Missing Home

Dear Wombat and Dingbat,

You know that feeling when you’re tired and have had too many new things and you just want to go home and sleep in your own bed and eat from your own food dish and be around things you know? But your human who has the car keys isn’t ready yet, or maybe has to drive a long ways first? Well, maybe you can’t relate to this, Dingbat, but I’m guessing Wombat does. Anyway, that’s how I’m feeling right now. I’m in a very nice house with a wonderful human, but it’s his house and with all the coronavirus stuff, I’m stressed and out of sorts and just want to go home. But a complication is that I don’t have a home because I was on a Grand Adventure. I do have some keepsakes, but they are 2000 miles away in a friend’s basement, and I don’t think I’ll be able to safely go there and get them for a long, long time. Like probably at least a year. I don’t need anything, but I really badly want to be able to relax and feel at home. I go on long walks and stuff, but it doesn’t help. What do you do to make a place feel like home when it isn’t?


Dear Homesick,

That sounds very hard. I mean, we certainly enjoy a grand adventure, but it can be exhausting, and it is possible that on occasion when our adventures have gone on a long time, especially when I have had to spend a lot of time in a crate, that I might have lost my usual cheerful equanimity and become a mite grumpy.

I do not ever become grumpy.

There was the time when you clawed your way through the crate to get in where the people were dancing.

I wasn’t grumpy. I just didn’t see why I should be missing the party. That’s different.

Anyway, Homesick, we get how you feel. I think that the solution when you can’t get home is to get as comfy and cozy as possible, and make a corner that is just for you. Personally, I like a nice, thick foam dog bed with good sides on it. You might like pillows, or blankets, or a swing in a tree or a hammock or one of those outdoor reclining thingies. Some place to get comfy that is for you.

A comfy place to stretch out is a good thing. Speaking of which, lately The Human has been doing interesting stretching things on the floor in the living room. She watches a nice lady named Adrienne who has a dog named Benjy and this lady says what to do. One of those things is called Downward Dog. I do Downward, and also Upward, Dog first thing in the morning and it feels good. Also there are other kinds of stretching and breathing and chances for me to lick The Human’s face, which becomes pleasantly salty. Anyway, I think the Yoga with Adrienne lady talks about home some, and she has a kind, calm voice which I like.

It is true that The Human seems to be comforted by people on screens. Which is odd, because you can’t smell them. What is even odder is that she likes to watch people cooking in a big tent out somewhere that there are sheep. And no one even goes and rounds up the sheep. And they make yummy things that we never get to taste, which seems kind of wrong.

But what is good is when The Human makes yummy things in the kitchen. Things smell very homey (the people with the sheep say homely) when there are things cooking. I think that Humans are very clever to have invented ways to make things smell extra nice.

Another thing that is cozy is when we all curl up in bed and The Human reads a book. Maybe you would like to read some books that you have already read, and loved for a long time, and feel like home. Maybe even books from when you were a puppy.

Speaking of puppies, one thing that humans sometimes do when a puppy leaves their brothers and sisters and Mama Dog to go to their forever home is to send something with them that smells like where they came from. What smells like home to you? Were there flowers you had at your old home or a soap you used to use that smelled nice?

Hey, I remember that! The Human came and got me from my first home where I was a baby puppy with all my brothers and sisters and there was a long ride home which was confusing and I yelled kind of a lot and then we got here and you were friendly, but so big and bouncy and there was another dog who was even bigger, and not happy to see me. That was hard at first, even though everyone (except the Very Big Dog) was nice and friendly. I think maybe changing homes is just hard and takes time.

I expect it’s even harder when so many other things have changed and so many things feel up in the air.

I like to be up in the air, so long as it’s bouncing, or jumping over things. Maybe Homesick would feel better if they practiced being up in air by bouncing or jumping rope or swinging on a swing.

That’s a very…creative…suggestion.

I am outside the box.

I would not argue with that.

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4 thoughts on “Missing Home

  1. Hi Dingbat,

    Glad to know that I wasn’t the only one who yelled a lot on the way to my new Human’s home. It eventually worked though, as my Human eventually took pity on me (or got really, really tired of listening to me yell), and let me cuddle in her lap where I immediately fell asleep. I was really exhausted from all that yelling.

    I also tore through a crate to join a party I was missing. Do you suppose we could be related?

  2. It could be. It turns out that, although she neglected to mention it to me, the Wombat has also clawed her way out of a crate to join a party. That happened before I was born, so I only know because The Human told me. We should ask whether our mutual Mama Dog ever clawed through a crate to join a party.

  3. Dear Wombat and Dingbat,
    Thank you for your reply and ideas. Not having my things with me precludes the ability to, say, sit in my chair and my corner and read my book, since the chairs and corners and books here were chosen by someone else. And although there are lots of pictures of dogs on the walls, they are of dogs that were the best friends of someone else. But that did give me an idea of how to make this feel like my home. I will figure out how to get prints of the dogs that were my best friends and put them up on the walls, so I see them when I walk into a room. Also some places that are special to me, like Mt Rainier and along the Camino. I think that will help.
    I like the idea of being up in the air, too, but I’m not sure how to do that. There aren’t even any ridge walks here, or even a big hill or water tower. I miss being able to look over a vista. It is very very flat here. I’ll see if I can find a way to bounce higher.
    wags and noselicks,

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