Today has been a cold, blustery, wet and generally miserable day - the kind of day that reminds those of us who live near the 43rd parallel that Summer has shone its last rays on us and moved south for the winter. So faced with this bleak awareness I did what I often do in such depressing circumstances - I drew a tub full of very hot water and climbed in to soak. In my experience many worries and even some aches and pains will be dispelled by a good long soak.
I'm not sure how long I had been there, drifting in and out of that state of semi-awareness that hot water will induce, when I sensed a nearby presence - not a mystical sensation of an other-worldly being, no this was more along the lines of aroma of dog. So I popped open one eye and glanced over to see Buddy the Cocker Spaniel standing quietly next to the tub with his face only inches from mine, staring intently at me. This is not typical Buddy behavior; his usual MO when he wants something from me is to either bark loudly and repeatedly or lick me on the face, either of which he could easily have done. Buddy is not a starer so his restraint was surprising. And when he saw signs of life he blinked a couple of times, turned around and walked out, apparently satisfied that dinner would be served at the usual time after all.
I was just beginning to slip back into my euphoric state when the labs arrived, their presence loudly announced by the cries of Thor, the cat who thinks he's a dog. Apparently Buddy had failed to communicate my well-being to them so they came to check for themselves, and being retrievers their approach was much more scent-related. They subjected me to a thorough sniffing which apparently convinced them that I wasn't dead (my yelling at them to get out might have contributed to this conclusion) and they too left without any purpose to their visit other than to establish my ability to serve their next meal on time.
I tried to regain the peaceful, easy feeling I was having before the entire Brat Pack felt obliged to check on my well being but the moment was lost, and the water was cooling off, so not too much later I climbed out of the tub, which stirred much joy and celebration (i.e., barking) among the pack, as they apparently interpreted my emergence as a signal that it was dinner time (it was not, but I gave them a treat anyway, just for being so concerned about me).
So as I said, I live alone - but it's pretty hard to ever feel lonely.