The rest of the White Dog Army was curious and looked at their leader. "Doesn't any one remember this is Nilla's gotcha Day?" White Dog asked them. "She has been with us one year!"
"Is that one year since she joined us as a foster or one year since she officially became a member of the White Dog Army?" Zsofia wanted to know. "If I remember it was kind of confusing."
"Well, first, ANY pup who comes to live with us IS a member of the WDA. But second, from the moment we first held her in our arms there was no question that she was going to stay with us forever."
It was just a matter of paperwork with the City Shelter. Nilla came to us at 14 as pat of the Hospice Foster Program, of which we are part. The Coordinator knows of our White Dogs and felt that Nilla would never be adopted because of her age which would consequently put her at risk should the Shelter become overcrowded.
At least so we thought, as did Shelly, the coordinator.
And life was good. Much later in the summer when renewing our multidog permit with the same folks, we listed Nilla as a foster in their program. "No she is not," the officer told us. "You are listed here as the owners. You adopted her. And you need to license her."
We called Shelly who was just as puzzled but called back to ask if indeed we wanted Nilla as our own. "Frankly, despite her foster status, we assumed she would be with us the rest of her life," Steve told Shelly. "of course we want her!" Shelly made sure that paperwork reflected as a hospice adoptee that Nilla was entitled to a free city license for one year and sent us all of her official information.
"So to answer your question, Zso," I told her, "the day she came here is her gotcha day...today. And White Dog has asked that we take our special girl to the park seeing as how she had such a marvelous time when last she was there."
WD and Nilla spent nearly two perfect hours in the sunshine and grass. My office manager, Nilla, was in bliss.
After, the WDA grilled her about the time there and teased her about the grasses in her furs.
"So when is the celebration feast?" the Army wanted to know. "And what are we having?"
"Nilla has asked for rumaki, the kind with chicken livers and bacon. And mashed carrots with cinnamon. For dessert Stormer and Sachi helped Steve make a pumpkin cake which will be served with fresh whipped cream."
"Really, whipped cream?" Nilla was so excited. "Yep, my love, take a post-park nap and when you wake up we will begin the party!"
"Nilla?" The White Dog Army stopped her as she headed toward her mattress. She paused and looked over her shoulder. "Happy Gotcha Day! We are so lucky you are one of us."
She grinned from ear-to-ear as she went to lie down.