I didn’t realize how much time I actually spend with my dog Luka on a daily basis until I was separated from him with a distance of several thousand miles. It’s one of those things you don’t exactly realize that you miss until it’s temporarily not in your life, and he is always by my side. My dog is a typical miniature dachshund. He sleeps burrowed almost all day long when he’s not attacking the cat, running in circles, or dragging the blankets off the bed. He usually sleeps beside me, chews on his bones beside me, and he even hangs out with me (sleeping) when I am cleaning or studying at my desk. I always walk him, and I think I enjoy it more than he does. Walking always clears my head.
I never perceived myself as a dog person. When I was about four or five years old, my dad owned two hyperactive dogs that just appeared at his house one day, which he, or someone quickly named Scruffy and Bandit. They were sweet dogs, I now remember as I think back on those memories from my point of view today. They usually dug new holes every day in my Dad’s yard and would escape and run straight down the street to the house of an elderly man, who always promptly appeared in his front yard, shouting and waving a rifle. The dogs used to jump on everyone whenever there was anyone around to play with, and they without fail always knocked me down into the dirt, and I disliked dogs after that.
I however realize that I am in fact a definite dog person as I write this slightly comical blog about missing my dog. I am happy to live in a city with so many (mostly) friendly dogs that are cared for by the population. Encounters with the friendly and plump Labrador that lives at the bar Cheers across the street are always a highlight of my day when he is around lounging in the sun or on the cool pavement. I am sure over 300 people pet him every day, but it makes my day to give him some attention because I miss my own canine. My student group and our director all miss something from home, and a few of us miss our dogs. I expected to learn various things about myself as I always do when I am out of the country, and I am learning that not all knowledge gained in that capacity is always profound and compelling. It is sometimes just about discerning subtle discoveries./