No doubt about it, dogs have a sixth sense. They can predict things before they happen. You hear about it all the time - the dogs going crazy before an earthquake, becoming restless when a predator is coming, getting antsy when the mail is about to be delivered, knowing exactly where to roll in order to get the maximum stink value.
Sebastian knows when I am going on vacation. He can pick it up as quickly as the scent of a dead squirrel in the park. I've tried everything because Sebastian makes leaving him behind for a couple of days about as pleasant as black fly season in upstate New York. He KNOWS the difference between me leaving for an hour or two and me leaving for a week. My latest trick was to pack 5 days in advance to throw him off, but he knew something was up immediately.
So the bag was in my car for five days. One would think that he might forget about the whole thing. Not so. On certain things he has a mind like a steal trap: Where his bones are buried, what day his favorite secretary is coming to work, and that I have packed bags in the car.
So he starts to get a little clingy. Make that very clingy.
Now, I will admit that being appreciated is a very nice thing. But it can be wearing. As the date for departure grew nearer, Sebastian became more insecure. At night he would rest his big head on my bed and whimper. He's a good sized dog so his head is high enough to make it to the height of the bed and that noggin must weigh about 10 pounds all by itself and so makes it self known not only by its whimpering noises but in the bounce of the bed as he slams it down several times just to let me know that he is there.
One time when he was doing this I let him up on the bed thinking that it would ease his anxiety. The only thing it did was increase mine. He sighed. A lot. He also runs and talks in his sleep emitting little puffs of barks while his legs twitch back and forth. AND he is a bed hog, pushing, pushing, pushing until I am on a sliver of bed, have to get up, walk around, and sleep on the wide open expanse on the other side.
The day before I leave it reaches a climax. It becomes difficult to leave the house whatsoever.
Being finally on vacation I am plagued by thoughts of how Sebastian is getting along. Is he Okay? Is he still sane? Is he tearing the place up? Is he in a depressed stupor? Is he mad at me? Does he even notice that I'm gone? Is this what people with small children go through?
So I say a prayer and try to send it to him, to calm and soothe him. Do I worry about the parish? No. There are competent people there to handle everything. But Sebastian . . .
On the way home I look forward to seeing him above everything else. Is that pathetic or what? But of course, all this also has its advantages . . .