Monday, August 26, 2013

National Dog Day 2013: The Good And Faithful Companion Opens A Window Into The Delight Of The Moment

Sophie, a PomChi seen pictured here, came into my life in June of 2009.  My friend of 30+ years bought the pup to keep her male Chihuahua company.

It turned out that Sophie, being a puppy, was more than a handful.  I first met Sophie around Thanksgiving of 2008.  I made friends with her, but I agreed with my friend that she was juuuuuuuuussssst a tad hyperactive.

I visited my friend again over the Christmas holiday and was re-introduced to the whirling dervish.

The next month, January, the sweetest dog I ever owned passed away.  I was heartbroken and the house was painfully devoid of life.  I still miss her to this day.

I made another visit to my friend for her birthday that same month.  My friend asked if I would consider taking Sophie.  I declined saying that I thought we weren’t a good match.

Then my friend’s aunt, who lived in the same city as me was placed in hospice and my friend came up to visit her.  My friend packed up the car with the two dogs and headed to my house while she visited her aunt.

When she arrived she got both dogs out of the car, closed the gate and put them both on the ground.  Neither moved.  They acted liked they were stuck in hardened cement.

I called to Sophie and Teddy to come.  Sophie rushed to me.  I petted her and, as if by magic, she discovered grass and trees and squirrels.  She ran the entire length and breadth of my yard.

Soon Teddy saw the delight in the moment and took off running as well.

It wasn’t until June of that year, when I was again visiting my friend, that the question was once again asked, “Why don’t you take Sophie back home with you?”

My friend’s rationale was that it was shame that a dog so full of life should be confined to the house.

How could I not take her after such a poignant remark?

I did take her home with me.  The next day I had to go to work.  When I came home later that evening, she had chewed the hell out of a wardrobe valet stand.  I had a “come to Jesus meeting” with Sophie.

I went to work the next day and when I walked in the door after a hard day I surveyed the house for any damage.  Voila!  Everything was still intact.

Sophie goes everywhere with me in the car.  She loves the drive-thru at Wendy’s because she knows she’ll get her own cheeseburger (no onions or pickles, thank you).

She goes out every morning and runs figure eights and if, perchance, a squirrel is in the yard a furious footrace ensues.  She never catches one, but don’t tell the squirrels that.

Long story short, Sophie has calmed down and every time she visits Teddy my friend comments on how much she’s changed.

Anyway, since today is National Dog Day, I thought I’d share a photograph of my fur kid.

Dogs teach us about living each new day with exuberance and unbridled delight.  They teach us about hanging your head out the car window and letting the wind blow up your nose, the thrill of a fresh snowfall and the serenity of a nap in the shaft of the afternoon sunlight.

As we grow old and achy together, there is comfort in the friendship, selflessness and unwavering loyalty of a good and faithful companion.

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