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Kemba and Friends

Pack C

New Year’s in VT: Kemba slides easily into Christine’s pack (yellow Lab is Summit; then Hercules, Lanie, and Flicka (L-R)

From time to time, circumstances force my hand and I have to leave Kemba with dog sitters.  This pains me, because I’m sure he can’t be totally happy when he’s not in my company.  My logic

E Pack

He makes himself equally comfortable with Elise’s squad (Spare Change, Pepper, and Debit)

behind this belief?  Well, I know that I can’t be totally happy when I’m not in his company, and I assume the feeling is mutual.

Lately, though, I’ve been forced to reconsider this conclusion.  Kemba has a regular sitter here in CT, Elise — and also one up in VT, Christine.


“He seemed a little nervous with the thunder,” Christine texted — so her husband Chad, a big Kemba fan, calmed him down

Judging by the texts and photos they send me while Kemba’s in their care, and the comments I hear from them when I come to scoop him up, well . . . maybe his life isn’t all


Mission accomplished: Kemba makes it down to the man cave

that tortured when he’s not at Beagle Man’s side.

Over New Year’s, my boy spent some time with Christine in Manchester.  She has four dogs of her own, who pass most of their day outside in a fenced-in run.  She also has a seven-week-old baby boy.  Lots


Fireman Ed, move over! (Frankie designed the Jets gear himself.)

going on over there.  Yet with all that commotion, “Kemba slept with us last night,” she told me at pickup.  “And he let us know when it was his bedtime.”  Apparently she’d been looking all around the


Is this a dog who looks nervous or uncomfortable? (at Christine’s)

house, and found him in her bed, where he’d already made himself comfortable.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised.  Elise had texted me, before Kemba’s first visit with her: “I usually sleep on the couch when dogs stay with me, and all the dogs — mine included [she has three] — have a big slumber party.”  But Elise’s couch was just a stepping stone for Kemba.  He wasn’t satisfied till he made it down to the bed in Frankie’s (Elise’s husband)


“Yeah, I think I’ll give this drum-bed a try.  I’m beat.” (another Frankie creation)

man cave in the basement.

Also: Whenever Kemba leaves Elise’s house, he comes home with a beautifully wrapped doggy bag of special treats — far better than what he gets from me.  I don’t depart empty-handed, either:  I get a different classic Jets bobblehead — D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Ladainian Tomlinson, etc. — every time.  (Frankie is a season ticket holder and fellow sufferer.)

So yeah, I guess maybe Kemba can survive without me for a day or two from time to time.


Hank Herman