Sunday, February 7, 2010


It is one in the morning. I have just come home from a birthday party. It was not a long drive but my fingers are still cold from clutching the steering wheel and my glasses have fogged up from the short walk between my car and my apartment. Duncan has been sitting on my bed dozing, his face turned to the window. When the car pulled into my spot he perked up, stood and leaned his nose against the glass watching me gather my things and climb out. By the time I reach the second landing I can hear him at the front door, whining and chirping, and even though it is silent, I know his back end is shaking ferociously from side to side, his tail slapping against the closet and the bag of doggy bags I hang from its knob. By the third landing he is in full roar, unable to contain himself as my key slides into the lock and turns. Almost as soon as the door is open he is on me, leaping up, pressing his big, newly trimmed paws against my belly, pushing his warm nose into my chest, jumping as though to hug me. He grabs my hand softly in his warm, firm mouth and pulls me back outside, shimmying from side to side under the force of his tail. He leads me back down the stairs, across the drive and onto the grass, brittle and yellow, powdered white under a layer of crisp frost. He refuses to let go, refuses to tend to business, only wants to love me and welcome me home, standing back on his hind legs and nipping at my zipper, pushing against me like a child wanting to be picked up. I stroke the curling hair on his back, coo at him and kiss the top of his red, round head and tell him how happy I am to see him, how much I've missed him even though it's only been a few hours. And as we stand there together, dancing beneath Orion and The Dipper, I am grateful to have a friend such as this, to be welcomed home as though I'd been gone for years.


Marty said...

I travel a lot for work. My dogs are quite a lot older than Duncan and they cannot welcome me quite as energetically. Nonetheless, the welcome is invariably emphatic and loving. You would think I had been gone months as opposed to one or two days. Their welcome home is one of the top reasons to come home. They just love me simply and unconditionally.

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

Beautifully told.

There was an email chain going around about who loves you more...lock up your spouse and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour. When you open it, you'll know who is really the one excited to see you. Perfectly true, especially for Goldens. Happy Love Day to you both.

XOXO from San Diego