Out of all the people I’ve had to leave at home, my puppy dog was one of the most difficult. My dog Angel is a border collie, and I miss her terribly. When I came home from college this past December for winter break with all of my stuff, I could tell she was confused. Believe me, she’s a smart puppy, and knows very well that the boxes of supplies and college tools leave in fall and don’t return until spring. As I began to pack my suitcase for the flight in January (I pack way ahead of time), she was inconsolable. Usually she lazily trots behind me, or relaxes while watching me race around the house. When I pulled my suitcase out and began washing clothes her nose magically glued itself to my heels. I couldn’t turn around without tripping over her. My puppy shadow turned into a puppy can’t-leave-me-behind. I felt terrible, and I wasn’t leaving for another 3 weeks.
I completed most of my packing ahead of time, adding a few items as the days passed, and Angel settled a little. Only a little, mind you, because any time I headed out the door she frantically glanced to ensure my suitcase wasn’t with me. The final week at home was day after day of incessantly packing items that I’d been waiting upon, stressing over baggage limits, and judging what to take and what was unnecessary. Angel was once again stuck as close to me as possible without actually standing on me.
During the school year, I return home at least one weekend each month. There’s also school breaks and minor opportunities to see my Angel. However, with a 4 month stretch ahead of us, I didn’t know how to promise her I would return again. I figured it would be good for her to have a safety-blanket of sorts. She’s been with me for 9 years, and knows I come home, however I’ve never left her completely for more than a few weeks. My parents discouraged stuffed animals as puppy toys (they didn’t want the dogs chewing on our actual stuffed animals), but I wasn’t sure she’d like a blanket. Besides, I didn’t want to BUY her a toy that smelled like a store and not me. I knew she needed something with my scent.
I decided to sew her a pillow. I’ve had some experience sewing pillows, although the design I wanted to create was a bit different, and it didn’t turn out perfect. It doesn’t matter that the heart design is overly lopsided, what matters is that it was functional and that she saw me making it. Being stuck to my leg, she was there as I picked out the material from my vast collection, cut out the patterns, pinned the pieces, and sewed everything together. Finally, I stuffed the pillow and presented to her. Initially, she wasn’t overly interested in it, but since I’ve been gone, she’s been sleeping with it most nights. I’m incredibly happy, but also terribly sad because I miss her a ton.
It’s especially difficult here in Budapest where many people own dogs. I pass a variety of dogs each day, and for the most part they ignore me. A lot of dogs are walked off-leash in Budapest, and the dogs are well trained; they’re within their owner’s sight, and generally ignore other people and dogs. It’s also difficult because I can’t walk up to someone and say, “Can I pet your dog?” because there’s a 50% chance they won’t understand me and a 99% chance I’ll feel that I’m being a bother.
So, when my friend Clare announced that she had two dogs, I was thrilled to indulge in some doggie interactions, aka puppy love.
I truly believe that happiness is found in a warm puppy, and I found happiness with Judae and Buddy.
Clare’s dogs, Judae and Buddy provided plenty of comfort and attention. Even though seeing them made me miss Angel even more, it also helped a great deal. I hope to have many opportunities to visit Clare, Judae and Buddy. BreAnna and I already had some puppy healing time (cuddle time), and puppy play time at the park. Here are some photos:
Feb 23-26, 2012
BreAnna and Judae
Read Full Post »