Home at Last

Stillwater Diary, April 28, 2016

I love the moment my dog realizes she’s almost home.

For half a second, she can’t quite believe it. Tension hangs in the air as she quests with her nose, testing and searching. Then some scent strikes her as so fully familiar that she knows, with sudden certainty, she’s nearly there.

Chloe - Homeward Bound
When I took this photo, Chloe and I had been away from Stillwater almost a month. As we got closer and closer, she became more and more restless, as if she smelled something familiar but couldn’t quite place it.

Suddenly, she caught that certain scent and her whole demeanor changed; she became a very tall dog, with a very long neck. She gave me a quick glance for confirmation, questioning me with a long whine as if she couldn’t quite believe we were actually coming home at last. Then she fixed her eyes on the road with unwavering attention, as if she could drink up the miles and get there faster.

When we finally pulled into the driveway and parked, she and Jesse shot out of the car like a couple of guided missiles set for Stillwater. They rocketed around the yard, the stream, the rocks, the forest, wild with joy, drunk on happiness. I was tempted to join them, but like the boring human I am, I went inside and made dinner instead.

They were pretty happy about that, too.

This was a very good day.