Our dog, Ivy, is under the bed. She has been there since Andrew pulled the big, black suitcase out of the attic and began loading it with clothes. We are going to Italy – for two weeks.

Ivy has separation anxiety. And, now that I work from home, she is even more clingy than she used to be. She has known that something is up for a few days: Our neighbor, B, who will be keeping Ivy for us for a while, came over to learn the ropes. Ivy eyed B suspiciously as I pointed out the location of her bed and gave instructions on her feeding schedule. She growled at B’s beautiful, sweet Great Dane, Bella, when Bella got too close to me. After B left, Ivy looked at me quizzically, wagging her tail, as if hoping that pure cuteness might win herself a place on the plane.

Sometimes I wonder if I also have separation anxiety when separated from Ivy. My own personal therapy dog, Ivy can always calm me when I’m stressed, comfort me when grieving, cheer me when nothing else will do, and add joy to the most joyful moments. Tonight, as I packed, I packed guiltily; I wondered what sorts of treats (peanut butter bones? doggie ice cream?) I could get for Ivy that would comfort her during our 2 week absence. None seemed sufficient.

Andrew and I would have fun with Ivy in Italy, but she probably wouldn’t be welcome in the Uffizi, or in the Vatican, or in any of the little farmsteads where we plan to stay. So, it’s best that she wait here for us in America, with Mac – which means you, also, will get a little break from me.



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