White Dog and the rest of the White Dog Army LOVE when Steve has tasks that involve his opening the storage barn at the back of the yard. They charge over the handmade stepping stones with embossed leaf patterns and rush up the slight ramp to crowd into the little room excitedly.
The storage unit is not huge and the addition of seven to nine supervising helpers offers Steve a unique challenge of maneuverability. Ours is not the storage barn of advertising or TV shows where everything is hung and labelled and arranged conveniently and perfectly gridded in color-coded bins with a huge open area to walk around and handy worktables to sort upon...nope, our version is a packed to the beams jigsaw puzzle of space utility...maximizing available room to hold the most "stuff." THIS is what the WDA loves most because every trip inside the locked door is an adventure in wonderland.
Today, Steve had been charged with findnig the leftover prizes from the Paws To People President's Day Celebration held last March. It was the plan to use them for the upcoming Halloween Bash that Boofy's, our favorite Pet Place and one of our most supportive sponsors, is holding as a fundraiser for us.
It was late in the afternoon and the autumn sun had lured the WDA into sunpuddle naps on the front porch. When Steve silently walked out to the kitchen ad reached up to the hook where the barn key hangs, I knew his plan was to sneak out wthout being noticed...he did not even make it to the baby gate.
Followed by Zsofia, Sachi, Ferguson, Nilla, and Puff Steve went out to the shed. Benson realized he was missing something important and trotted out through the dog door to join the pack.
I knew things were progressing typically as I heard Steve call out, "Zsofia WHAT did you just take? Bring that back here!" and "Puffy, what are YOU eating?" And finally, the one I knew was coming..."SACHI!! Don't mark those boxes! EVERYBODY OUT!"
Steve brought in one box of the prizes and I began to review and take stock. Of course, the indoor crew of Siku, YoYoMa and Bella, were on hand to shove snooters into the box and try to pull out packages.
The whole crew returned with the second box and Zsofia grabbed a bag as Steve set it next to me. "DROP IT!" actually worked and I looked down to discover a long forgotten bag of dumdum suckers... crawling with ants.
I looked at Steve. "OUTSIDE!" I ordered. And he snatched it up and took the entire box out to the front landing. There, with the WDA piled up at the window, watching, he sorted out the materials that had no ants and had been protectively bagged and packaged. Fortunately, the suckers and the carboard box were the only casualties.
Disappointment was great among certain members of the Army that the sucker bag did not return to the house...in fact SOME of them still periodically check the box to make sure.