Bye, Sam! Leaving the dog at home

Dear Vi,

Every time we leave the house, we have a conversation with Sam first. Sam sees us getting ready and starts his little happy dance.

Sam: oh boy oh boy oh boy, we’re going somewhere!

Us: Oh, Sam. Mommy and daddy are going to work and you have to stay here. (“Work” means going away without Sam)

Sam: ears go down, slinks away to jump on the bed.

Us: (following Sam into the bedroom) You’re in charge of the house. Don’t let Spooky invite her friends in. Be a good boy. You’re a good boy, yes you are, yes you are. (Said with smooches)

Sam: ducks head to escape smooches.

Us: We’ll be back in a while. Two whiles. Okay, probably more like three. Three whiles. Okay? (Said in overly bright happy tones)

Sam: climbs into the pillows, digs himself a nest to wait out the long desolate hours.

Us: Okay, well. Bye.

Sam: follows us with his sad eyes.

When we pull out of the driveway, there he is, watching through the glass door. We wave. “Bye, Sam.” Then we sigh.

Sometimes I seed his toy basket with treats before I go , creating a sort of doggy Easter egg hunt. When we get home, he’s always found them all.

I know, I know. But I bet you do something similar. Am I right?


  1. That’s exactly how our dog Blackie acted when we would leave him. All we’d have to say is “No, you have to stay home” and he’d slink offf, down trodden to his bed. Of course we’d have a talk with him and tell him to guard the house while we were gone, etc,etc. The only time we ever left him at home was when it was extremely hot or cold outside and he would have to be left in the car. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was far more comfortable at home. Pets are so precious.

  2. I want a Sam! Well, a dogSam – I have my own version of a boySam. I just have to block the screen of his video game when I leave, and he doesn’t much care! Your Sam sounds like he misses you more.

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