The Commonwealth of Virginia’s official State Dog has returned.

Seven years ago Anna Grace and I, along with the younger and much more wily Clayton Theodore Foxhound III, departed for Vienna. Throughout the flight I kept envisioning him in the Cargo hold, intermittently playing dog poker with the other canines and otherwise devising an escape from his captivity once the doors were open.

The Great Escape never happened, of course; about the poker game CTF will never tell. To write that his years in Vienna were the envy of all dogs would be an understatement, naturally. America is not as dog-friendly; we’re going to have to work a little harder to find the Virginian equivalent of “Hiking & Schnitzeling.”

Fast forward seven years to this past weekend. Tony had some repatriation matters with his agency, and took the occasion to fly His Majesty “home” to Virginia, where he is sharing Jack’s bachelor pad until we are all settled.

As we expected, agents at Vienna’s airport treated CTF like royalty. Anna Grace and I were permitted to sit with him in the waiting zone until the last moments before loading. We wished our Foxhound “Bon Voyage” before leaving the airport.

The long hours of travel ticked across our minds; we watched the Flight Tracker with interest.

Ten hours later Tony messaged, “Landed!” But that was not the entire story. Heartless morons at Dulles International Airport confused His Majesty with one of the non-accompanied canines and sent our CTF to CARGO instead of to Baggage Claim. I have written complaints that will go nowhere, of course.

TWO HOURS LATER, Clayton Theodore was reunited with Tony and Jack.

Later on his arrival day, Clayton Theodore commandeered Jack’s sofa for a nap.

And then it was time to explore the (temporary) new ‘hood!

Dog heaven!  A park with a water feature!  The repatriation is going well.