My friend and fellow writer, Joni Sensel, posted a Facebook comment one day that said, “Airport. Too early. Missing the dogs.” Oh, boy, did I ever relate to that! The hardest part of travel for me (even worse than going through security) is leaving my animals. I have a wonderful pet-sitter who moves into my house and keeps the animals on their usual routine. She brings them toys, gives them treats, and tells them how beautiful they are. I am certain that when I’m away I miss the animals lots more than they miss me.
Tomorrow I’ll be at the airport, heading for a Children’s Literature Festival in Warrensburg, Missouri. I am excited about going. I’ll see old friends, including Roland and Marie Smith, Vicki Grove, Mary Downing Hahn, and many others. I’ll talk to over 2,000 students and teachers, and sign hundreds of books. It will be a busy, happy, productive time and I am grateful to Central Missouri University for inviting me. Even so, I still look forward to coming home again – to being welcomed by a dog who is so overjoyed to see me that she races in circles around the dining room table, and to hearing the happy purrs as Molly hops on the bed beside me. Mr. Stray knows my car and hurries to sit by his bowl on my front porch when I return. Whether they missed me much or not, the animals are always glad to see me, and I am glad to see them.