Buddy, after several weeks of almost normal behavior when left behind when I venture out into the world (leading me to believe that he had recognized that warm apartment is much more desirable than a very cold automobile), has once again embraced separation anxiety.

Saturday morning was a prime example of same. From the moment he awakened, it was clear that he realized that, at some point, I was going out the door and he wasn’t. It began when I was dressing early after arising and taking a shower. He always watches this process with great interest and does his best to be make sure I know that he knows that this means he is about to get his morning walk, but he was clearly trying to be cuter and more appealing and more you-cannot-leave-me-home-y than usual.

Once we were outside and did our usual walk, a route of a half mile or so during which he insists on no variations, stopping only to relieve himself and at all the usual pee-mail stations (trees, light poles and the Holy Grail of a real, live fire hydrant), he refused to turn into the walk to our door when we got there and took me through the complete walk once more, something that has never happened prior to this.

All that was before 9am and I didn’t leave for the beer event in West Chester for which I was bound until 11:15. But every time I moved at all, he jumped up and joined me, tail wagging furiously and smiling his snaggle-toothed smile. And when I finally had to go and laid out some biscuits for him and turned on the TV (he’s gone pretty much totally deaf now, so this is more habit than necessity, although for all I know, the flicking screen helps reassure him), ran to the door and out before I could, again something that has never happened in the past, and had to be carried back inside.

When I got  back more than three hours later, he was still barking his displeasure. For whatever (thankful) reason, he tends to do this at the back door rather than the front, so it’s not as noticeably as it might be. Admittedly, I don’t know that he doesn’t take breaks occasionally and hope, if only for his sake, he does.

Lord knows, he is a fascinating creature. And once I’m home and he’s been reassured, this is his default position.