It’s been said that our children and our pets can sense what we’re feeling and often play off of that. I was away for a month recently and my dog was home — being VERY well cared for. (Side note, the thing I love about dogs is that they are so “in the moment” it seems there is no past or future — it’s all about the “now”. Until he sees my face again, I don’t think he’s that aware I’m not there.) But upon arriving home, I am struck with guilt for having been away. So now he launches his attack, barking and whining hysterically every time I so much as step into the yard. I sooth and reassure him, until a friend points out that actually my lack of authority is more disconcerting to him. (Another side note — does this say something about me and God? That I feel safer when I let him take charge?) So I will reassert my “alpha status” with my dog, and watch as he settles into the safety of knowing he doesn’t have to figure it all out himself.