We get some of the strangest fog around here.
[Life got busy after Sophie left us so this didn’t get published in a timely manner]
She started off her rescued life at ELPO as “Lucille” after she was found wandering South Dallas and it’s speculated she might have been a Katrina dog. ELPO originally thought she was much older until they cleaned her teeth and knocked several years off her estimated age. They speculated she’d been eating garbage during her street days and she never had much of a discriminating palette until her later years. June bugs and Cicadas were always her favorites, with the odd lizard thrown in if she could get one.
After the adoption, Susan thought she looked more like a Sophie and so Sophie she became.
She went from a shaggy wookie to a thin puppy in no time. While she was likely a year or two old when she joined us, she always had the soul of a puppy.
She was our sweet girl. Our doggie-dog. If there was stereotypical dog behavior, she’d display it at some point. From rolling in the grass (fortunately not on anything too smelly) to sniffing everything in the area during a walk to barking at people walking by the house. She never attacked the mailman though, so that’s good. I think that most of the time when she barked at people walking by the house it was more often than not a “Hey! Hey! Wanna talk to me?!”
She loved to go out early in the morning and run around the yard. Even as she got older and developed hip dysplasia and congestive heart disease there was no stopping her. She’d bound outside, stop for a moment and sniff deeply of the first thing that caught her nose and then leap up into the air, turn around and run off down the yard as if to shout “Wheeee! It’s a new day!” On most mornings that first run would be part of a challenge with her packmate Chip, to see who could make it across the yard first. They’d then part ways and sniff about as their noses demanded.
When she was younger she’d do what we called her “happy Sophie dance” for breakfast and dinner.
She so loved to run. She’d run around the house, run around the yard, run around the neighborhood. She wasn’t a great running partner though because she had a tendency to suddenly dart across our path in search of of the source of that great smell she just picked up.
She had really long non-schnauzer legs that would let her get up to some impressive speeds.
She was also one of the cuddliest dogs we know. Her favorite place to be was in a lap, leaning against the person petting her. Unfortunately she was just big enough that would laps weren’t comfortable for very long but she was just as happy moving to the nearest spot on the couch.
As she got older she adopted our recliner as it let her stretch out and while we couldn’t pet her as she sat there, she could keep an eye on us.
Hopefully she’s still keeping an eye on us.
Is it just me, or is my mom’s new retirement community trying to prevent dogs and cats from visiting the residents?
Here’s the deal. Mom moved into a well respected, truly luxurious high rise retirement community. She paid a terrific sum for admission and looks forward to paying more in monthly rent than a two-bedroom in Manhattan. (Really! I looked it up.) Don’t think of an old folks’ home; think of a cruise ship anchored in a city. A seniors’ cruise. Considering the lifetime of coupon clipping and cautious money management she and my dad went through, she deserves the lux and comfort.
Speaking of comfort, what about having her dog visit? Mom was so sad to give up Sophie, her Mini Schnauzer companion for the past eight years, but she knew she couldn’t keep the pup cooped up in an apartment, not when Sophie revels in romping around a large yard. So Miss Sophie came to live with us and her brother-rival Chip. That was last week. Now it’s Thanksgiving week, and Michael and I plus the doggies want to visit Mom’s spiffy new apartment and let Mom cuddle her Sophie for hours. Enter the Pet Policy.
The community’s pet policy has all the normal stuff, like wanting a copy of vaccination records, proof of current rabies shots, and the vet’s contact info. Petco wants that for grooming. The retirement place also wants us to promise to walk the dog outside and to clean up after it – cool – to take responsibility for any damage it does – of course – and they want you to have $10,000 liability insurance covering the pet – what? It turns out our homeowners’ policy includes that, so we’re still cool. Then they want a signed statement from the vet saying the animal has been fixed (already covered on the rabies cert, guys) and that it’s healthy and has no communicable diseases. So basically they want visitors to take the dog/cat to the vet for a checkup before every visit? Plus the community wants an affidavit signed by the pet owner saying in case of emergency the Administration can first call two of our friends to come and get Fido – and these friends have to sign too – or they can have the pet removed and boarded at the owner’s expense. Um, we’re just visiting, not moving in, so … seriously? Then we get to this gem:
Under no circumstances are visiting pets to be left unattended in the apartment or outside on the resident’s balcony at any time. Pets left unattended will be considered an emergency and reported to appropriate authority for removal from the premise at resident’s expense.
Are we visiting an inmate at Huntsville or Mom in her retirement home? …her own private apartment …the place with walls and a door to contain the rock star-style trashing these 18 pound hounds will rain upon it, while the humans are away, carelessly eating lunch.
Skim the policy for yourself. Would the mythical reasonable man find this reasonable? 184.108.40.206 Pet Policy for Visitors and Application-PDF Version.pdf
Everybody knows that dogs calm people down, make us happier, and keep us healthier. With what this saga is doing to my blood pressure, I need to go hug a dog. Make that two.
November 30, 2013: While the Pet Policy remains, I did learn that it’s the residents, not management, who strenuously object to pets on the premises. All I can guess is that it’s a small but powerful minority of residents who feel such hostility toward four-legged companions. In the end, we were allowed to bring Chip and Sophie for a visit, and we obediently carried them in our arms down the hall and in the elevator before allowing paws to touch floor. Only one resident gave us the “hairy eyeball” and a brief inquiry as to who we were. Everyone else we encountered cooed the usual “Aww!” and “Oh, they’re Schnauzers! My son / neighbor / sister has one, and they’re the best dogs!”
Perhaps something truly unpleasant happened once upon a time that turned the residents against dogs, and those who remain have not and will not get over it. This Thanksgiving, however, when elevator passengers mixed with dogs, nearly everybody got a case of the warm fuzzies.
Me: Maybe I should say that just to shock her.
Susan: That’s like hunting in the zoo.
Susan: This is the dog cheese.
Me: Does that mean it’s been in the dog?
Me: No, I tried it before you gave me the drink and it was still hard.
(Get your mind out of the gutter. I couldn’t figure out how to re-enable Swype after having wiped my phone)
I’ve always loved JCB (what all the cool people are calling it) but I never suspected it could turn a perfect little dog into the epitome of evil.
It can take those you love and make them do unspeakable things.
Some of you wanted gross-out pictures from the inside of my head so here you go.
First is the required non-squeamishy picture, not of my dog this time but rather a picture of a tasty sangria that I can’t have right now. Not that I would anyway since it’s 3am when I’m writing this but if it were 3pm I still couldn’t have one with the meds I’m on.
Go on, just look at that frosty glass and tasty, tasty liquid. You know you want one.
Excellent. Now that you’re all soothed, here come the crime-scene photos.
First the ubiquitous picture of a handsome dog to save the squeamish among you, though there really isn’t anything squeamishing in this post unless you count the picture of me later on down. I just needed an excuse to include a picture of my running buddy.
Puppy dog comes in from the rain, puppy dog rubs his face all over the floor.