White Dog leaned against me later and said, "I know how hard and how long you have worked for this moment, momma. It was beautiful to see.
Puff has been, in her life with the White Dog Army, my hardest girl to convince...convince that she was safe...convince that living indoors was a good thing...convince that she needed to swallow pills...convince to trust me. She and Steve have had a special relationship since the day he flew with Terry in the tiny racing plane to rescue her in Kansas; he carried Puff back wrapped tightly in his arms cradling her ears against the loud noises of flight.
For the first month I despaired because she ran from me and would not make eye contact let alone let me touch her. The tears I wept into White Dog's fur over what I thought was a total rejection prompted the Little White Dog of My Heart to advise me to just give her space and time. I remember answering, "A hundred years and two thousand miles are not going to make this girl love me."
White Dog was right of course. Nearly six years later and our life journey has taken us from soaring like eagles to falling like Icarus as we faced Puff's health issues and the changes of the White Dog Army.
Puff, at eighteen is at the end stage of her life, tough little Warrior with the independence and moxie of a street thug, not afraid to shake her paw and howl that she is NOT about to surrender. She is the one who is my choice as a partner in a bar fight...and is my inspiration. But these past months have mellowed her and opened her up to be held and cuddled...something she would kick and struggle against before...
...and for the first time ever she allowed me to kiss her on the nose. A big soft gentle smooch while holding her face in my hands and staring into those deep brown eyes.
And she didn't try to nip or twist her head away, or spit. She breathed in the love trustingly.