"What the double dog, Dad? I have seen enough and it is cold; take me inside and make hot oatmeal for my breakfast, please...Quickly, before those two snow loving lunatic sisters come back out and raise plumes of this wet stuff"
White Dog let Steve carry her out and set her down. Before he could even straighten up she tapped his leg to be picked up and returned inside.
It was a lopsided but divided camp today with the White Dog Army. Those who took one step outside into the snow and rushed back in to warm paws and cold bellies near the heating vents or on blanket covered beds.
White Dog, Steve and the rest of the White Dog Army got busy right after dinner. All of the windows were completely closed. Swamp cooler vents were switched shut. The thermostat was adjusted.
"What is everyone doing?" I asked innocently. "Can't you feel it, momma?" Tizenegy asked me. "A BIG shift in the weather is coming," Roman told me. "We are preparing for it to hit during the night," Bella manically gushed.
Steve walked past carrying the winter blankets for the bed. "The weather report indicates the temperature is going down to the twenties tonight and will only be forty tomorrow. We are supposed to get snow over the next couple of days."
"I think WE are a lot more reliable than your computer when it comes to the weather," White Dog responded in a somewhat miffed tone. "Tiz, Roman and I can feel it in our bones. Zsofia and Bailey just keep sticking their heads out of the dog door in anticipation. Opal is busy building a deep nest with the dog blankets and poor Bella gets more confused whenever there is a change in air pressure. You can see already that she will be awake all night."
I opened my arms to my family. "Remember, you are all safe. You are inside and warm. We will be comfortable no matter what happens outside. Even the winds are just scary noise. Dad will be with you for night-night walks, be sure to take care of business so you do not need to brave the cold in the night for that. Let's do what packs have done since the beginning of time...huddle together and share our heat."
White Dog had warned Steve. If you watch a movie in the middle of the afternoon, popcorn is going to be expected. Steve argued, "No pup will even think about popcorn it is not our regular movie time AND regular afternoon jerky time is not for hours."
"White Dog! Dad! Come look at this," Bella called as we were making salads for dinner. She showed them the package. "These were named after me!" she said.
Asta and Charly are very dear terrier friends who live in Budapest. Asta and White Dog go way back and we have known Charly since he found his forever home with the family. Of course, I would help, I told them. "Can we make it a blog?" White Dog asked. "I want to be sure they see it; their life is a bit overturned right now."
"Dearest Asta and Charly," they began. ""And maybe we should mention their mommi and daddi, too," Bella suggested.
Dear Asta, Charly, Ami and George,
When we heard how very sick Daddi is, we all wanted to hop on a plane and fly to your rescue but flying is not safe, momma says, and we would have to quarantine when we arrived.
Then we thought we would cook up lots of meals and send them so you would not need to fuss but would still eat well. Our Dad is a great cook and Roman is an excellent helper. Bailey said that the food would be cold and icky by the time it got there and if Bai says it will be no good, you had better believe it. Besides, Tizenegy thinks that Hungarian pups might not like American food like tacos, or stirfry, or rigatoni, or goulash.
Opal wanted to send a thousand stuffies to hold and cuddle to provide comfort and reassurance but Momma was pretty sure we did not have a mailing box big enough to hold one thousand toys.
We know you must all be very scared and worried about your Daddi. He is very sick. We too, are fearful because nobody seems to know much about this COVID sickness. There seems to be a lot of counting on belief, and love, and prayers to provide healing. We know about the amazing power of love here in the White Dog Army. And we know hundreds of paws and hands are clasped together to wrap your family in a shield of love. It is powerful medicine.
We want you all to know that White Dogs are powerful Spirit Animals in the culture of our place. We are messengers between people and the gods. And we all, even the darkest White Ones, even the White Ones over the Bridge, are making sure your Daddi's need to get well so he can go home are heard. Zsofia has organized a special time tonight to sit on the deck and watch the meteors...actually not to watch but to send our strength and support tied to their tails and to direct them to you all. And we are going to ask everyone who reads this letter to do the same. Look for hundreds of messages of love and hope in the sparkling night.
Time and love. We believe.
Your caring friends.
Siku Marie, Bella, Zsofia, Opal, Bailey, Roman and Tizenegy...and momma and dad.
White Dog came through the dog door and walked past Zsofia's sleeping crate which everyone "borrows" during the day. She paused at my leg and whispered, "Don't turn your head or notice because it will spoil the moment but you won't believe what Roman is doing."
Now that could have been a fright or a wonder but I could hear the noises...the crinkling and smooshing. I messaged Steve: Come in with camera ready and photograph Roman. It is a special moment. I took no notice and kept working.
Even at that I was not sure that Roman would not look up hearing the motion or stop his concentrated play before the shot could capture the moment, but Steve managed to fire off two clicks before everyone else crowded in to see.
Roman was playing. He was totally focused on the fun of making the unstuffie crinkle as he twisted it and turned it over and grabbed at it with paws and teeth. He was playing! Something Roman seldom lets down his guard enough to do. It was a moment of puppy joy.
White Dog softly said, "It looks more and more like the furs are never going to be the same." She was referring to the spot on Tizenegy's side that had overcome the fungal infection that was so stubborn. The itchiness and fungal growth is gone; Dr. Julia has pronounced the skin healed and has advised to apply the cream if we should see signs of its return.
The patch, however, is covered with a baby fuzz that is thin and nowhere near as lush as the rest of Tiz's coat. He receives extra fish oil and skin vitamins but so far nothing has spurred a miracle growth of his double coat. The area is fine otherwise; it is not sensitive or tender to touch.
Bella reminds us that old age sometimes brings about body and metabolic changes that alter how we look. "Humans get bald, this is really no different." She pointed out. "I have learned to accept that the furs on my tail have become sparse and are not the plume they once formed."
"Besides," agreed White Dog, "I would rather have Tizenegy walking well and not be hobbled by pain. THAT is much more important than floofiness."
And in this momma's eyes, each of the White Dog Army is the most beautiful "self" each could possibly be.