January 27, 2022

When the rescue first called all those years ago to say they had pulled two Eskie girls from Auction, my friend there said, "They have had rough lives and are not as beautiful as your dogs all are but I thought you might maybe know someone..."

Of course we did; and Pearl and Opal came to join the White Dog Army.

She was wrong about one thing. Opal's beauty catches my breath at least eighteen times a day.

And Pearl was a shining beacon in the window until she passed.


January 26, 2022

Because it is impossible for Roman to eat ice cream from a spoon he remains in his crate until after dessert has been shared. He measures every spoonful each of his sisters receive and calculates how much should remain in the bowl for him to enjoy.

Truth be told, momma always saves a touch "extra" as a reward for his patience. After the others have eaten and licked their spoonsful and wandered off, Roman comes over and sits politely waiting to be asked, "Would you care for some (flavor of the day) ice cream?" Tonight, it was mint but the answer is never "No Thank You."

On occasion, one or another of the others must be waved off with the reminder, "You have had yours, now leave Roman be." It took Diva no time at all to try the "sit off at a distance and look like the Margaret Keane big-eyed waif" model of begging; it sometimes works on dad but momma is too hard hearted for the pity thing to play well. Mis D sighs and trundles off looking for the more understanding dad...and Roman finishes his dessert in peace.



January 25, 2022

The White Dog Army has a synchronized internal clock that alerts the entire family when it is dinner time. 

This is the Army at 6:48pm. Note the building tension and anticipation.

This is the WDA at 7:07pm; a full SEVEN minutes past serving time. Note the looks of disapproval and the onset of concern that they MAY NEVER EAT AGAIN!


January 24, 2022

"Hey, momma? Are you busy?" Bailey politely asked for my attention. I stopped and turned to look at her. "What do you need, My Sweet Girl?"

"I am not sure," she said, "I am feeling anxious but do not have a reason. Could you maybe just wrap your arm around me and rub my ears? You always make me feel safe."

"Hop up Bai and let's share some love...and how about a cookie? But chew quietly and do not tell the others."


January 23, 2022

 She stomped in and sat sullenly at my feet. "How come Roman gets to always be Dad's kitchen helper?" Diva asked. "Dad is doing some crazy stuff and he won't let me in to help."

I smiled. "He is making meals for the White Dog Army," I told her. "When he is done this afternoon you will have meals for a month in the freezer so at dinnertime Dad just has to serve it up."

"But how come he won't let me into help.?" "Sweet Girl, there are a couple of reasons." 

"One, you are small and would be a workplace hazard for tripping dad as he carries bowls, moves around to chop things, and such. Things could be spilled on you. You would be underfoot." "But Roman..." I stopped her. "Roman is much bigger than you and he knows where to sit and watch where he is not in the flow of production. He has helped for a very long time."

"It smells SO good," Diva yipped. "I know," I agreed. "And that is the second reason. Dad wants to efficiently cook and he can't get things done if he is constantly stopping and handing out samples to the chef's assistants. He has a policy that when he is done, EVERY pup gets to sample the results; not even Roman gets bites before then (I did not mention the clean up things dropped clause of Roman's contract)"

"I hate being away from Dad," Diva confessed. "I do not like it when I cannot be next to him." "I know, D, but it is not really being away from him if you sit on the other side of the kitchen gate where he is just steps away and you can watch everything that goes on. Go and sit on the orange rug and observe; if nothing else it will help you appreciate how much love dad puts into your meals."
"After all that," Roman said, "Diva took your advice about the rug by the kitchen gate...only she took a nap."


January 22, 2022

White Dog was the entry into a community of bloggers with dogs that was at first a satisfying place to share stories knowing that the others would understand and nod in that not sure whether to laugh or shake one's head kind of way.

Over time, years and years and years, we lived each other's ebb and flow, arrivals and departures. Suddenly White Dog was a wise elder in what had become a FAMILY of bloggers. The connections were beyond just all having dogs...it was smiles as children grew up...cheers when new members joined the pack...tears and hugs as life situations changed. We clung to each other through it all knowing to always trust our dogs. We sustained each other even as many drifted from the traditional blog to the new "social media" and we refound each other there.

The White Dog Army, I always laughed with Siku, has grown up under the gaze of the biggest family ever. And like distant aunts, uncles, cousins, individuals might not always be heard but could be always be felt.

We struggle a little more now that White Dog has gone but we cannot escape the paws and arms holding us up as we transition. It is little, and not so little moments, that water our garden of hope and the future.

Gus and Teka's mom made us smile with her well-crafted tribute ala Gilbert and Sullivan. The WDA spent time remembering that theater runs in our community from the summer of the pandemic's production of Hamlet to opera nights at home to Siku's Hollywood debut at Shakespeare in the Park. 

And in the mail today, came these:

A pair of amazingly quilted pillows in recognition to the White Dog Army' heavenly brigade. What's Her Name, momma from Doxies With Moxie (a pack large and as deeply rooted in the blog world as we are), hand crafted these cherished treasures. Thankfully, the pillows seem impervious to momma tears. 

It humbles us to be cared for with such love and concern for our pain. So many of you regularly "stop by" with words of comfort and encouragement that it will get easier. We absolutely adore those of you who have been at our side long enough to quote our own motto back to us...

"time and love."

We cannot say thank you enough. 


January 21, 2022

 "We had an easy answer when momma asked, 'why do tortillas always come in such big packages? They do not keep well or freeze and even eight is way more than we need for dinner.'" Zsofia said.

"Ummm, momma? How about we ALL have fish tacos for dinner? Three you and dad need plus five...WOW! that is eight!...exactly what is in the pack."

"We agree that it is very strange that shredded coleslaw veggies are not available anywhere in town but we have brussels sprouts which are little cabbages. You can chop them up and quick cook them, mix in some of your famous peppery coleslaw dressing and all dad needs to do is grill the mahi-mahi plop it on top and warm the blue corn rounds to stuff everything inside." 

"Sister, you should have your own cooking show," Bailey encouraged. "But what is on the dessert menu?" Opal wanted to know.

Zsofia thought a moment then looked at me. "We have a mango that is near its end; Roman can help dad make a quick mango custard and we can dollop whipped cream on it."

"Suddenly, this is sounding like a fiesta," I told her. "All toward the goal of not wasting tortillas. Convince the rest, and let's do it!"



January 20, 2022

"I was just minding my business being a good boy when the Little Squeaker gets a gleam in her eye. Oh-oh, I think to myself, this cannot be good. And I was right because she started trying to push my buttons.

"First, she comes under dad's legs to try to take away the attention he was giving me. I growled a little warning and she acted all 'I was doing nothing and that ferocious beast nearly killed me' and dad was starting to yell at me but momma stepped in."

"Diva, do NOT be an be instigator. Leave Roman alone and share dad's attentions," she said.

"Then I went over to rest on the other side of the coffee table and Miss D (for Demon) HAD to come and stretch her short little legs right by me. So I decided to go into the kitchen. Yep, she actually RAN to get there first. She never goes in the kitchen but there she was, right in the middle of the room crying for Dad like she had fallen into a well or something that kept her from just walking out.

"He made us BOTH get out of the kitchen and closed the gate so my littlest sister decided she just HAD to lie in the spot I always do; she even stuck her tongue out! Momma, told me to go up on the couch and warned Diva she was getting VERY close to going in time out."

"I went over to sit next to momma and give her kisses. She said she was proud that I used my head and my heart and kept calm. She told me I was a VERY good boy; she did not call Diva a good girl."


January 19, 2022

"Momma, I know this rainy afternoon has you thinking of Siku and missing her. I will sit here and you can wrap your arm around me to feel my soft furs and warmth. Maybe that way you will not be so sad."

"Sweetest Opal, I can always count on you to take care of me. I welcome your company but my sadness is part of grieving; you cannot fix it. Let us sit together wrapped in the comfort love provides."

January 18, 2022

"MY dad!" "No, I have been his Itty Bitty Baby a LONG time!" 

And from next to him, on the sofa, "I am going to share his dinner!" "No, you are not." "Well, I COULD!"

Roman and I sat across the room, safe from the onslaught of love.