August 22, 2021.

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So, my little twelve year old pug, Rocky, is now home for the long haul. He has been splitting his time between being with me and being with Ruby at her boyfriend’s family’s house is New Jersey. When this summer camp experience first began in April/May of 2020, we were buried under the weight of the pandemic; leaving the apartment three times a day became a trial of the psyche, a time when passing neighbors in the hallways evokes a certain fear. It was my daughter who suggested being Rocky to New Jersey, to cut down on my exposure to the air we all share. It was a thoughtful and brilliant consideration and I agreed. And being in a house with a backyard and proximity to a beach and a family of different people to shower him with affection. would be a better environment than my apartment with just me. I was into this.

I knew for me, being apartment would be an adjustment. He is woven into my life; my sleeping schedule, my daily rituals, even my penchant for minimal exercise. Even before the pandemic hit. He’s been a steady force in my life, providing me with an emotional structure, and an indulgence in my nurturing nature. Being apart from him during the pandemic opened up a greater chasm of loneliness because now I was very much alone, my friends all sheltering in their places and my mother, also alone, in Florida.

But the flip side of that dark is always the light of him returning to me. This summer, Rocky has enjoyed the best of his two homes, one week with me, one week in Jerz. And with the kids going to back to college this week, he’s home for good. Well at least until The next extended college break. And so we will return to our little rituals—my having him pose for his Rockythepug Instagram, the way he sits under my chair while I work, his insistence I share my meals with him—and I couldn’t be happier.

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