It’s been quiet on the mountain lately. My house has remained fairly clean, my laundry tucked away neat and all the dishes in the kitchen washed. Even the leaves in the backyard are starting to disappear, as I’ve worked on and off to sweep them into the yard, hoping that soon I’ll be able to close my swimming pool until Spring.

Why is life so quiet, you ask?

Well, it might have something to do with Linus and Schroeder being off at their grandparents house.

Mom and Dad have graciously taken those sweet pups of mine for a few weeks, giving me a break as I’ve made the last final push to finish my graduate school related papers.   

But after three weeks of not having them at the house, it’s safe to say I’m missing their friendly faces.

My mom has supplied me with plenty of updates about their trip down to the country.

Thanks to my dad, Schroeder has gained a little weight. He’s discovered French fries, cookies, and ice cream - all things I never give him on the mountain. Linus is way too picky to eat those things. But not Schroeder. He eats anything.

Mom and Dad have the dogs on a walking routine, taking them out once or twice a day on a leash, walking them around the town.

So far on their visit they’ve witnessed a helicopter landing on the football field and some scary weather mixed with plenty of rain and cold air.

“Your going to have to get your babies some sweaters this year,” my mom told me. “Something to keep them warm.”

Ah yes, now that there are two kids, so to speak, that means double the snow fun if the world becomes a big white blanket on or after Christmas.

Though the changing of the season is well over, Linus continues to find ways to get into plants and grass that cause him to have an allergic reaction. In the past three weeks, Mom has given him baths and soothed his skin with anti-itch medicine. It seems the home remedies for pets we used during my childhood still work even though I’m older.

This absence of Linus and Schroeder has made life at the house a little less stressful. My cats are more than happy about their absence. They have re-taken over the ledges of the bathroom and living room windows, and, most importantly, the couch and bed. Miley would be just as happy if Linus and Schroeder stayed away through Christmas. But not me.

A dear friend of mine spent college five hours away from her family. From Ohio, she was thrilled when her childhood cat Fluffy made the journey from up north and down south to Tuscaloosa.

She told me on more than one occasion how much she loved coming home to her tiny, one bedroom apartment to find her cat waiting on her. Her thinking was that even if she wasn’t special to anyone else in the world at least her cat loved her unconditionally.

After Fluffy died, my friend had a hard time overcoming her loss, as expected. She missed those days of coming home to his presence and the special bond they both shared. Life, she told me, was lonely, even though Fluffy was now in a better place.

Being without the pups for the past few weeks have made me think about how blessed I am, for this season in my life, to have a few furry friends to pass the days with. I know that one day my home will be filled with a loving husband and children, but for now there are very simple, lazy days composed in moments with me and my pets, the ones that continue to love me unconditionally.

I’m counting down the days until those pups come back home. Mom is too, as vacation at Grammy’s has worn her out. The homecoming with those furry friends of mine will be soon, and frankly I can’t wait.

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