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Sweet Rufus’ latest malady is terrible allergies.

I am traveling this week, which means not only that I’m having to steel myself for actually flying in an airplane once again but I’m leaving my dogs at home. This is very hard for me, always, even for one overnight. While Rufus spends most of his time in Oliver’s company and seems happiest there, and he won’t look devastated when I leave, he does have all kinds of health problems and issues, so that it’s hard for me to leave him.

And then there’s Miles. Well, Miles is really my dog. He is lying on the rug right here by me, at the moment, as he often does. He is a one-woman dog. I am his person. He gets a stomach ache whenever I leave. He sees all the telltale signs of any upcoming travel, and then he worries and frets and gives me that look. When will you come home? Will you ever come home? Maybe not. This might be the last time I’ll ever see you again. And then what?

Darling Miles

And I fret, as well. Does Oliver tell Miles he loves him, every single day? Probably not. Who am I kidding? No. Never. Will he kiss him on the nose? No. Will he let Miles give him a French kiss? No. Oh dear.

And Miles has gotten visibly older and has some difficulties, as well. He has a bad neck and sometimes, especially lately, a limp. I can hardly bear to see this.

Lately, though, Miles has spent a little more time in Oliver’s room, and that gives me some reassurance. Still, the looks he gives me on the leaving day, oh, they’re hard to bear. Almost always I want to take my bags back upstairs and settle down on the couch with him. Once or twice, I have.

If I were better organized I would put here a poem that this drawing goes with, a poem called “Do You?” It is about being away from home and seeing other dogs that make me think about my own two messy dogs, waiting for me back at home. But I am not organized and I wrote those Daily Poems for over a year a long time ago and marked them only with the date, which makes them very difficult to locate specifically. So I give up. I am, after all, getting ready to travel! I’m stressed! I cannot do everything! What do you want from me??

If you are particularly interested in finding it, you could search through the Daily Poems in my blog. Please do let me know if you find it and where. I would appreciate it.

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

― Groucho Marx

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”

― Will Rogers

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” ― Mark Twain

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. And if you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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