Having been away for a few days to help my mother, I walked into the house to my happily leaping dogs. Graidy came rushing up the chair in front of me and used it like a springboard to catapult himself up into my arms. Kiera, wanting to lick my face, had trampoline feet, she was jumping so high.

Finally, I brushed them both off, so I could sit down on the floor. Then, and only then, could we give each other a proper greeting; me pulling them into my arms, them wildly licking any area of exposed skin — until such time as we all felt that we’d been satisfactorily reconnected.

Andrew, watching the mayhem, and knowing that I had to turn right around and go back out for a quick meeting, said, “That’s the first time I’ve seen Kiera with any energy since you left. She goes into a swoon when you’re not here, and just lays by the door waiting for your return.” (I can’t take Kiera to my mother’s because she and my mother’s dog don’t get along.)

This was Andrew’s way of letting me know that he wasn’t thrilled about me leaving the house so soon again, while being left to deal with a depressed dog.

“Kiera will be fine,” I said.

“How can you say that?” Andrew asked.

“Because I’m leaving the house empty-handed,” I said.

“What?”

“Both Kiera and Graidy know that if I walk out with a duffel bag, I’ll be gone at least overnight. If I walk out with a pocketbook, I’ll be gone for at least a few hours. And, if I leave empty-handed, I’ll be back before they know it.”

“Umhmm…,” Andrew answered, unconvinced.

“You’ll see. Somehow, they figure these things out; they just know.”

With that, I left, returned home in less than an hour, with both dogs calm and happy upon my return.

Haven’t your pets figured out your comings and goings?