I knew we would only have a few minutes to debrief before he fell fast asleep in the back seat, so I chose to ask three questions:
- What were the highlights?
- Any Lowlights?
- Was there anything different about camp this year?
I understood exactly what he meant by those two words, despite that she isn’t all that new and isn’t really a puppy. She’s already more than eighteen months old and has been part of our pack for more than six months.
I also missed home more this year; I returned home twice on my Wednesdays off, which I’d never done in my previous nine summers at camp. I missed my spouse and my daughters, I missed reliable WiFi and, I’m not ashamed to admit, I missed Luna.
* * * * * * *
I rescued Luna in early December, after her thirty day stint in the county shelter. It was eleven weeks after Jenna’s death. When she died, my son and I began lobbying for another dog almost immediately. His sisters and, moreover, the top dog of our pack, were not ready. My son and I waited with mounting impatience.
I knew I needed a totally different dog—a younger, leaner one—that I’d be able to lift into the car if necessary. My son and I were visiting Petfinder and other rescue sites daily, looking for a mutt who was already house-trained, who would presumably not suffer from some of the health issues that afflict full-bred canines.
I struck up an email correspondence with one of the volunteers at the shelter. She asked me a lot of questions about our family make-up, our experience with our first dog and our expectations regarding our next dog. We made a date for noon on Thursday, and she promised to bring several dogs that would be “a good fit for our family” out to meet me.
At the time, I had doubts; I dismissed them as dog people. Driving home from camp, after five weeks without regular access to puppy love, I’d come to the realization that I too am a dog person.