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Home Alone

Iíve noticed that groups of married women travelling together consistently exclaim feelings of joy at being temporarily single, while expressing longing and regret for having to be parted, however briefly, from their most dearly beloved: the dog they left at home. 

Why, one might ask, do these women suffer such passionate feelings of deprivation for the absence of their dogs, but not for the absence of their husbands? One would think that the average husband could provide ample snuggling, snoring and shedding to stir feelings of separation anxiety in the average wife.  And donít dogs raise identical concerns for an absent pet owner/spouse, what with the unsupervised wandering, the unauthorized chewing and the indiscriminate peeing?

I suspect one reason that wives seem to miss their husbands less than their dogs is that they can, and do, constantly communicate with their husbands by cell phone, even when they are on different continents and time zones, or when their husband is, or was, working, sleeping, or struggling with the aforementioned pet left behind. 

Judging by the couplesí too-loud-to-ignore cell phone conversations, which center on how much fun they are having apart, how little money the wife promises to spend, and why a man with a degree in engineering canít operate a can opener, they could both use this brief respite from in-person interaction.

Meanwhile, the wife remains in complete communications blackout from her beloved pet, which is presumably languishing at home, sobbing doggie tears, wondering why she abandoned it (actually the dog has forgotten her existence at this point, and is now busily seducing the pet sitter while figuring out how to get the closet door open so that it can finally mate with that UGG shearling slipper thatís been giving it the come-hither look for months).

Apple could make a fortune by inventing an iPooch communications device allowing owners to interact with and monitor their pets 24/7. Of course, in my dogís case, I would be monitoring his stomach and lower intestine, since his desire to chew and swallow any item is in direct proportion to its purchase price.

In this respect, I would think that husbands might have a leg up on dogs, as Iíve observed husbands to be fairly vigorous in tug-of-war games over the remote control, but have never seen a husband actually chew and swallow one. 

I realize that you are wondering why I havenít mentioned people missing their cats. As a cat lover, I can understand why this is almost never heard.  Although I do miss my cat terribly when weíre apart, itís embarrassing to confess such a one-sided longing to strangers. No self-respecting cat would ever admit to missing his human companion. His attitude is that of a wise but weary professor who feels genuine affection toward his pupil (me) but is relieved when my absence gives him a temporary respite from having to suffer my colossal ignorance and incompetence with the quiet dignity required. 

Plus, he can operate the can opener.