Monday, October 02, 2006

Home Again

Dory and I drove out to Saratoga on Friday for our first visit with my mom. We got an early start and arrived mid-afternoon. Dory was very vigilant the whole ride out, I’m not sure if she was enjoying all the fall foliage or not. As I was driving I did get the sinking suspicion that she might think she was being taken away to a new place. I tried my best to reassure her she was okay and we were going someplace fun, but not speaking “dog” can be a barrier and I don’t think my endless human jabbering and singing along with CD’s would reassure anyone of anything.

We were just a mile or so away I called Mom and she let her three dogs out in the yard so Dory could have a peaceful entry. Once we pulled in I defiantly knew Dory was thinking “Oh gosh – is this another new home??!!?!”, but I tried to ease her fears as best I could lavishing lots of love.

Once we spent some time inside we joined Mom’s Labs, Zachary and Mollie and her Golden Retriever Lucy. It all went very well and Mollie who is around 7, the youngest of the bunch and closest in age to Dory was so happy to have a playmate who wasn’t a geriatric case.

The weekend went very well, I’m not sure if Dory understands the concept of “visiting” or “friends”, but she was surrounded by family who all loved her and dogs that accepted her into their pack without fuss.

It was good to be home for a few days and now with the big question of Dory meeting Mom’s dogs being over and done with we can look forward to future visits, holidays and so forth in the future.

Someone once asked me why I call Saratoga home when I have lived in Massachusetts for over six years now, they asked me do I feel better when I go home, does it feel somehow different.

At the time I had no way to answer that. Home for me has never been about a specific place, not a certain house or definite street. We moved around while I was going up, and while I loved seeing different states I was always envious of the friends I made growing up that had lived in one place all their lives. I was jealous of the continuity and innocence that went along with going up in one specific place.

As I grew up the term HOME for me took on a very different meaning, it wasn’t about the house or town, it was about being somewhere with your things and those that loved you. Home to me is not just my mother’s place in Saratoga, it is my friend’s place in New Jersey, Kentucky, Colorado or Alaska. Home is where my cousins live in Hawaii or Michigan. I suppose you could use the catch phase I’ve heard before, Home is Where the Heart Is and for me nothing could be truer.

So as we drove out and back this weekend Dory and I were both going home. I’m not sure Dory understands it; I’m not sure I understand it completely. I just know that no, driving into Saratoga did not make me feel better or different, familiarity is not was home is to me, it is being with those who love you and always welcome you with open arms.

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