Funny how you come to mind when I let my guard down…

Funny how you come to mind,
When I let my guard down,
When I am relaxed,
Briefly happy,
My thought immediately turns to you,
Where is Sophie?
And then I of course,
Immediately realize,
And I am sad again.
It is as if happiness is tied to you.
If I am happy,
I want to share it with you.
Be with you.
Increase the happiness by being with you.
You were so much a part of the good in my life.
Not that it is a rough life otherwise.
I have no reason to complain,
Other than this loss of love.
Your love haunts me always.

2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy
2010 Fall, Sophie Happy

 

Facebook Sophie memories

facebook likes to remind me of SophieGoldenDoodle. Granted, a majority of my posts over time centered on her and my activities with her.

3/21/2012: Our evening walks were often at sunset so the backdrop here or at a playground, or at the lake, regularly had golden rays in it.

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2/6/2014: The walks served several purposes, one of them pictured here. Nothing like a little poo humor to get the conversation going in the instant messaging world, or the facebook feeds. We have many of these, and I should probably compile them into one post at some point.

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2/17/2014: I believe I only brought Sophie to work once. This was Presidents day, so I knew there would be few people at work – since we were officially closed, but some of us were supporting the skeleton staff. She wasn’t too fond of the new surroundings if i recall, and really not a fan of several male co-workers who stopped by to say hi. She never was a good first meeting gal. She had to warm up to new people over a little time, so would be quite aggressive and protective of me initially, but if they ignored her she would eventually see there was no threat and then she was looking for attention after that. The ladys who stopped to say hi were fine, but watch out dudes. The chair reminds me that she would treat some objects like impenetrable fences. I would work in the garage and throw out a perimeter in the driveway of lawn chairs, boxes, gas can, lawn mowers, ladder, and she would stay within those boundaries without trouble.

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3/19/2014: Just a morning walk through the neighborhood, but she was very keen to anything unusual. If there was a leaf bag sitting there, or a bicycle on it’s side, or a lawn greener than the last, she would notice and usually growl or bark at it.

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Sophie’s Nevers

  • Sophie never went outside at home without me or someone with her.
    -She was an indoor dog anyway, but this began when she was a puppy, likely because she would get into things and chew them up or eat them if we didn’t watch her closely. We also misunderstood feeding instructions for a puppy, and she was not getting fed enough. Hopefully, this didn’t contribute to her bad front legs or eventual cancer, but it did cause her to eat her “brother” Benny the Lhasa Apso’s poo out of starvation whenever she could…
    She was fast too – even after we had a vet finally tell us she should be eating as much as she can as a growing puppy- she would watch Benny out of the corner of her eye, and as soon as it dropped, she would bolt across the yard after it, and we often had to pull it out of her mouth. Fresh treats, I suppose, ingrained in her since youth, it was something we always had to watch out for. So consequently, it just became habit to keep an eye on her anytime she went outside. As the years went on, I came to think I was out there for her, protecting her, from whatever came, and I am sure she thought the same of her role for me. Whether the back yard, or front yard, we would sit there together and watch our surroundings, enjoying the view and the company, while each scanning for threats or just points of interest.
  • Sophie never didn’t eat her whole meal (except for the day she 1st went blind)
    -Any meal was a special event for Sophie. It was quite gratifying to see how much she appreciated being fed. She ate breakfast and dinner every day, and various dog treats throughout the day. As soon as you started making her meal, she would jump and bark, excited like it was her first and last meal. If you took too long, turned your back, she would be half up on the counter, going after it with her tall body. Barely waiting for the bowl to be set down, she would dive in and empty it ferociously, licking it clean after. She definitely love routine, and she knew it well. There was a sequence to her meals and if you missed or forgot a step, she would let you know. A Milk Bone after was mandatory, and sometimes two. Towards the end, her meals increased in content and complexity, but she still looked forward to them with vigor. I am sure the prednisone helped, but she continued to eat very well right up to her last meal. It suddenly saddens me that I don’t remember her last meal, but I am pretty sure it would have been a big pile of canned food – her favorite.
  • Sophie never would swim, only waded– except for the time she fell in lake Whitney! And then when she fell in the pool blind after not finishing meal :/ (both very brief trips!)
    Sophie loved the lake, and we lived near Stewart’s peninsula park so any time we could go there was a special day. Memorialized in this feature film, we have many good days at the lake, but she never would actually swim. She would run downhill directly at the lake shoreline -especially after ducks in the water- but would stop upon crashing into it when it got to the point she would have to swim. She loved to wade, especially after a tennis ball or stick, but started to cry if things got deeper than she could touch. We lost a few sticks and balls to the current unfortunately.
  • Sophie never went on a walk without her Frisbee.
    Any time we headed out for a walk, there was another sequence of events that had to happen. I usually had to put shoes on, grab my keys, phone, poo bags, and leash, and somewhere in the middle of that, allow Sophie to grab the Frisbee for our trip. We kept it in a bench by the door, or often it was somewhere in the house, where she left it after coming in the last time we walked. Now that was a stressful time, anytime she couldn’t find her Frisbee right away! She would run around the house, excited, barking, searching, and eventually would find it, preferably without help, or she would attack you (playfully) for being involved. Much like her meals, it seemed each walk was her first and her last. She would get so excited, it was a bit crazy and kind of an explosion out the front door into the world. Ooh! Another issue is when we were in transition, and had two Frisbees in the bench – which to take, which to take?! She would chew the heck out of them, so I would get a new one, but she was resistant to switching. Eventually, she would stress at which to take. If I grabbed one and handed it to her, she would snag it but then drop it and grab the other. And this continued back and forth for bit until she realized the goal was to go outside and would finally choose. Many people would comment on her Frisbee constantly in her mouth, especially those who saw us regularly, but even people driving by would slow and roll down a window to comment. There was often an annoying ritual as we walked as she would test me. She had to be the one to leave the house with the Frisbee, but if something grabbed her interest, a smell, or another animal that took her attention, she would drop the Frisbee. But typically, as soon as I picked it up, she would grab it back from me. an then maybe drop it again after a few feet, and as I picked it up, she would again grab it from me. This could get old… Another observation I made, was that she would keep the Frisbee in her mouth as she peed (somewhat comical looking, girl dog squatting with big pink Frisbee in mouth), but would drop it just before pooing. Sometimes JUST before pooing, so that I had to sort of dive in there and snatch it before poo dropped right onto it! I wasn’t always successful.
    Here is a very complete picture of our walk, including Frisbee management:

Explosions of barking followed any doorbell

Explosions of barking followed any doorbell, knocking, or vehicle sound out front.

Best home defense system EVER – and an annoyance to be explained every time a guest arrived.

Her bark was amazingly deep and menacing at times. As the guy working under his car found when she was surprised by his presence on a walk on night, “Shit! You scared me!”

Oh my did she get spooked at times. Especially at night – see “doesn’t like new areas

-anal gland-exploding spooked! One of our first extended walks, took us to another new area when Sophie was pretty young, and I saw some activity up ahead, pretty innocuous it seemed, people going from their house to car and back. It was night, so she was on edge a bit anyway, but when we got just past the car they were using, someone shut the door and it scared the crap out of her -literally. She bolted, ripping the extending leash from my hand, and took off down the sidewalk. I chased after her, calling, trying to reassure her all was well and when I finally did catch up to her, the smell was horrific – my first encounter with anal gland release – wooh that stinks! Baby, it’s OK, goodness sakes. For the rest of her life, I had to be extra aware of our surroundings. She never got over that skittishness. Always on edge. As we approached something potentially reaction invoking, i would slowly choke up on her extending leash, thumb pressing hard on the retracting brake, and even often had to lean back bracing for an inevitable lunge. (similar to my preparation when we encountered a rabbit or squirrel!)

 

Our connection was special


Thinking about you, I remember an observation a co-worker made after seeing us at a softball game together. I brought you to a game and had to tie you up near our bench while I played. You would cry when I went away from you even briefly, and wanted nothing to do with anyone trying to comfort you – you  were only interested in where I was or what I was doing. I had to switch with someone to play first base just to stay close to you and talk to you, comfort you, and sit with you between innings. They said I was a totally different person when I was with you and I agree- you made me a better person.

You would cry when I left you in the car even for a moment. Crying bloody murder! I recall stopping for gas and having to go inside to pee and you were crying so loud…

It reminds me it was a trip camping to possum kingdom to meet Pat and Steve’s families. Your first long road trip, you were pretty young. First encounter with Priscilla and pats dogs – none of them liked you.

Even trying to setup the tent, you cried like crazy because you had to stay in the car or when I then chained you to the camp site, you cried when I went back to the car to get stuff – oh my, you were a bit of a baby sometimes.

I remember the walks we would all take around PK campground and you always had to be out front – the lead dog. When we hiked up a small mountain, you dogs were all so hot and thirsty, but being so much out of your element, you refused to drink the water we tried to pour out for you in various containers – but none were “your” water bowl.

I remember it was a long drive yet, you were so excited by it all you never sat for more than a few seconds – back up standing, walking around the back, looking out the windows.

On the Lake Whitney camping trip a few yrs ago we had our share of excitement when you, after whining non-stop in the boat to get out, jumped over the side as we were in a large rocky area! You leapt out the bow and under water so quick I couldn’t stop it. I dove halfway out of the boat after you, grabbed you by the fur, and told DC to grab my ass to keep me from falling in with you 😮 scared the crap out of me that day miss.

I remember we had stopped at a Corsicana park on the way there so you could wander around, take care of business and drink water. We found out after we got to the site, that we left your nice big water bowl there… we stopped on the way back to try to find it, but someone had snatched it by then…

The grief still rises

it happens when we let our guard down. When we are briefly happy. We feel the moment of happiness and naturally look to you to share it with you, enjoy it more with you. “Come on Soph’, share this happy thing that just occurred, this warm thought, this good feeling. Let’s enjoy life together for a moment.”…  And then the happiness vanishes as we realize you are not there. Not anymore.

It happened tonight. I was watching tv and had a thought. Popcorn sounds good, yeah I’m gonna make popcorn. It’s not too late, that sounds good. I get up, unusually energized. “Come on baby, let’s make some popcorn!”, I would have said if I didn’t catch myself mid-thought and immediately shut down.

Then the battle to hold back the feelings. Lest we show emotion for such an old wound. Surely it has healed by now.

snow without you sucks

So, today it has snowed here where we live in Texas, and it is a rare enough occurrence that, though it is usually a pretty big deal, without you to enjoy it with us, it is much less so.

You enjoyed snow so much, it made it fun for everyone. The cold and snow did not bother you. Though I had to bundle up considerably (I can easily picture your frustrated, impatient, and often barking by then, frisbee holding face waiting on me), you refused to even wear the jackets or sweaters I tried to put on you -sometimes I forced something on you anyway so neighbors would feel better about you being out on walks in that weather. (video below)

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You jumped through the snow and ran as you could, until I held you back to keep you from falling on the ice. Your energy for things like this was always incredible. It was like you were experiencing it for the first time, every time. It made us appreciate it more seeing your joy for it. You’d run and play in the snow until you remembered the real reason for being out there and stopped to take care of business. The yellow snow joke would always arise as you relieved yourself and even the steamers often inspired a phone pic which was sent to cousin Steve to commemorate the event.

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Eventually, your long-haired feet would accumulate so much snow between your toes, you had trouble walking and I would have to break it apart and remove what I could on the walk. Which meant removing my gloves and freezing my hands while you chewed at my arms for touching your feet.

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When we finally arrived home, I would have to soak your feet in warm water to melt those snow-packed feet, clean the rest of the snow off you and wrestle/towel you dry. Then crazy Sophie would arrive, jumping, biting, attacking and playing throughout the house with your cold-inspired energy.

It’s just not the same without you baby, and I suppose it never will be.
Miss you, Soph

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yup, yellow snow it is
yup, yellow snow it is

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