White Dog did not need to be asked twice (in a tiny whisper) if she wanted to go for a car ride. It was her special "Dad and Me" moment on this last day before Steve returned to work from a luxurious two-weeks of vacation.
Similarly, Ferguson laid inside the "v" of Steve's legs, his head resting on his dad's thigh as Steve gently brushed his coat and trimmed his nails and fussed, all the while maintaining a reassuring physical contact. By the end, Fergus was so at peace that he actually slept deeply, snoring, in that position.
Later, Nilla sprawled on one side of Steve and Sachi pressed against the other as the three sat on the couch together, Steve reading the new Smithsonian aloud to them. He shared cheddar popcorn from the bowl in his lap.
Puff got a bubble bath and a cuddle dry session wrapped in big fluffy towels and tucked in Steve's arms. She loves the Spa at Chez Steve.
Benson threw himself belly up in front of Steve and asked for a tummy rub. Steve shifted to sit on the floor next to him and granted his wish. Steve laughed when Mr. B turned onto his hip to expose more of his underside--begging for his dad to continue and not stop. He wrapped his front paws around Steve's arm and fell asleep, blissful.
While Steve was putting away clean clothes, Bella actually tapped Steve's leg in her excitement for his attention. She did her crazy sit dance and then pressed close. She allowed Steve to lift her into his lap and massage her feet. After, she pointedly reminded him that a treat was in order. Quietly so that they were heard by no one but Opal, they shared a few yummies.
And Opal stayed inside for praise and softly tossed rewards. Still very shy, our girl usually grabs a single treat and runs outside. Not today. She and Steve (Bella had dashed off to check the White Dog Army's window song) kept right inside the dog door, looked directly at him and gobbled up the handful of training treats he tossed one-by-one.
"Zsofia," he called and jingled her harness. "YoYo!" The two looked puzzled for only a second before realizing that they were going on a Bonus Walk. Tails started thumping as they tried to stay calm until their gear was fastened...and then they were loping down the drive.
Yo came running into the office first when they returned. "Have a good time?" I asked and noticed he did not look happy. Then I heard Steve groan. We went out to the living room. Zsofia was standing in the doorway where he clung. "What?"
"We were about a half mile from home and I stupidly stepped in a pothole, a little one, I didn't even see it. I think I twisted my ankle."
The White Dog Army surged around and we managed to hop him over to the couch and get his leg up. He cried out when I took off the shoe and Pearly jumped up next to him, defensively. "It is all right everyone," I told them. "Let's take a look."
All ready the ankle was getting puffy and off-colored. And Steve winced when I pressed the area right above his ankle bump. I went to grab the frozen veggie bag we keep just for these kinds of events.
The White Dogs were dividing up nursing duties when I returned and handed him the ice pack. "Leg up. Ice for twenty minutes." Then I looked at the WDA. "You heard me. He is NOT to be walking around and must keep his leg elevated. It is YOUR job to keep him there."
As I went to find the sports bandage, I heard Zso wooing at Steve. WD and Nilla joined Pearl and Sachi on the couch with Steve. The others milled around him on the floor. Even Opal stood watch from the hallway. "Good," I thought to myself. "They will make sure he follows what is best." Of course, tomorrow at school...that will be a different story.