Friday, December 14, 2012

Jack the Wonder Dog

So, when I've left home before, I've missed a lot of different things. The first time I came to live in the United Kingdom, by the time I was getting ready to head home, I really wanted a vanilla milkshake from my favorite burger joint in my home town. When I lived in California and Virginia, I missed temperate weather. When I was in the Middle East, I really missed women who weren't covered from head to toe in flowing black abayas. And sleep, I missed sleep a lot. So, what do I miss now that I've passed the two month mark here in Scotland?

The dog. I miss the family dog. He's a seven year old Labrador named Jack, and he's awesome, and I miss him. I'm fond of pointing out that I actually like Jack more than most people - maybe even all people, but the jury's still out. That's not so much an indictment on people as it is an indicator of how awesome Jack is.

One of my favorite memories of Jack is from right before I left in September. I was visiting my parents at their vacation home, and I was sitting in the chair right next to Jack's rug. Jack absolutely refused to let me do whatever it was I was trying to do (probably messing around with my Kindle Fire), and kept nudging his nose under my elbow until I succumbed and spent ages rubbing his belly, or between his ears, or wherever it was that I could reach. He didn't really care very much where I was scratching him, just that I was doing it. We'd been through this exercise on previous visits to the vacation home, so Jack knew exactly what he was doing. I'm not much on insistent or high maintenance people, but with Jack, it's endearing.

I miss the dog. I miss sitting in the family room or at the vacation cabin with him there, I miss going on walks and playing fetch with him, I miss stopping by in the middle of the day when my folks are out of town and refreshing his water. I knew I'd miss him, but I didn't expect that spending time with him would be very nearly the only thing I'd miss. I'm bugging my folks to send me some pictures of him, and I took some pictures off of my phone that I'd taken while I was living back in the States and used them to update the "Jack the Wonder Dog" album I keep on Facebook. One of my favorites is the one up there with him and the drumsticks. I added a caption to that one on Facebook that says:

"What do you mean, 'You're not in the band, you're a dog'? I'll make you a deal. You worry about keeping those groupies away from Chris Isaak, and I'll worry about laying down the beat."
Oh, well, I guess the hardship of being separated from Jack is just the price I have to pay - after all, it's not as if the actual coursework is proving extremely difficult. Still, I'll be quite glad to see Jack when I finally make it back home, whenever that may be.

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