White Dog sniffed Steve's eyeballs and grunted. Then her phalanx of nursing assistants came up to add their assessment. They huddled in conference. WD broke out of the pack to approach Steve; she put her nose on the side of his face and smelled his breath. "Skin hot. icky breath." she muttered. Steve held his hand up to his mouth to try to smell his own breath while she returned to the others.
Zso went over and laid her head on his stomach...listening.
Then Steve found himself surrounded by the entire White Dog Army medical staff. "You have sickies," WD concluded to a blizzard of tails wagging in agreement. "But I am feeling MUCH better than I did earlier when I thought I was getting sick." "You ARE sick," White Dog patiently explained."You are running a fever, your eyes are gunky, your breath sweet, and Zos says your tummy is all gurgly."
"Momma and I are supposed to go to a exhibition opening tonight," he began to explain. Every pup looked at me. "My love, if you are getting sick it is better to catch it now and take a night to be easy, baby yourself, and go to bed early. You really do not want something to sneak up and hit you and take you down for a week. Especially with being so new in your job."
"But we were going out to dinner. You have nothing prepared." Steve protested. Trixie and Stormer went out to the kitchen and stared at the carryout menu drawer. "There you go. Dinner solved. Something light or is this a spicy-food sicky?"
Steve chose simple fried rice from the standby Chinese place. "If it smells good, can I have a few bites of your curry beef?" he asked. I nodded and started to close the menu. "And yes, I will order 12 pot stickers for your caregivers...and you can have the extra."
Watched like a science experiment as he ate, the WDA smiled when he asked for some curry, but reminded him to increase his water intake. After sharing fortune cookies, the WDA's said, "Expect a guest or favorite visitor soon" (which caused a temporary distraction as every pup ran to the window to look out), Steve's vitals were retaken.
WD made a decision that the Army would attend to bedtime walks early to allow Steve to get comfortable and rest. As the first wave of White Dogs left the house, WD reminded them to "go easy on the patient."
The words we heard as the door shut and Storm, Trixie, Pearl, Benson, and Bella headed briskly down the drive were "Don't worry, we got this!"