If you’re reading this, I’m in Oregon.
Gracie, however, remains behind in Pennsylvania, spending a few days with the future-in-laws and their golden retriever while Ross and I reenact as much of Portlandia as we can in four days’ time.
I didn’t go with Ross to drop her off. I’d planned to, but work was crazy and I couldn’t be torn away from my computer. I only got to see her as far as the front door.
When I was in college, I never understood why my mom would cry at the airport when dropping me off at the end of a break, but I’d always give her a hug and try to get her to stop crying. “I’m just going back to school, Mom. Why are you crying?” But damn it all to hell: as Ross put Gracie into her special car harness (yes, it’s a thing) and she sat by the door preparing to go on an adventure, smiling and wagging her tail, I found that I, like my mother, was beginning to well up.
Because of Gracie’s impressive capacity to sense emotion, I wasn’t surprised that as I knelt beside her holding back tears, she put her front paws on my shoulders and licked my face. “I’m just going to grandma and grandpa’s, Mom. Why are you crying?”
And suddenly, I understood how my mom had felt.
Kennel Confidential is a regular column documenting the adoption of a shelter dog by two KeyPulp editors. Leave your dog-rearing stories and tips in the comments section below!
Image by author, remixed with Instagram.