Mama came home early today, Thursday–well before lunch–and
she let Max and I/Sophie into the backyard to run and play in the tall green grass.
She must have known that the bright sunny day and cool breezes beckoned to me.
Although my crate pillow is quite nice and comfy, too.
Today in Mid May is as beautiful a Spring day as I have ever seen
in my seven years, one month, and 16 days of life–April 1st being my birthday.
The Summer months of warmth lay before us.
But today is cool and perfect doggie weather.
Today, Mama tosses me a new yellow ball that squeaks when I bite it.
I like balls, sometimes to chew, but mostly to run after.
Mama tosses me my ball and I try to catch it mid air–I do several times.
She tosses me Max’s ball, too–since he would rather chew the grass than chase balls.
We play our toss and fetch game several times before I tire and rest.
I am breathing heavy and fast, but this is fun.
The green grass between my paw pads is cool and comforting.
The shade that the cherry tree offers is a cool spot as well.
Mama went inside the house for several minutes just now,
leaving me unchaperoned with my ball as I laze in the grass under the tree.
Do I have time to chew a hole into my ball? Hmmm?
The ball squeaks like prey, but does not taste like it–a pity.
Mama knows too well my penchant for chewing–
my toys, a slipper or two, the dining room table leg,
the fringe hanging down from the couch blanket throw,
the mail, etc. I admit all doggishly. Chewing is my calling.
Papa usually calls me Princess Sophia von Hapsburg–
Sophie is my nickname–as if to reinforce my specialness with a title.
But both Mama and Papa know that I am special,
even without the appellation. I joined their family December 1, 2005.
Arf Arf Arf! I barked too much just now.
And Mama brings me inside the house.
If the neighbor lady didn’t want the noise of life, then she shouldn’t
have moved in next to me and the kids next door.
But Mama lets me keep my ball inside–a real treat!
Of course while I have my ball,
I won’t be chewing on anything else–for now.
But I love the cool wood floors to lay on and nap.
Mama also puts soothing ointment on the 3 inch wound near my left eye.
I don’t know how I got my ouchy, it just appeared one day last week.
Mama strokes me lovingly as I look up at her with a happy grin.
Extra love and attention from my humans is always welcome.
And though Mama and Papa put my pills in cheese for me to eat them,
that is merely me training them to give me what I want–cheese.
They also give me milk to drink and ham to munch as treats,
as enticements to come indoors after a barking episode.
Except for our younger doggie, Max,
who has far too much energy for play if you ask me,
my life is very good in this loving home.
I especially like the air conditioning blowing out of the floor vents.
I carry my ball like a totem to another spot on the cool wood floor.
I have to move since I warmed up the other spot.
I wonder if I leave my ball at the end of the hallway,
will Mama roll it to me? No, she didn’t bite, but there is hope.
Instead, I decide to drink some cool water in my kitchen,
and then I lie on the plush carpeting in front of Mama in the sitting room.
I look longingly in the direction of my ball–hint hint.
Then I go back to my ball and move it to in front of Mama and lay down ready to pounce.
Success! She rolls the ball. And then I leave the ball with her one more time
and she tosses it for me to chase–inside the house, no less!
But I decide to lazily rest and roll around on the sitting room rug,
chewing my ball happily. Maybe I can chew more rug fringe, too.
If every day will be like today for the rest of my life–
playing outside in cool weather, chasing my ball, chewing things, extra ham,
milk, Max leaving me alone sometimes, cool wood floors, cushy pillows,
and strokes and cuddles from Mama and Papa–I will be happy.
And today is as beautiful a Spring day as I will ever see.
And though this Spring weather will not last much longer,
its cool breezes and sunny days will cheer me.
For though I do not know it now, this will be my last Spring.
You see, we doggies live for today–we are present in this moment.
We might remember yesterday’s routine–of what we have our humans do for us. Arf!
But we do not think about tomorrow–or even if there is a tomorrow.
For if all I/Sophie have is today, then I will live it well–taking my rest at its end.
I know that you were expecting a “North & South: Nurturing Love” story post today–and you will have one on Monday–my apologies. But sometimes life throws us an unexpected and unwanted curve. And we must face it head on.
You see, our doggie Sophie had surgery last week to remove a large mass from deep inside the left side of her face. The biopsy results came back earlier today/Thursday. Sophie has been diagnosed with a fast growing bone cancer in her upper jaw. There is no cure. All we can do is make Sophie as comfortable and as pain free as possible for the remaining few months she has left to live–and give her our love and attention as always.
And we will also need to tend to our younger doggie Max–Sophie’s sometimes overly playful companion who cried howlingly when she was away at the hospital last week. His gentle concern for her when she returned–sniffing her incision several times each day–tells us that doggies may have an instinctive insight for, if not an understanding of, such things. Of course we, their humans, don’t understand such things either.
So although my heart is breaking–and I am weeping as I write this on Thursday–my love for Sophie and for what she means to our family will always be with us. And my husband and I will try to live in the moment with Sophie each day–loving her and cherishing her–until she has no more moments, and she firmly and lovingly lodges herself forever in the memories of our hearts.
Gratiana Lovelace (Sophie’s Mama)
Sophie and Max images are by my husband, Bill.
Other images are courtesy of MSOffice Clip Art.