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It is time for us to make a commitment to a new house plan. I wanted my old house back yesterday. Today I was excited about finding a new house plan we would like. I just went though some photos of the old house and I want my old house back.

It should be amply clear to me that I cannot have my old house back. I asked my dog and even she said she could not find it. She is a hound and she can find anything. Once we were out hiking and she took a sudden dive to the right and almost pulled me over. I yelped “Sophie, what are you doing!” and she looked at me in great confusion. When she does something so specific I have learned to pay attention.

My dog does not do anything randomly. She is, in fact, not a dog. You can ask any of her people friends. There is something quite wrong with her in the “I am a dog, watch me grab any food that bounces on the floor” department. We taught her to carry things by giving her a 1 pound dog cookie box she could hardly get her mouth around and telling her to take it to another person who would then give her a cookie, return the box to her, and tell her to take it back. She still loves to prance around with a cookie box. She did it tonight—tail high, a bounce in her step and a smile on her face. Not that you can see much of the smile since the cookie box is so big but you can see it in her tail. She learned if you take a person a cookie box they will give you one at the same time she learned that you don’t grab food off the floor. Somehow she put the two together and when she accidentally drops the cookie box and they spill all over the floor she stands back and barks her “help me help me” bark that is half please come and half plaintive wail. It is so heartrending no doggie-parent could not help but respond. She wants us to scoop the cookies back into the box, hand her the box and send her off to her original target so they will give her a cookie. Don’t ask me why she has never tried to eat them off the floor like a real dog. She is crying “help me help me” and a real dog would be woofing out “JACKPOT!”

So, Sophie never does anything randomly. She has an opinion about everything and it is to my peril not to at least check to see what it is. Turns out when we were hiking that she headed to the right to a spot where we had lunch the last time we had been on that trail—over two years earlier.

Last week she and I went to the house site together. I realized it was the first time I had driven myself and the first time that I had been there alone. Sophie sat quietly in the back of the car. When I turned up our road she leaned forward peering eagerly into the distance like a great masthead. I think we both had a flash of expecting to see the house sitting around the corner like it always did. Of course, it was not there.

I have asked for her opinion about a new house plan. She has not yet enlightened me. I do know she wants a clear sight-line between the kitchen from whence cookie boxes come and the den where the person who doles out the cookies is sitting. She wants steps to bound up like a horse in a cathedral. She wants a loft for us to toss toys over so she can bound down the stairs and grab them. She wants a place with a wall by the desk so she can sleep confidently while we work. She wants a second story with a window to peer out of so she can see the world beneath her feet. She wants a kitchen she can look into so she can see what is being cooked and contemplate if she gets some. She wants a deck so she can stretch out in the sun and squinge at the world, barely awake but alert nonetheless. She wants a nice deep bathtub so when she gets her bath she does not slip and fall out on the floor. She wants a cozy place for her day-bed to take naps and a snuggly place for her regular bed so she can enjoy sleeping at night.

I left the house plan magazine out for her but she had not yet put her paw mark on a plan. I think she wants the same thing from a house that we do. She wants a place to feel secure, and spend time with her people. She wants a place where she can be silly, serious or anything in-between. She wants a home.