Dogsick

We’ve all heard the term “homesick.” A friend of mine just brought home a puppy to foster (already a complete failure—they are keeping her), and the photos she is posting on Facebook are giving me a terrible case of dogsickness.

I miss the wet nose poking through the covers at 6 o’clock in the morning. I miss tripping over toys happily left all over the house. I miss knowing that if anyone were ever foolish enough to try to break in, they would immediately be found out and probably have at least a big rip in their favorite pair of burglary-committing jeans.

Okay, I don’t miss walks during a blizzard.

But everything else, pretty much everything else, I am just dogsick over.

Our border collie passed at age 15, just about two years ago now, and it’s still hard to believe she’s really gone. As difficult a dog as she was—and she was difficult—I miss her profoundly every day. Maybe I miss her because she was difficult, the way you miss a complex, one-of-a-kind human. Everyone likes to say, “My dog is just like a person,” but that dog was scary-smart and observant in a way we all wish our human friends could be. She saw straight through you, the good and bad; all of it. She knew me. Such a luxury, especially since she couldn’t talk, couldn’t spill the beans.

We will adopt another dog eventually. We’ll move to a farm and build a fence, or maybe we won’t even need one. Maybe we’ll luck out on one of those magic dogs that always listen, can anticipate your every need, and never run away. Like Goliath, the talking clay animation dog who softly advises Davey, and only Davey. That’s what I want: a talking dog who only talks to me. I’ve never really stopped hoping Goliath was real.

For now, I’ll have to settle for vicarious enjoyment of my friend’s good fortune. And I suppose there will be days when I read her frustrated-owner Facebook posts and chuckle to myself, “Uh oh, glad I don’t have a puppy.”

I’ll just keep reminding myself about those blizzards.

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