Searching for Your “People”

searching, people, familyLast night I went to bed early to finish a good book, leaving Henry (the dog) and the other man of the house watching TV in the family room. Suddenly I heard Henry bark. It wasn’t his “I have to go out bark,” or “Where’s my dinner bark,” but his “Help! I can’t find you, Where are you?” bark.

I laughed and called for him, and he came bouncing to me happily, tail wagging as if I’d been lost and finally found.

His reaction reminded me of how important we are to each other – “we” meaning our family members, our good friends, our “people.”

dog, traveling, golden retrieverAlmost two years ago Henry, my man, and I moved cross country, driving in our SUV over 8 hours a day, Henry sprawled out in the back seat happier than a clam in mud. After all, he had us, “his people,” alone in a small moving box for hours at a time. For once, he always knew where we were. He’d lift his head up from the little cave we’d built him with blankets, his water bowl, and a ball, and he’d smile so wide I realized that he’d be happy if we all lived in the car forever.

But within 6 days we arrived at Truckee, our last stop before reaching the S.F. bay area. Reservations had been made at the ‘dogs allowed’ hotel, and we were relieved to find our room on the first floor near the exit door and a good walking path.

Henry sniffed at his new spot for the night, a bit anxious that it smelled differently than the night before. My man took several trips to carry luggage and laptop and dog essentials from the car to the room, and then we unpacked the necessities, as had become our routine.

Until we heard an anxious bark outside our room from far away, and then another, and another.

“It is a dog-friendly hotel,” we both remarked to each other, smiling and looking for Henry’s perked ears and curious eyes.

But Henry was not there. He was gone! We searched the corners of the room, the bathroom, the closet.

The outside barks became more insistent. “Where are you?” the bark said. “Where are you?”

“Oh my God!”  I exclaimed. “That’s Henry’s bark!”

We yanked open our hotel door.  Way down the lengthy hotel hallway, we saw a yellow blur. Our 9-year-old golden was running up and down the long corridor, barking past each door, shouting “Where are you?”

“Henry, here!” I shouted. He flew toward us like a happy puppy, like a child who’s momentarily lost a parent, like a person who has been reunited with his loved ones.

We had a sweet reunion with hugs and licks and a tail wagging so hard it hit the other side of the hallway, causing a couple of doors to open with inquisitive expressions from the rooms’ residents.

“Our dog was lost in the hallway,” we explained.

“Ah,” the dog owners responded. “Now he’s found his people.”

Exactly.

Happiness is time spent with some of my "people."

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Searching for Your “People”

  1. Dogs really are our lifeline! Am not sure why it took me so long to figure that out. Love the story and the people!

      • as you can tell, majority of peolpe on here have a very low opinion of bark collars. just so you know peolpe, a bark collar only causes burns or sores from being left on for a long period of time, or if the dog continues to bark with it on. first off, if they dont work on the dog, then they shouldnt wear one. i work in a kennel where we use them, and today we have a very loud weim. we place it on her, and when it would go off, it frightened her so much that she would take up again to bark, and take up again to get shocked. that kind of dog should not wear one, b/c they dont know why the shock is occuring. but many dogs can get one shock, know why they got it, and completely shut up (we have one dog that knows so well that all we have to do is tie the collar to the pen and he will be silent). but, we are not trainers, and our job is not to train, but to dogsit. if an owner refuses to deal with the barking at home, we tell them we have to use it. i agree that when at home you should find out why the dog is barking and right it. they do make thrilling collars for dogs of that size, but i wouldnt recommend it at first. if you insist on trying out collars then get a citronella collar, like others suggested. before you even attempt the bark collar, make sure you have tried everything to get the dog to stop barking (water bottles, vinegar water, loud noises, etc). bark collars should be a last resort.

  2. Yes, our people are so important… I learned this anew when going to Nicaragua in late January with my immediate family, mom, dad, brothers. It’s been years since we’ve all been together and yet we bonded so deeply. We haven’t had a dog for years, but I remember the love we experienced. And–oh!–I’ve been to Truckee! Yes! (Great writing…)

    • :+) thanks Kathy – and thanks for reading my blog and having the time to comment, despite your loving caretaking! With the way ‘family’ is so spread out in this world, it’s so hard to get our ‘people’ all together, but so special when it happens.

  3. Interesting how “our people” takes on a whole different meaning than “you people, ” which unfortunately, I have heard too many times in my life.
    I loved this story (and all of your stories!) and I could feel for you and Henry when he can’t find his people and for all of us when we want our people to be home, right next to us! Wait til they invent cell phones for dogs! Beautiful story Pam, so heartfelt and you always manage to stir an emotion in the reader. Thank you! Also, congrats are your award, you deserve every accolade! By the way, I noticed that your young mom is wearing the shortest skirt in the picture!!!! You can tell her I said that too (with love and kisses!).

  4. I’m so glad I’m going back to your older posts so I don’t miss anything. I recently wrote one called “I’m his sheep” meaning my shepherd-ish dog Remy. He guards me all day and is so relieved when I come back from my very dangerous walk around the block. I’m his people. And his sheep. As it should be. I wouldn’t want to take three dogs across country but he would be terrific. Pees on command and comes when called…Our other two, not so much.

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