At Last!

My dearest friends in Ecuador, Bill and Elaine, at our favorite restaurant.

My dearest friends in Ecuador, Bill and Elaine, at our favorite restaurant

Well, today was the culmination of nearly eight months of waiting – Tag and I were finally reunited with our friends Bill and Elaine!  For those of you who are new to my blog (or may have a short memory), Bill and Elaine were my upstairs neighbors where I first rented and my first friends in Ecuador.  We literally “did life” together for four months.  But then I was forced to move out of my rental and shortly after, they moved to their new house in Mirador San Jose and then returned to Canada (for longer than they wanted to or expected).  Saying goodbye to them in April was a very sad day for both Tag and me (they are Tag’s original parents – see “Fresh Start” for his initial story and “Thank You for Being a Friend” for my farewell blog).  Since they have been gone, he and I have kept each other company waiting for their return.  This morning, they rode the bus in and came to my development to see my house for the first time.  Then (because we missed the next bus) we started walking into town and finally caught a motor taxi the rest of the way to have lunch at our most favorite restaurant – “Carlos’s place” (we all had our favorite fish – Corvina).

After lots of good food and conversation, we walked back to our old “stomping grounds” for the long awaited moment – their reunion with Tag.  I was able to catch the whole event on video (below is the unedited version).  The whole time they were gone, Bill and Elaine were concerned that maybe Tag would not remember them when they returned, but I assured them he could not forget!  And sure enough, although he had to “process” for a moment, there is no doubt he remembered – I believe the times he kept running back to me he was saying, “Look, look – they came back to us!”  (Our other dog friends I’ve mentioned before, Coby, Bruna and Vera, all enjoyed being part of the reunion moment as well):

Elaine originally taught Tag to "kiss" and he still remembers well!

Elaine originally taught Tag to “kiss” and he still remembers well!

Even Bill couldn't resist a puppy kiss!

Even Bill couldn’t resist a puppy kiss!

After the sweet reunion, we went over to visit our former neighbor, Sam, who had looked after Tag while Bill and Elaine were gone.  It was nice to all be together visiting again.  Then we went to visit our other former neighbor, Mesfin, in his lovely home for a while.  Mesfin actually took charge of arranging Tag’s vet care while they were gone.  When Tag was adopted, it was really a group event (see “Living a Dog’s Life” for the initial vet visit story) and caring for him while they were gone was still a group effort.  But after visiting with Mesfin for a while, he drove us all to Bill and Elaine’s new home (they were only able to be in it for a week before they had to return to Canada).  Fortunately, they had gone against their initial plans and let Tag stay there a few nights with them before they left, so he was not going to a totally unfamiliar place.  Although a little unsure of what was happening, he still could sense his familiar surroundings and of course, the company.  And it was great to see all the growth and progress in their development since they’ve left – the park and swimming pools just behind them are almost complete!

Elaine and Mesfin bringing Tag home

Elaine and Mesfin bringing Tag home

The soon to open swimming pool behind their house

The soon to open swimming pool behind their house

While they were gone, I kept Bill and Elaine well apprised of Tag’s growth, progress, new experiences, etc. and supplied them with plenty of stories, pictures and video.  He grew and changed a lot while they were away (he has pretty much doubled in size since they last saw him).  I think they were a little afraid of whether Tag could adjust to life with them again, having lived such a different life since they have been gone.  I too have really “spread my wings” and have changed a lot in my life since their departure.  But I told them it is the same for both Tag and me – no matter how many new people I’ve met, how much I’ve learned, how many new experiences I’ve had and how much I’ve grown, they will still always be my first and dearest friends who took me under their wings, showed me the ropes and helped me find my new start in life – and that can never be forgotten!

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