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A wee bit of (the former) normal

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My Golden Girl

Today my beautiful Sophie made me laugh out loud. I couldn’t help it. It was so good to laugh with her again. She was feeling very playful – ran into the den and grabbed one of her toys. In her quadpawd days she used to shake the living daylights out of this particular toy – throw it in the air – hold it down with her front paws and pull up with it firmly gripped in her soft muzzle. The toy never stood a chance. Today – however – the toy got the last laugh. She attacked it with vigor – unexpected and suddenly – whipping it side to side – beating against her ears – her tail wagging happily. But when she gave the toy the flip into the air – she found herself flipping over in mid-air, too – having wagged and whipped herself off balance. The toy landed on her unharmed and victorious for the first time in their relationship. Sophie was understandably confused.. If she was a cat – she would have walked off with an “I meant to do that” look. As a Goldie – she just smiled and lunged at the toy for another round. I’m sure she won the second heat.

Everyday she shows me further improvement, greater adaptation, more return to her pre-cancer personality. We jokingly call her “Sophie-Lou” because she was born in a barn – true ! – and she is the noisiest dog I have ever met. She snores like a severely overweight, drunk, old person passed out cold – flat on their back – suffering from nasal congestion! There is nothing dainty about our girl. Everything she does is big, noisy and generally destructive in some form or fashion. When she drinks – she “submarines” – she puts her entire snout into the bowl – right to the bottom – and splashes water in a good 3 foot diameter. Her food is scattered into two different rooms – because she takes a mouth full from the bowl, and runs to another room – spits it out and then eats the kibble off the carpet. She and her brother, Keaton, were opposite ends of the golden retriever scale – Sophie is loud, noisy, forever 2 years old – Keaton was 10 from the time he was born. He was so quiet – you never knew where he was in the house. When he swam – there was never even a ripple around him – and he would walk into the water carefully so as not to disturb the calm surface. Sophie dives into the water with glee and abandon – if she could do a cannonball – she would. When she swims – it looks like someone is drowning – there is water splashing all around her. She used to try to swim on top of Keaton – nearly drowning him in the process. When Sophie comes down the stairs – when she was 4-legged – it sounded like a stampede. Now it’s more like a lone beast separated from its herd.

Sophie was always the “bad” dog – the troublemaker dog – I can’t begin to tell you all of the things she has eaten – things that weren’t even food ! Β Of course, she ate lots of things that were food, too. Like the time she got into my son’s Hallowe’en candy – and met me at the door, when I got home from work, with suckers stuck all over her chest and head. Where’s the camera when you need one ! That was pre-digital camera days. Β Or the time I woke up in the morning to discover tiny bits of yellow paper strewn about my bedroom, down the hall, slightly larger pieces on the stairway – to almost identifiable pieces of paper on the floor at the bottom of the stairs – to the discovery of the ripped open 20 lb bag of Robin Hood flour they had found and sucked on all night. It hadn’t really occurred to me that the dogs were not in my room when I woke up. When I found them – Sophie had a plaster cast made of flour and drool coating her muzzle, her chest and both front feet. I had to chip the cured concoction off the ceramic tile with a chisel. Bad dogs.

Who’d have thought that Sophie would end up being this great dog ? She has surprised us all – and won us over with her sheer enthusiasm and love of life.

Sophie in the snow

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12 Responses to “A wee bit of (the former) normal”

  1. Hey Sophie,

    Call me next time your mom gets another 20lb bag of flour! That sounds like some serious dog fun and I would love to join you!
    What the heck was she going to do with 20 pounds anyway???!! Open up a bakery??!!


  2. Your post made me laugh and gave me a big smile. Thanks for sharing all of these great stories about Sophie and Keaton…I see that Mackenzie has some very similar personality traits to Sophie, like the “submarine” and then getting the surrounding area completely sopping wet (but she hasn’t gotten into the flour yet – LOL.) Chalk it up to those Goldens!

    So glad that Sophie is feeling good and she’s playing with her toys with such vigor. I bet she did win the 2nd heat. Such sweet photos and such a pretty golden girl!

  3. Mackenzie – I think it’s a common Golden thing to want to get as much of the body into water as possible – even if it’s only a water dish ! LOL !

    And yeah – Comet – I don’t know what the heck I was thinking buying a 20 lb bag of flour – I have never done so since “the incident” – better not to tempt fate, I figure… πŸ™‚ Sophie always checks each grocery bag that comes in the door – maybe she’s waiting for another big bag of flour to try for another body cast !

  4. Sophie sounds like you are a perfect golden retriever! Thanks for giving me some good ideas! Mom thinks I am the perfect dog since Peyton passed away and with your ideas I can be an even better dog πŸ™‚ ! I will make sure to let her know they were all your ideas! I must give credit where it is deserved!

    Don’t let your stuffed toys win too often it goes to their heads! Nothing worse than a stuffed animal that thinks its tough!

    Dillon and Rhys

  5. Hi Dillon and Rhys;

    Oh yes, Sophie is the perfect Golden – and is full of ideas – thanks for giving her credit … from the looks of you two, I think you’ll be coming up with plenty of fun ideas of your own ! Two Golden heads are always better than one. πŸ™‚

    and yeah – very important to keep those stuffed toys in line ! Surgical removal of the squeaking thing at first opportunity is a must – followed by a daily beating …

    … put your paw(s) up !
    Tana and Sophie

  6. Sophie,
    As much as I love seeing your blacked out avatar pic, have you thought about adding a little sunshine to it?

    Okay, tell your mommy to redo it! And this time, use the the “Alternative Upload”. It should work. I had the same problemo! And even tho black makes me look skinny, I like some color!


  7. Thanks, Comet …. I have TRIED many times to get an Avatar posted – and I always see one – BUT – it seems nobody else does. DARN IT ! Yes, black is my favorite color because of the wonderful slimming effect …. BUT (again, but) when you are a GOLDEN dog …. you should really have a beautiful picture.
    I hope this avatar works.

    Hey – I met a goldie named Comet in the vet hospital on Monday – you didn’t take a sudden trip up here to Canada did you?? πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Comet – I understand you are computer-savvy – do you have any idea why it would be that my blog avatar is only visible on My Blog? Everybody else just sees a black box – and that’s what shows up on my “friends'” lists, too. What the??
    Tana (Sophie’s mom)

  9. Sohie, if I have to choose between black or gold – I’ll take gold (14kt)!!!

    Thank you for noticing I am part golden. I am ignoring my DNA test because I know I am part golden and maybe some corgi. I am NOT an Afghan hound and St. Bernard! I am golden and corgi. SO THERE.

    Let me investigate you avatar problem. I’ll report back to you shortly!


  10. Sorry, I left your “p” out.

  11. Sophie –

    1. are you uploading from your blog dashboard?
    2. are you uploading a gigantic photo?

    Let’s try something:
    Go here:

    Log in again if it shows you aren’t logged in.

    Then find the link in print that says, “your Tripawd User Dashboard” (it’s very small in the middle of the page)
    Click that link.
    Now, follow the instructions on the avatar upload BUT when you are ready to upload after finding the pic you want to use, click the “alternative upload” button instead.
    Make sure your pic from your computer isn’t gigantic and make sure it’s in a .jpg or .gif or .png.

    Let me know if that works!

  12. Thanks Comet !! My avatar is apparently working – no more “basic black” for Sophie ! She is a golden girl for the world to see.

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