It's been a week and a half since I left my best friend dog. I have a week and a half left to go. I told him when I left that if I could take him with me I would but unfortunately work did not support this and I didn't think I wanted to have him in an airplane as much as I could help it.
"Now, I have done the very best that I can to get you people to spend time with you, let you out, go for walks. I have Laura and Katie living here. Neither of them are use to you and I know your routine is going to be off, but try your hardest to be on your best behavior so that I still have human friends when I return as well."
His level of listening more often involved chewing on something.
As the time drew closer, as I shoved clothes in a suitcase and our belongings in boxes, I felt guilty for not being able to spend all my time focused on him.
"Orion, I am going to miss you. I wish I could play all day with you but we are moving the day I get back so we have to get this place packed up."
He just did his Orion thing and trotted along behind me, in and out of rooms, toting whatever food treat toy I had given him.
Days drew closer and I became more and more stressed out trying to organize the details.
I laid in bed the day before leaving, curled up next to the boy, ready for bed, "Truth be, I'm nervous about leaving. I like knowing you're around to come home to, to talk to, and I kind of rely on you for my emotional support. I'm use to you. And I'll miss you booger." He continued sleeping. "I'm coming back. Don't go thinking I've abandoned you. I have to go on this trip and then it'll be a little weird because we're moving and getting a housemate... but I think you'll like the housemate, and I think it'll be better for you because you won't have to spend as much time in your crate. You've met Jamie and are fine with her..." Still sleeps.
I call and check in on my friend. She's sounding frazzled. I do my best to explain his behavioral patterns, what he needs to make her life more sane. "Oh, we're getting along fine, I just think you might be a bit of a masocist. Clearly Orion has more energy than I do." I call later, she sounds better. I suspect she will not choose a labrador for her first dog.
I call the second friend a week and a half later, "He's been barking for three hours. I don't know what's wrong."
"He doesn't stay in his crate when people are home. He sleeps with you or roams the house. That's why."
"Huh. Well he's quiet now."
Oh my boy, I think. He must not have listened to all I was saying and is probably all stressed out by all the comings and goings and me not showing up in all of this. Oh dear Orion, I will be home as soon as I can.
But it is just the half way mark today.
Most of the first week I was busy with the bustle of learning, new place, new routine, new time zone, too flipping tired to think of anything else. But now it is the second week and I am thinking about all the patience of my friends taking care of my dog. The schedule of half my colleagues coming by to walk him. Of the friend who's stationed at the apartment for the week.
And I realize, a. I have amazing friends and b. I miss my dog.