Zoey

A Dog’s Tale: Left Behind

In 52: A Dog's Life and Tales, Being Cute, Missing Mom, Shelley Widhalm on February 2, 2013 at 11:30 am

Zoey is anxious about her toys packed up in bags.

Zoey is anxious about her toys packed up in bags.


I am at Shelley’s dad’s house for my annual winter break. I don’t like the change, but then I get used to it.

Of course I like Shelley’s dad, but still this isn’t home.

So what I do is pout and cling, making sure The Dad doesn’t get out of sight.

Think of the movie “Ruby Sparks,” where a novelist named Paul Dano struggling with writer’s block invents a character who he thinks will love him. The character, Ruby, comes to life and acts according to what Paul writes for her role. He makes her clingy in one part, where she won’t let go of Paul’s hand and is glued to his side wherever he goes.

That’s me with The Dad, except I haven’t been written to be that way. Instead, I follow The Dad from room to room because I’m afraid The Dad will leave me, too. You see, Shelley left me two weeks ago, and I do not, being a dog and all, understand time, nor do I know when and if she’s coming back to get me.

In fact, I’m left here every time Shelley has to go on vacation or has some big writing project (like editing her novel that has a million pages). It helps that The Dad really likes me, because I’m incredibly cute, but still I am a one-person dog and Shelley is my person.

Imagine here that I’m lifting my nose in the air for a big wailing howl.

Anyway, I pouted for the first three days or so, feeling sorry for myself that my circumstances changed without my being informed of the change and told why there is the change.

On the fourth day, I realized that there is the great outdoors with the big backyard, and I went out into the January sunshine to run and play. I ran to the shed where there are a few feral cats, and I tried to tell them “hello,” but they seemed uninterested in my company. I barked at the birds, people pumping gas at the gas station next door and the big trucks rumbling along the highway, plus the blaring horn and metal-crunching squeal of the trains on the nearby railroad tracks. (The Dad lives next to train tracks, a grain elevator and Highway 6, which is a strange combination.)

As I’ve said before, I bark, therefore I am. When I started barking, I could see that I was getting used to my new home. I accepted that this is the way it is, even if I like to sit on the window ledge with the hope that I’ll see Shelley’s red car turn in the driveway.

And then I’ll really bark and wiggle my tail in utter joy.

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  1. Enjoy yr vacation, sweet Zoey. Shelley’ll be back before you know it (one of the doggy benefits of not understanding time, I think!)

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