Upon hearing my car in the driveway, Oscar the cockatiel begins sqwaking. It's a high-pitched call meant for me to hear him and know where to find him. I'm part of the flock and he's calling me back to the nest. As soon as I open the door, I hear, "Hello, Birdy-Bird! Hello Birdy-Bird!" I must answer or the sqwaking continues.
Sneauball runs up and begins bouncing at my feet, begging for me to pick him up. If I do, he showers me with sweet little puppy kisses as his behind wiggles from all the tail wagging. He immediately tries to settle into the crook of my arm so that I must carry him with me. His life would be complete if I carried him snuggled in the crook of my arm everywhere I went. If I put him down, he begins a Bichon Blitz, which means he runs back and forth with this big smile on his face and his tongue hanging out, running for the sheer pleasure of running. It is a joyous celebration that sometimes includes Sophie. Often Sneauball tries to get Omar the cat involved but it usually just turns into Sneauball jumping on Omar's head a couple of times and Omar meowing protest.
Sophie's celebration also begins the minute she hears me walking to the door. She runs off and finds the toy du jour and runs with it to me, growling and "killing" it by shaking her head and her entire body while the poor toy is in the grasp of her little jaws. She will follow me, growling still with said toy, bumping into the back of my leg with her nose. I usually joke and tell E that my leg is growling again. Then she'll run ahead of me into whatever room I am headed to, still growling and "killing" her toy. Today it happened to be her favorite rope. She swings her head and body so fiercely and so close to me that she usually ends up whacking my leg with that thing. I swear the celebration goes on for a good 10 minutes and then she's done.
Omar is often in the back of the house, usually on our bed and seldom gets up to greet me. Instead he meows loudly in an effort to get me to come to him and give him a good scratch on the ears. As a cat, it is well beneath him to actually run to greet me.
Usually it is only after I greet the feathered and furry children that I get to greet my husband. Thankfully he understands as he gets the very same greeting every time he returns home.
I'll never know what it would be like to come home to a child of my own. But I've got to say that these daily welcome home parties are nothing to sneeze at. :-)