Puttering around in the kitchen, talking softly to Dexter as he wanders back and forth in the kitchen, not leaving my sight.
"It's your first night here. I know everything is a bit overwhelming for you sweetie and I can see you are not quite sure what to think of all this. You've not said a word yet and that's okay. I can wait until your more comfortable here. You just take your time."
A few hours go by and you tentatively approach, sit in front of me and look up, with those amazing eyes of yours.
"What do you need sweet guy?" I ask. Coming to sit in front of me, you don't give an answer but softly nudge my hand with your nose.
I sit myself down on the kitchen floor with you and begin to gently pet you. You continue to look at me, so intently and ever so slowly, you lean in to lick my cheek.
"Aww, thank you Dexter. Are you feeling a bit more comfortable now?"
You eventually lay yourself down beside by legs as I continue to softly pet you.
Every so gently, you place your paw in my hand and close your eyes.
My heart stops for just a second. I sit, looking at you, this new dog I've brought into my Realm. A dog who was wandering and lost and ended up in a shelter.
I think of myself, feeling a bit lost over the past 5 months without my Digger.
"Ah Dexter, my Digger used to do that exact same thing with his paw, every night for "snuggle time".
I sit quietly with your paw in my hand for several more minutes, caught between two worlds, my world with Digger and this new world with you.
Your eyes stay closed as you softly begin to snuffle, falling into a peaceful sleep.
I slowly pull my hand from under your paw, lean over to place a gentle kiss on your cheek and whisper "Welcome home Dexter."