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June 22, 2009

A Dog's Welcome

I know I write a lot about my dogs -- probably too much -- but I can't help it. I just love those boys -- and it seems like they are always reminding me about the important lessons of life. Today was no exception.

Today was such a gorgeous morning -- sunny with beautiful blue skies and cotton candy clouds (that were actually white instead of the grey that we've been seeing for most of the month of June). My office window was open just enough to let in a nice cool breeze. Truly a perfect morning, and I wanted to take advantage of it. I slipped on my sneakers and headed to the park across the street for a quick walk before the heat of summer overcame the breeze.

I know I should take the dogs with me when I walk, but for many reasons, I don't.

#1 - They've never been trained to walk on leashes, so walking them can only be described as a lesson in weaving, as they dart from side to side until their leashes are a tangled mess.

#2 - We have invisible fence which they are deathly afraid of. In order to get them to come across the street with me, I'd either have to carry them, or put them in the car and drive (which seems to defeat the purpose of using a park that's out our front door).

#3 -- There are two of them and only one of me. I am strong, but let's face it, if we came across another dog, or if a bird or bunny got their interest, I would be flat out on the ground.

#4 -- There are hundreds of trees at the park -- and dogs who walk there every day. I'd never get a good walk for all the trees we'd need to sniff (and mark).

Besides, Bear and Champ have free run of our yard all day and get plenty of exercise. I don't feel too bad about leaving them behind so I can get some exercise myself.

So anyway, off I went this morning. The sun was warm on my face, but the air was still cool -- perfect walking conditions. I didn't pass a soul on the first lap and when I walked by the house there was no sign of the dogs. The second lap was a little different -- several people (some with dogs, some without) had arrived at the park --which meant my dogs would be offering their usual "welcome to the neighborhood" greeting to each person and dog who walked by.

The neighborhood welcoming committee

Sure enough, when I rounded the final bend, about 1/8 of a mile from home, I saw them -- standing at attention on our front step, watching two walkers go by. They stood there, side-by-side, their bodies were still, just scanning the park to see who would be the next passerby. I could tell the moment that Bear saw me because his fluffy tail wagged ever so slightly. Three steps closer to home, and they both saw (and recognized) me and their whole bodies started wagging in excitement. Oh how they carried on, running back and forth across the yard, and jumping up on their hind legs as if to wave to me to make sure I saw them.

From across the park I imagined what was going through their minds:

"There she is! There she is! We've missed you!!"

"Woohoo! She's back! I hope she has TREATS!!"

It didn't matter that there were other dogs walking in front of the house. For that last stretch of my walk home, they saw only me -- and carried on in such a way to make sure I saw them too!

As I crossed the street and walked into the yard, the two of them lept around like fools, running circles around me, and pouncing on each other. If dogs could skip, that's what they were doing. They were SO HAPPY to see me. What a welcome home.

They skipped beside me all the way to the back door, and waited there as I went inside to fill a bowl of water for them. I poured myself a glass of water as well, and watched the two of them lap up what I had given them, then run out to the back yard to chase each other around for a few minutes before returning to their posts in the front yard.

I went back into the house and thought about the way the dogs greeted me versus how I greet the kids or Jeff when they come home after a day of work, school or play. I am embarrassed to say that I don't remember the last time I did anything besides shout out from my office, "Hi Honey! How was your day?"

How sad is that? The people who are nearest and dearest to my heart get a shout out -- when, in fact, they should be getting a hearty dog's welcome. It took my dogs to remind me how good it makes people feel to be greeted warmly, and to be shown how much they're loved.

Oh those little puppies -- they should be counselors or philosophers with all their life lessons. Once again -- dogs just get it.

Bear's generous kisses

Silly Champ loving life!


Brittany said...

Your fur-babies are precious!!!
Such sweet personalities. :)

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and encouraging words as I commit to losing weight. Your comment truly touched me, and having support makes this endeavor much easier.

Tonight, we run another mile, plus a fitness test and football drills. Whew!
I know that your encouragement will pull me through tonight. Thank you, again!


Kim said...

Isn't it the best feeling in the world to come home and know that you were missed!? Dog or not they brighten your day and that's what really matters! My cats get so excited when they see my car pull up and it's nice to know they noticed I was gone and missed me!