Social animals in varied habitats

I’ve been getting to spend a lot more time with my dog than I usually do, and so I’ve been feeling a lot closer to him, been thinking about him a lot more. Which is saying something, because my dog is already a big part of my life. This afternoon my dad and I went on a walk with Jungi, and about halfway through the walk these two dogs (off-leash, no humans in sight — common enough around here) approach us. The bigger one continues on his merry way, but the smaller one attaches himself to us like a tick, trying to get Jungi’s attention, even kind of playfully snapping at him a bit. My dad gets worried enough that he has me start carrying my dog after this has been continuing a while, and the other dog doesn’t leave us until we get back to the house and shut the door in his face. To me it was only a bit unsettling, but it really underlined how different some things are here than they are back home. In California, you rarely see dogs off their leashes, and when you do, their human is still right there. There isn’t even a grocery store nearby. The local one closed permanently, so now my aunt has to drive forty-five minutes or so each way just to go grocery shopping.

I’ve also been getting to spend a lot more time with family than I usually do, of course. I so rarely get to see all of these folks! Definitely getting to see them is something to be thankful for. I don’t have to start work until almost noon local time, so we played a full game of Hand and Foot this morning (it’s four long-ish rounds — takes a couple hours, and when you play with four people you play with partners). My aunt and I won handily! And everyone ate a bunch of hard candy; a good time was had by all. I spent most of the rest of the day working, but I took breaks for meals and that walk. And now the big holiday rolls in tomorrow; I get to put my computer away and really spend time with everyone.

Dogs and people; differences and commonalities. I know I’ve been having a marvelous time out here, and the biggest festivities are still to come. I’m thankful for everything. For family, for my dog, for my health, for my friends, for my job, for the planet, for books, …

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