But I’m back now. Two back-to-back long-distance trips with (gasp) no computer access left a void here at the blog. Even worse, I had no dog access, even though the second part of the trip was to pick up first child at the end of the college term, and he swears he’s had regular airedale sightings out there at the College of Wooster.

Maybe he just didn’t have his foil hat tied snugly enough, though.

But back to homecomings. On the rare occasions when I was able to get a cell phone call through to the pound here, the pack leader reported that the dogs were apparently missing me. And not always using socially appropriate ways of demonstrating it. Dinah was doing her usual–she just got very quiet, and, as we say around here, “laid low” until my return. The Crispy Critter, though, was distraught. Crying, searching for me, whining and barking. And, ick, forgetting his toilet training. In the living room. Twice.

When I’ve been absent on previous occasions (I’m starting to sound like a neglectful parent, but I swear I’m here most of the time), with the exact hour of my return not known to the pack leader and definitely not known to the dogs, Dinah has done a curious thing. At about the time I departed for home (even when I was well over 100 miles away), Dinah would suddenly perk up and post herself at the back door, refusing to move. Three hours or so later, when I was within 10 or 15 miles of the house, she would run outside and start pacing up and down at the end of the sidewalk near the driveway, refusing to come inside. Until I got home. Which I shortly did.

As my southern mom likes to say, “How do she know?”

How, indeed? British scientist Rupert Sheldrake has studied this extensively, and has even written a a book about this and related phenomena. Which raises another question–when did Dinah learn to read?