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!)


Just can’t seem to finish our last project

Paint Doors project
Paint Doors project

Miss Sophie would always keep me company on my many projects wherever they happened to take place. The house, the garage, the backyard, the front yard. Not a bother, didn’t get into anything -usually- just sat quietly, she just wanted to be around. If the project spanned several areas, she would of course follow, and I of course waited for her. Held a door as needed, fixed a spot for her to sit. It was just a given. She was going to be there. If I didn’t let her know I was starting up something and maybe let her nap, she was invariably offended that I started without her. I’d come back in, an she was waiting, noticably peeved and immediately joined the venture. I regularly had to tell her as I went out the front door, “no, I’m not going outside for anything, I just have to run to the store- I’ll be right back”.

As her illness worsened, and Texas summer heated up, I found she couldn’t be outside for long, and not wanting to leave her alone, I focused on indoor projects like painting these doors, where she could be near, and watch.

And I enjoyed the audience, the eyes always watching me- head rarely moving- just her eyes tracking, keeping me in view. I felt I was doing the projects with her, often for her. But this one was our last, and she passed away before I was able to finish it. I just can’t seem to get on it again. My heart’s just not in it anymore baby girl. Maybe this weekend…

Here are those eyes tracking me, keeping me close:
Sophie watching me paint