As anxious as I was for my kids to go back to school this year, I find this big old house a bit too quiet now. No more Netflix until 1:00 a.m. Gone are the days of teenagers hibernating in their caves until noon. As the kids become familiar with their new school, in their place, I am accompanied by two loving canines. One on each side of my desk chair, begging for food, walks, and most of all, attention. Do they get their way? Of course they do. They are indeed my buddies, and some days, my confidantes.