going over there until someone else does." Steve called them "chickens" and sat in one of the chairs. Not even his devoted boys Ferguson or Sachi would come close enough to touch his hand.
"That's what there is, kids," I told them. "use these or don't look out of the window." The WDA laid down as a pack facing the new intruders and watched.
Finally Bella, my shy timid one, scurried over to the chair closest to the bookcase, hopped up, made a single turn and then RAN for under my chair. "See," she seemed to say, "I did it!"
Across the day, the dogs have one by one gone over and tried the new seats. No one is totally convinced. White Dog insisted that she now needed an extra cushion on the chair in order to properly dine on "her" end table." Benson took a brief nap but startled awake and looked around as if he wondered how he ended up THERE.
The real test will be tomorrow morning when the mailman comes.