On TIBC’s Facebook site, we’ve followed a 24-hour journey of a missing dog who is now home again with his family.

It made me think of our own two lovable granddoggies, who are faithful companions to us all.

Willy — his official name is The Dred Pirate Fireball Wilson Roberts — is a Jack Russell, white and black, who is supposed to be very high-strung and active. While he has his moments, he is the laziest dog. He sleeps all day and is always ready to go to bed in the evening before anyone else. He’s very smart and will respond to you if you ask him a question. He can catch popcorn in the air… OK, any food that is tossed at him. But he loves popcorn… and chips. Open a potato chip bag — or any plastic bag — and he’s right there waiting for a snack.

Willy is faithful. His daddy is our younger son, Zachary, who is heading off to college next week. Zach sat him down and had a “father-son talk” with him. Some may think dog’s don’t understand, but for the rest of the evening, Willy didn’t leave Zach’s side. Since that “conversation,” Willy searches for Zach’s clothing and bedding items to rest his head on when he’s relaxing.

I think that dog knows more than we give him credit for… even now, as I write, Zach isn’t home. Willy keeps pacing to the door and looking out for long periods of time. He’s gonna be a sad puppy when we get back from New York.

Our other granddoggie is Sammie. Or Samantha… Samantha Granger, to be exact. She’s a Lab-mix who is the sweetest dog. She’s so loyal and will come up to us and put her head in our laps, looking up with her big brown eyes. She loves to lounge on the couch on her back, with her legs in the air, usually one of her front legs, and looks like she’s holding her hand up in class.

Sammie has had her own separation from her daddy, our older son, Tyler. In December when we went to Florida to Tyler’s graduation, we brought Sammie back with us, because Tyler’s living arrangements would no longer accommodate her. She would perch herself at the front door and watch for him, but it was six months before she saw him again. Boy, was she ever happy… and so was he.

Sammie and Willy get along splendidly, and it’s fun to watch them tug at opposite ends of the rope bone. These two four-legged creatures are very much a part of our family. They bring us such happiness and companionship. I don’t want to think of a day when they won’t be with us.

So, tonight, I’m thankful that the little lost dog, Chevy, made it back home to his family.

Some may think they’re just animals, but those of us who understand know they’re something more… family.