White Dog looked in the kitchen. Then she turned to me. "How long do I have to cut the new girls extra understanding about the house rules?" she asked. "Well, they never have lived in a house before, being a mill dog is a pretty traumatic thing, and all of the rules are new..."
"No," she said, again pointing her head toward the kitchen. "When do we start preventing bad habits from forming?" This time I turned to follow her gaze.
There against the counter stretched Pearl on her back legs giraffe-necking the counter top. She could just barely reach a sliver of the flat horizontal surface.
"Now would be a good time to start," I responded to White Dog...and to Pearl, "Oh no! You get down Pearly Girl!" She looked at me...my grandmother called it flashing eyes when I threw that same look to HER...then turned to refocus on what had her interest. "I mean it!"
With that she snatched the corner of a piece of plastic and gave a mighty back snap with her neck, while in a fluid movement turned to dash out of the kitchen and through the dog door. White Dog pointed out that her sister was dragging the bag of caramel popcorn with her.
Steve jumped up and grabbed his jacket. White Dog ran out into the yard. The rest of the White Dog Army realized something exciting was happening and streamed out to watch or participate. I heard the commotion as Steve chased Pearl around the yard. The closure to the bag had fallen off somewhere in the melee and Pearl now ran clutching the bag's edge as popcorn flew out behind her.
The White Dogs were torn between the chase and stopping to snack...except Sachi. He ran her down and Steve grabbed the popcorn bag (now nearly empty). Steve was about to thank his sidekick for the devoted help but stopped when he realized that Sachi was now wrestling with Pearl in sort of a "I'm so proud of you" victory dance.