Today is the last day of my visit with Erika. I can't lie--I'm looking forward to getting home to Glenn, my dog-girls and my house, but it's always so hard leaving my human girl knowing that it could be months before I see her again. On the last day before I leave her, I always think of Laura Ingalls' grandparents and the parents and grandparents of all the pioneers and explorers who expanded and built this country of ours. When they said goodbye to their precious children and grandchildren, it was usually with the almost certain knowledge they would never see them again. How did they stand it? I know I can see Erika again as soon as my work schedule allows and as soon as Christian's reserve for tolerating his mother-in-law builds back up! That's not as good as knowing I'll see her for Sunday dinner would be, but it is far, far better than what Ma and Pa Ingalls' parents knew on their last day together.