Today after work, we dropped Scout off at a boarding place outside the city. We’re heading to a wedding this weekend, and will not be back in time to take care of her. She loves this place—loads of playtime with other dogs, afternoon hikes, playing in the hose…If there was a Heaven for her that didn’t involve us (which I like to think there isn’t), this would be it.
Except, it isn’t so much fun for me. In fact, I’ve surprised myself by how motherly I feel whenever I have to leave her to go out of town. Though it makes me feel better knowing that she’s so happy, I can’t help but be sad when I drop her off and she runs away without a glance, joyous at the sight of the other dogs. “Don’t you want to say goodbye?” I call after her. B pats me on the back, and I realize that I’m being a Mom with a capital “m.”
The truth is, I don’t want her to not be at the house when I get home. There’s no smiling face when I open the door, no one waiting with bated breath as I put down my purse and take off my shoes, the universal sign that I’m home for the night. There are no jingling sounds from her collar as she walks into a room, or the sound of her sneezing, man-like, from two rooms away. The toys sit unloved in the spots where she left them.
There are no nuzzles and puppy kisses, no big brown eyes asking me if it’s time to throw the ball or go for a jog. And as annoying as that is at 5 o’clock on a Thursday when my feet hurt and I’m tired and I just want to sit on the couch, without it, something just isn’t complete. There’s the knowledge inside the silence filling the house that she won’t be snuggled up under the bed in the morning, waiting for me.
But as I type this, Zoey sits in my lap, purring away happily. A little uninterrupted A-and-Z time. She is very happy to receive it, and I’m very happy to give it. I try to ignore the quiet and give Zoey some us time, which she deserves just as much as Scout does. And after all, Scout will be back soon, and all can go back to normal.
Can you see Zoey, her black tail on the other side of Scout?