Friday, September 2, 2011

Lessons from the grave

Sophie died peacefully on August 31st at around noon. I miss her but I have no regrets. There was never a time when I was not attentive to her and I did everything I could to give her the best three years of her life.

As a result, although I am sad, I am not consumed by grief or remorse. Once again Sophie has taught me some life lessons even in death and here the are:

Lesson one:
Tell everyone you care about that you love them and SPEND TIME WITH THEM. Nothing is more important than that.

Lesson Two:
Live today as if it is your last day, as it may be. Don't hesitate to take that trip, or to check out a garden. You only live in this moment. Love while you can, never take your loved ones for granted as they may not be there the next day. The day before Sophie died, I took her for a walk to her petstore and bought her (as usual) anything she wanted. I did not know it would be her last outing.

Lesson Three:
I used my energy and knowledge to comfort Sophie in life and death. The rewards that brought me and the peace are immeasurable. When you love completely and give your heart to another, your heart grows, you become a changed person. Love cannot be bottled inside of us, it needs to be expressed.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sophie's poem

Hello friends, I passed away today at around noon. I am sure many of you will be sad. This morning, I was on the deck and my mother sang hymns to me and prayed with me. I know I will be with God and that I shall see my mother and my father again.

Do not weep for me...I am not there
Do not cry for me...for I am at peace
Do not wait for me at the door of your home
Do not look for me at your window or on your walk

I will never forget the love you showed me
The soft strokes on my fur when others had abandoned me
When I was discarded and scared you saw my soul and you
loved me

I learned to trust and I learned to love
I learned that there is beauty in the world
I learned to listen to the birds sing, and feel a soft bed under me

I taught you that our time is now and that life is to be enjoyed
I watched you as you watched me run in the park or at the farmers market
I watched you as you smiled at my beauty and my spirit

Do not mourn for me. Learn from me and open your heart and your home to another and teach them to love and to trust. That is my gift to you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sophie says goodbye

My name is Sophie and for almost four years I have been so wonderfully blessed to live with Cyril, Karine and Bubba. I had lovely walks to dog parks, homemade food, great beds and was told daily how much I was loved. My earlier life was not very good and I felt many times that I was dreaming but woke up to be told how loved I was.

I was diagnosed with kidney failure about a week ago. I used to love food and even steal it! In fact, I stole one of my mother's energy bars and was so pleased. I don't have much of an appetite. My mother handfeeds me meatballs and bacon and anything I want but it is hard for me to eat. I still enjoy my walks...I love to feel the wind on my fur and feel the grass in my paws.

I am not sure how much longer I have. Life is a journey is it not. I went from pain and neglect to a wonderful and loving home. I have another journey to make but this time my mother Karine, my brother Bubba and my daddy Cyril cant come with me. I will wait for them! I promise I will not forget them because I know they wont forget me ever!

To all of my friends.. enjoy the time you have. Never forgo a treat or a chance to steal a ham sandwich from an unsuspecting picnic goer. Watch the rabbits and don't chase the squirrels. Enjoy a soft bed and never get tired when people tell you how much you are loved. Love them back!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Workout madness, yoga and other human follies!

As a dog, I am sometimes underestimated for what I know and understand. Humans assume that I am not observant but this is not the case.

Every day Karine is engaged in what she calls a workout. She gets on a bike trainer and I hear the whir of the wheel and her groans for over an hour. Then she crawls out of the basement and rests before making a shake for breakfast. Sometimes she does yoga. I watch her do down dog! As a dog, trust me, we don't do silly things like that. As for updog, well that kind of stretch is only reserved before bed.

I have tried to understand this exercise thing and have concluded it is part of a much larger malaise with the human race that can easily be corrected.

The first is nutrition. We dogs have got that down to a science, we eat what is put before us and beg for treats. We never serve ourselves treats and we eat balanced meals. I see humans always getting between their meals! I have heard them actually complain about their meals. We dogs take meals very seriously and although we are sometimes accused of eating too quickly, trust me we smell when our meals are prepared and enjoy every meal. So for you food challenged humans, have someone feed you, like we do.

The second is exercise. We dogs relax, and let our muscles stretch. We do a lot of doga but don't make a big deal about it or wear special clothing. When we are out, we don't waste time, we run, we play then we sleep again, a little more doga and more sleep. Humans appear to spend hours sitting, looking into a screen. They only move their fingers! Then they panic and run like hamsters to the gym or on their bike trainers. We dogs simply make exercise a part of our lives! We are taken out for walks and use that time. So for you exercise challenged humans, have someone take you out for walks and make exercise a part of your life.

The other big problem we dogs notice about humans is that you will often complain of being lonely. Not a wonder, if you look at a screen all day. When we go out for walks have you noticed how WE say hello to every dog we see? We always sniff and snort and make them feel welcome. I have noticed that many times you don't always greet all the people you see. We dogs consider that socially unacceptable.

You humans pretend that you like to live alone. Dogs know better. We are pack animals and happiness is sleeping in your den surrounded by your pack. We don't run from our pack, or pretend we are busy. We relish our families, our brothers and our sisters even though they sometimes steal our treats. We know they belong. How many times have I watched the news when a human has never felt they belong and that they have been rejected. How tragic it must be not to have a pack.

So next time you see me on my leash walking with Karine and my sister Sophie...remember that you can learn a lot from me and your own dogs!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dogs and workouts

I am now fully engaged in an extensive workout program with my bike trainer and weights. A short workout is over an hour and sometimes closer to 2 hours.

My dogs do not get the concept of a workout. A dog's life is so much simpler, eat, sleep, pee and play. When I put on my gear and carry my water bottle downstairs my dog Bubba looks at me as if I have lost my mind. Today he whined and carried on as if he needed to go out immediately. I cut short my workout and he gave me a triumphant smile as I mounted the basement steps. "Yes I did it!" you could hear him say as he skipped to his favourite chair.

To be fair to Bubba, he has not been feeling well lately and therefore I am very attentive of him. The look on his face was priceless.

Folks, if you are doing heavy workouts at home, don't listen to what your dogs say, they are laughing at you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Feeding time and Bubba

Many humans believe that all we dogs do is eat and sleep and are obsessed about food. This image has been dominant in TV cartoons with Snoopy and in most movies where dogs are featured.

I admit, that my partner Sophie is obsessed with food and plays into the stereotypical dog image but let me tell you how it really is.

We have a boarding dog at the moment and when he and Sophie are eating I simply abstain. They have atrocious table manners. In order for me to eat, I require an appetizer, this stimulates my appetite and when the dogs have finished, I consider it a good time for me to eat, after an amuse bouche!

Next time you see a dog slaver for food or treats, or worse lower themselves to do tricks for food, remember, not all dogs are created equal!