On Our Own

The Pack

Ash is already worried about mom leaving us. She’s going to the ranch for a long weekend. I don’t even know what a ranch is, but when she comes home she sure smells good.

Mom loves to ride horses in the high desert. She says it clears her head and makes her grateful. We’re glad she gets to go do something fun, but we sure don’t like being left behind.

Ash doesn’t understand why he can’t go too. Turns out there’s a rescue Aussie at the ranch and a couple of funny little Corgis.

I guess the ranch is like summer camp for adults. The people leave their pets and kids behind and go make new friends. There’s no TV, phone or internet, so people laugh and talk and stare at the night sky.

When mom leaves us we all fret in different ways. Ash gets real sad. He won’t play ball, doesn’t bark much and mopes around the house.

Jack sticks real close to dad and pees on the furniture. Tess really doesn’t care because she belongs to dad. There’s more space on the couch for her when mom is gone.

Me, I’m kinda lost. Mom chose to keep me when I was stinky and full of pee. She named me Nellie and tells me I am beautiful. She never gets mad when I have accidents in the house. At night she whispers she loves me and asks me if I can stay with her for another day.

When mom leaves I try to be brave and not cause problems. I mind my own business and stay in the studio most of the time. That way when mom comes home she will know where to find me.

I know it’s hard for mom to leave us mutts. She makes lots of food and treats, lays out all our pills, and writes instructions for how to take care of us if we get sick.

When it’s time for her to go to the airport, we all huddle around her at the door. She kisses each one of us and slips a yummie treat in our mouths. She asks us to be good and take care of each other.

Jack won’t kiss mom good bye because he’s too upset. Ash lets mom hold him tight as long as she wants. I push my head into mom’s hand as hard as I can and lick her fingers. Tess just smiles knowing she can get away with murder until mom comes home.

When the door closes Ash stares until he hears the car drive away. Then we all settle down and wait for time to pass and mom to come home. I hope she brings us something from the ranch.



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