Friday, November 18, 2016

Cool weather—and the love of a dog

Bringing Sophie home at eight weeks

We always think that hot, humid days make us lazy and lethargic, so by that kind of reasoning do cool days energize you? I suspect many would say both yes and no---want to go for a brisk walk? Great day for it. Want to work at your desk? Not so good.

Today was the first brisk day we’ve had—and to think it’s almost Thanksgiving. It didn’t at all inspire me to action. I spent much of the day wishing I was warmer. I worked at my desk, but didn’t do a thing on the two projects before me—the neighborhood newsletter and notes for a novel. I am perfectly capable of frittering away a day like this with email, Facebook, and a long nap.

The nap part ends with Sophie jumping on the bed and snuggling. She’ll use her nose to boss my hand around, indicating she wants me to scratch her head and not just lie there. Then she’ll lay her head on my shoulder and stare into my eyes—sorry, folks, but it reminds me of a couple of men with heads on my pillow. Pleasant memories, and it’s good to know you’re the center of someone’s universe. I started to say even if it’s a dog but I think I mean especially if it’s your dog. I’ve heard that one sign your dog recognizes you as the alpha dog and master is that it looks you directly in the eyes and not in a confrontational manner.

Somehow this is transforming itself into a dog blog, but one of the things that intrigues me about Sophie is her protective nature. A physical therapist comes to do exercises with me and an LVN comes to stand by while I get in and out of the shower (right now I’d never do it unattended—too afraid of falling). Sophie likes them both and greets them joyously, but when they are with me she never leaves my side.

One of the most difficult parts of my life these days is getting out of the cottage—yes, my physical problems make it difficult but leaving Sophie doubles the degree of difficulty. If she sees the transport wheelchair come out of the closet, she goes ballistic—jumping, whining, barking—and ready to run out the door with me. A solution that usually works is to put her in the yard—whoever is helping me gets me out the door and goes back to let Sophie in the cottage. When I return, she never threatens to leave. I laughed when one friend said to her when we returned, “See? I brought the love of your life back to you.” Sophie was quite satisfied.

I am blessed to have family and friends but Sophie is a special blessing. The first dog I housebroke and trained in years—she’s not perfect, and she sometimes has inappropriate but unquenchable enthusiasm. But she’s the best dog I’ve had in years—maybe ever—and she and I have a real bond.

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