I knew when I saw them pull out of the driveway in the black truck with that boat following them. They were going to camp. My person did this last year, too, leaving me alone for the weekend.  Okay, so mom was home, but life without my boy is somehow missing something.

Treats, I suppose, are one thing. No Chukchi pops or chicken jerky snacks. No canned chicken dinner. I had to suffer along with hot dogs and hamburgers and some leftover steak.

But there was something more that these days lacked. Hearing my nicknames, Snazzly, Sassy June From Saskatoon. The squealing greetings. And petting. Belly rubs and butt scratches. A long hike.

I guess I never realized how much my person means to me. How much he is part of my daily life. That’s the way of things, isn’t it? Sometimes we don’t know what we have until it’s gone.

One day there were thunderstorms, and I was scared of the noise. I hid in my corner behind the bark-a-lounger, but there was no one there to keep repeating “You’re alright.”

Another day the chipmunks and squirrels were storming the cottonwood trees, but mom doesn’t often move me to “yellow”, my lead on a long run beside the piney woods. Here I can sit at ambush. I had to watch the rodents from my red lead, by the house.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, they came home!

I was so excited to see my person I almost turned inside out. I leaped, I turned circles, I whimpered. I ran back and forth as fast as I could and I jumped up on my boy the way he likes it.

I could tell he was pretty glad to see me, too. He hugged me a lot and whispered into my ear.

And there were treats. Chukchi pops and chicken jerky.

I hope he never goes away again.