Camp Buffalino

While this whole new blog business has made life rather exciting lately (I told you, a whole new level of nerdiness) one aspect of our life that has been scarily calm as of late is our little cinderblock house, and that's because Cecilia is up north and will soon be headed to Camp Buffalino in Maine. Camp Buffalino is not a real summer camp. Rather, it's a phrase I've coined in my own mind to describe the wonders my dog will behold as she travels up to a house on the ocean to spend her summer with a rock band.

Buffalino, you see, is spending their summer in Boothbay Harbor, rocking hard, and then will be on tour down the east coast. As Vinnie is the drummer of this awesome band, I asked if he wouldn't mind adding my dog to the cargo, especially since he'd already agreed to take the labradoodle, Cecilia's bosom friend.

I knew leaving Cecilia up in D.C. this weekend, where Vinnie will pick her up, would make me sad, and it did. As she stared at me with sad eyes while I drove away, I couldn't help but think she probably thought I was abandoning her, and that the feeling might remind her of the abandonment she'd experienced as a puppy, before she was brought to the animal shelter. Once back home in North Carolina I felt sorry for her, and for me, before I remembered that dogs don't exactly experience complex emotions such as these, and that Cecilia was probably scratching herself on the kitchen floor awaiting her new owners, or whoever she thinks they are, and totally ready to explore some wooded areas. In fact, she probably wasn't sad, whatever that means to a dog, for more than three or four seconds, if that.

Since I was so obsessed being depressed about leaving her, I didn't realize what the lack of her presence would mean for our house. J, on several occasions, let slip that he was - oh, maybe not happy - but not too bummed that our lovely, 70-pounds-of-muscle-dog wasn't around. "Oh, Cecilia's not here. Maybe the bluebirds can peacefully lay their eggs and have babies without worrying about getting eaten in our backyard," he'd say. Or, "Hey we don't even have to put a sheet on the couch when we leave now, because it's only Mina, and Mina's really clean!" Stuff like that.

Now that it's been a couple days, I do see what he's saying. The house is cleaner, our work before leaving the house in the morning, less (not having to clear the coffee table of remote controls and cell phones on the off chance Cecilia might decide to revert to her younger, more mischeivous ways and eat one of them) and the house has assumed a sense of general calm. It's almost unnatural. Even Mina, who is generally fired up, or even a little vicious, has become a sweet, quiet thing who sleeps all day long and hides under our bed in the morning, almost as if she's trying to catch up on rest she misses out on when the presence of another dog means she's constantly on an assault mission. I mean, what do you expect? Do you expect her to allow Cecilia to sit there and eat her bone WITHOUT a Miniature Pinscher/Pomerian Mix humping her back at an alarming rate? No.

I'm excited to see my wonderful, big dog later this summer, but must admit I am at least somewhat excited, too, for a month or so of easy dog walks (when they weigh ten pounds there is no question who is boss) and not being woken up at 6 a.m. when someone, at the height of their adolescence, sees a squirrel, and if she isn't allowed to go get it, she is probably going to die, so she'd better lick your leg, and cry, oh, and breathe hot breath right in your face, until you wake up and all is well again.