Farewell, my Sweet Sophie

It has taken me all day to write this post, and it will be short. At least until I have a little time to let things settle.

Our family had to say goodbye to Sophie this week, and it has broken our hearts. I first noticed something amiss in August, very subtle, but not quite right. After an extensive workup, cancer was the likely culprit. I say ‘likely’ because other findings (low platelets and bleeding) made some diagnostic tests not possible at the time. I will be writing this all up from a more medical perspective on my about.com site soon, but I still need some time.

Sophie was one of many pets in this household, but in her sweet quiet way, she ruled the roost.

We adopted her from the shelter in 2002. She raised our two kids and countless other pets; showing them how to behave and at the same time, protecting them and teaching them the ways of the world. Some pets – like the Greyhounds Purl and Argos – needed more help than others.

Sophie had to teach the Greyhounds LOTS of things, like how to be “normal” dogs in a home environment, how fun walks are (Sophie’s all-time favorite activity), greeting people on walks, and playful things, like digging in the sand.


Always more fun with a friend.

Sophie was also our alert dog. For everything and everybody. The Greyhounds got to where they just watched her, then looked off into the distance to see what she was looking at. Here Sophie spies an Oystercatcher on the beach.


Check this out guys!

Sophie had to be the leader. All the time, everywhere we went. The first out the door, the first in the car, the leader on every walk and hike. This was mostly good, except when she ignored me… doing whatever she pleased, on her own timeframe. But I am probably just a poor dog trainer.


Always in the lead. Luckily the Greyhounds like to follow.

Earlier this year, I posted this photo (reposted below). I didn’t realize until after I took it that a rainbow was right over Sophie’s head! She was a pot o’ gold, for sure.

Sophie is my pot of gold!

Sophie is my pot of gold!

The one thing I did NOT want – any suffering or lingering in a compromised state. We all want that of course, and I’ll be honest… it is hard to “know” that time, isn’t it? The lines are very blurry. And then those lines get blurrier, as the disease progresses. The new benchmarks are different than what we see in their previously healthy state.

But I knew. That light had left her eyes. She had other signs too, like not wanting to eat, and breathing that had become labored. Such a change from a few months ago, hiking for miles and miles in July. No one believed me when I said she was almost 12. Young and energetic, she lived a healthy life. And a very happy one.

It has been stormy and rainy here, fall ushered in by cold winds. But… on my sad drive home after saying goodbye, everything changed. The skies were on fire in that time photographers call “the golden hour.” I had to pull over several times, it was so beautiful.

Can you see the rainbow?

Do you see the rainbow?

And then lovely purples and pinks.

And then lovely purples and pinks.

The grand finale looking west. The ocean is over there...

The grand finale looking west. The ocean is over there. Way over there.

Thirty minutes later, it was all over. Back to gray. Coincidence? You can decide, but I like to think it was a final goodbye from a really great dog.

Farewell, Sweet Sophie.

We will miss you always.

We will miss you always.

It’s Hairball Day and A Giveaway!

Once again, Team AboutVetMed (Barnie, Quincy, my daughter and I) participated in Hairball Awareness day. I posted a sneak peek of our final entry on Monday, and here is a quick review:

2013 FURminator Entry

Ten bloggers participated in this year’s challenge of “mustache cats.” The 11 cats (we snuck in a second cat) are also featured on Romeo’s blog, the FURminator Facebook page!, and People Pets gallery. Check all of them out for info and links to great cat photos and pet blogs! Woooot!

2013 FURminator Challenge

The challenge seemed simple enough. Brush your cat(s), glue the fur on a stick mustache, take a photo of it with your cat. Too easy, almost. Until we brought out this crazy new toy.

Here is a recap of the photo shoot.

We started with Quincy. He was very interested in this new item.



Mellow Barnie was easy peasy. One shot. There you go.


Sophie gives this mustache thing a go.


Argos kind of likes the new look.


Crazy Purl just loved all of the commotion and wasn’t concentrating on her photo pose.


Back to Quincy. Maybe a new environment would help with the mustache pose. Surely this “new toy” interest is wearing off by now?


Back to Purl, taking a break from her toy destruction.


Quincy isn’t sure about this yet. Maybe letting him “grab” the mustache will lessen the curiosity? Nope.


Finally resorted to pulling out a new toy to grab his attention and get the quick photo of ‘stached Quincy.


Win a FURminator


If you aren’t sure about what a FURminator is or how well they work, please see my Cat FURminator review with Barnie the model.

Got a cat or two? Want a FURminator of your own? Just caption this photo in the comments below. The winner will have their choice of  a cat deshedding tool and choose the size (under 10 lbs, over 10 lbs) and long hair or short hair.

The winner will be chosen using the random number generator on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 12 noon Pacific time. Prizes will be shipped directly from FURminator. Please leave your comment here.

Update: this drawing is now closed.

And the winner is: the 4th comment – Nancy! Please see this post for the winner announcement.

Thanks to all who participated – loved your captions!

Disclaimer: I was given a FURminator tool for this review/photo shoot. FURminator tool image courtesy of FURminator Inc.

The photo to caption:

Caption this!

Caption this!

Cat (and Dog) Wisdom

Sometimes I am in overdrive; the To Do list out of control again. Then I pause, look around and see this friendly reminder.

Thanks, Barnie.

Barnie Chill Pose


Pets are great for that, actually.

I have recently started back doing yoga. Naturally flexible in my youth, but a different story today. It’s more work now, but I do feel great getting a nice daily stretch in. The pets agree. Here are a couple pet yoga sessions caught on camera.


Purl Yoga

Purl likes to start her day off with a good stretch.

Quincy Sun Pose

Quincy demonstrates the sun salutation pose.

The pets inspire me every day. This week, it was Barnie’s turn. (Click on the photo for the rest of the story.)

The Muse