Yesterday morning when I went to turn Mandy loose, the neighbor's dog, Buddy, wasn't there to greet me. Usually he hears me, comes stretching and yawning out of the barn, and waits for Mandy to be freed from her pen. Then the two "kids" run and romp together, celebrating Mandy's freedom. I didn't think much about his absence until I realized, after noon, that I still hadn't seen Buddy. His owners must have taken him to their temporary home, in town.
And Mandy got depressed. She really didn't want in the house; she preferred to lie in the littered area of my yard where she and Buddy wreak destruction on various kids' toys, baskets, bones and styrofoam pieces. I guess she was waiting for her friend.
The only time I saw her act happy yesterday was when I went for a walk in the pasture, and she accompanied me. With birds and squirrels to chase, she was her old self.
This morning, again, she was alert and animated on our walk... especially when she saw a fox to pursue! When she returned to the house after her chase, though, she was sad again.
I hunted up the old frisby I bought when she was a puppy; I'd hoped she'd learn to do tricks with it. She never took a lot of interest in it, so I put it away months ago. But today I got it out, thinking my dog needed some playtime.
She did go get it a few times, and appeared to be enjoying herself. Then she picked up an old chewie, laid down and started to work it over. If Buddy is around, he keeps after Mandy until he manages to take her chewie away, and she loves that game. So I played Buddy's part, taking it away from her and tossing it. Then we did the same with an old bone. I was trying my best to take Buddy's place.
In the middle of snapping pictures of my unhappy dog, I saw Buddy's owner's pickup go past; they have to come out twice a day to feed the horses. I waved, and went on with the games... when suddenly a streak of white came running around the house. It was Buddy! They brought him back.
Mandy's happy again, and so am I. Roxanna said she was going to leave Buddy out here; he'd get in trouble in town.
Life is back to normal.