My brother David was initially worried that his dog Penny, a mix of border collie and boxer, might not remember me. Penny has apparently had a history of being aggressive toward new people, up to and including nipping and biting. I was banking on the idea that Penny would remember me from the several times that we had met back when I lived in Front Royal.
Penny did indeed seem to remember me when I showed up at David's house: she didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about seeing me, but she also didn't try to nip me. A day later, and Penny has warmed up to the point that she will actually crawl into my lap while I nap on the couch. Either she remembers me very well, or she smells the fact that I'm David's brother. Whatever the case, she and I had fun walking around the loop of Fort Hunt Park today; we did three laps, or about 3.3 miles. Penny was tired by the end, her tongue lolling. I rolled down my Honda's window while we drove back to David's house; like almost all dogs, Penny couldn't resist hanging her head out the window as the world assaulted her nose with a torrent of smells.
So yeah, I've left Mike's house in Fredericksburg and am with my brother David in Alexandria. Mike was an enormous help, and a good sport, while I was down south with him and his family. I had the chance to talk about language learning with Mike's second daughter; I spoke with Mike's wife about teaching in general, and I guided Mike's young son through some basic Chinese characters.
I moved up to Alexandria, though, because it's closer to DC, and I have an appointment with the State Department tomorrow morning to apply for a new passport via the government's same-day service. I'll be staying with David until my flight out. I had thought the flight was this coming Friday, but the departure is actually at 1:35pm on Saturday. I'll be back in Seoul Sunday night.
I had to borrow my Honda back from Mike, which means I need to return it to Mike before I go. David and I will be driving separately down to Fredericksburg; I'll drop the Honda off at Mike's house, say goodbye to Mike and family, then hop into David's SUV and ride up to Dulles Airport to catch my flight. Assuming I've succeeded in obtaining a new passport on time.
Meantime, I have the affection of a dog to sustain me. And that's not nothing.