Return.

I’d barely backed Little Miss Teeny Tiny into the driveway and opened her Teeny Tiny door when Cutter and Tug came barreling across the lawn and flung themselves at me.

Cutter was excitedly wagging and wriggling and impatiently licking my face and Tug was wriggling and wagging and worriedly waiting his turn.

Thank GOD you’re finally home, Cutter exclaimed between sloppy lick kisses.

He stopped briefly and looked over his shoulder. Tug whimpered and wriggled.

It’s been awful since you were gone, Cutter said, licking my face again. Awful, he said.

Tug wriggled and whimpered and looked worried some more.

Guys, I said, pushing Cutter away, giving Tug an opening to pounce. Stop, I said.

What was so bad?, I said.

Both dogs backed down and sat a few feet away, quivering.

You wouldn’t believe it, Cutter started. It was like we weren’t even there, he said.

Yeah, Tug said.

I’d bring the ball or the tug-rope to them and they’d just keep watching the big blank thing on the wall, Cutter said.

Awful, Tug said, terrrrrible.

So then, I’d sit in front of them and try to talk to them and they acted like I wasn’t even THERE, Cutter exclaimed.

Tug shook his head back and forth sorrowfully.

Cutter scratched behind his ear briefly, his rear leg pistoning, and then said, I’m just glad you’re home.

Tug nodded and panted.

Dudes, I said.

I’ve only been gone an hour, I said, I just had to run to Food Lion for dinner, I said, getting out of the car.

Hmmmph, Cutter said.

Hmmmph, Tug said.

Just then, my little brother came gliding out of the house to see if he could help me with anything. What’s going on? he asked.

Nothing, I said laughing, but it sounds like you’re a dickhead.

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