Justin and Bruno have this special bond. It’s pretty amazing to bear witness to, and only slightly jealousy inducing. With Justin home everyday Bruno has built this expectation of what his day looks like around Justin’s normal routine, he depends on Justin and has established this bond that has become the foundation for his daily life.
Knowing that Justin would soon be visiting friends in Texas, I had started planning my six days with Bruno almost two months ago, blocking off my calendar for days I could work from home, and scheduling his dad for Bruno duty on the days I had to go into the office. Otherwise, our weekend would be spent at home – my usual weekend location anyway.
Now, with one day left of our time in the Emily & Bruno bubble, I know that he is still missing Justin. I can’t wait for Justin to come home and see the excitement on Bruno’s face (and in his tail). Bruno has been such a good boy and we’ve had countless hours to bond and build our relationship with each other, but I know that he’s bored with me. One more day pup, one more day.
Even though our weekend has been a little more relaxed than what Bruno is used to, we’ve done some pretty fun things. We’ve played countless games of tug, taken a nap in the late afternoon everyday, we’ve played fetch in the backyard, ignored countless firework shows, played keep-away running around the house, we’ve relaxed outside, and I took him to my elementary school playground to sniff and walk around.
As much as I enjoyed our relaxed time together, mainly in our backyard on the patio, my favorite part of our time together was our walk to my elementary school, which now sits just down the street from our home. Bruno is still working on his form when walking on leash. He’s so excited to go on a walk that the first half, inevitably, ends up being us stopping every five feet for him to sit and focus, instead of criss crossing in front of me, simultaneously pulling his leash, while rubbing his face on the cement to get his lead off.
On this particular walk, I was so irritated with his inability to just walk, he was so all over the place that it was practically embarrassing, nevermind I had forgotten to bring poop bags and I was terrified he was going to poop in someone’s yard and I’d be THAT person. Our original destination was the track that runs around the park at the end of our street, it would have been an easy two mile walk from the house and back. As we reached the beginning of the grounds I decided that with Bruno’s ADD that he needed a less-structured approach to our outing. I quickly turned into the field behind my elementary school, adjacent to the park, and let his leash go as long as it would. He was in heaven. I just kept walking and let him keep up or go ahead, I didn’t have to pull, he wasn’t pulling, we were just walking together. I would have given anything to be secure enough in both of us to have just let him off his leash and let him run.
As we got closer to the school I found myself smiling, thinking about all of the memories I had as an elementary school kid running these grounds. I hadn’t been to the elementary school in years, it has been easily 10 years since I’ve been this close to the building, and more since I’ve been on the playground. We walked passed the swing set that once seemed to tall and seemed like the boundary of our playground. Deeper, we walked (and sniffed), into the the place I used to know every foot of and I was conflicted, stuck between reminiscing, remembering, and laughing, and feeling sad that, more than twenty years later most of the same equipment still stands as it did when I was running around on my own recess breaks.
We walked on some of the equipment, onto what we onced called the school bus, it was so much smaller than I remembered. I still avoided the twisty slide structure that always had nests of bees and wasps at the top. We walked to the blacktop, I looked for the map of the United States that I remember being new one year, it took me several minutes to find it, mainly because for the most part, it’s faded and gone. Being this close to the school that was once so new and state of the art, it was pretty staggering to be so close and to see what twenty years can do to a building. The school itself seems to be under construction, the grounds were empty but the trailers of equipment and progress were evident that the work has started.
I looked down at Bruno, who at this point was panting from the heat and his exhaustive sniffing session on the playground. We cut through the neighborhood on the other side of the school and headed home. I thought about how much everything has changed on our walk home, passing by houses that at one time belonged to friends of mine. I was happy to have spent some time on the playground, with Bruno, just the two of us. I’m sure I’ll take him back soon so we can do some more sniffing and nosing (pun intended) around the school. This time I’ll be bringing his 50 foot leash so he can do an investigation of his own.
The rest of July will be a busy one for our family, we will be in and out of the house, traveling around Michigan, both together and separately. I’m excited for Justin to come home, to have my partner back so that we can all get back to our routine before the next exciting event: Justin and Bruno do the U.P.