This week I returned from vacation. My husband, his brother, and my sister-in-law traveled together for several weeks – 26 days to be exact.
I’ve been on vacations of this length before, and the same thing always happens to me. The first week or so is always fun, but around day 10 I start getting really homesick. I miss the rhythm of home and I miss my dogs. I miss their cuddling up with me on the couch in the evening, their boisterous greetings when I return home from a trip to the store, and their soft, warm bellies that they want me to rub.
As we walked around foreign cities, I saw dogs on leashes, dogs playing together on grassy knolls, and dogs just walking alone down cobblestone streets. They always brought a smile to my face and gave my heart a little tug.
One day, in Spain, I saw a dog that reminded me so much of my little Stella, that I had to stop and speak to the dog’s owner. I told her that her dog was adorable and that it reminded me of my own dog, whom I missed very much. We spoke different languages, and the woman didn’t understand me. I held my hand near her dog’s nose, so it could smell me. I gave the woman a questioning look, and she understood that I wanted to pet her dog. She smiled and nodded.
I had my phone in hand and quickly scrolled to a photo that our dogsitter had just sent to me, showing Stella enjoying a trip to Walmart. I showed the woman the photo. She placed her hand over her heart, smiled, and nodded with even more enthusiasm.
We may not have each understood each other’s spoken languages, but we did understand each other. Love is universal; and a dog, in any language, is Love.