Thursday, January 15, 2009

honest scrap award

My blogging friend, Sherri, has presented me with my very first blog award! I am thrilled!! The award involves the following:

The honorees are to:

A) first list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!

B) pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap.

I will do my best to honour the award by participating. In keeping with the "loose" theme of my blog, here are my ten truths about life with Sophie:

1. We named Sophie for Jack Aubrey's first ship in Patrick O'Brian's Master & Commander book series.

2. There were instances in our early training days that I achieved a level of frustration I never thought possible. Learning to communicate with a dog was hard, hard work.

3. When Sophie was going through her 7 month old “testing boundaries” phase and snapped at me the first time, my feelings were hurt so much that I burst into tears and hid in the bathroom for twenty minutes. (The totally wrong thing to do, I know). I’m happy to say that those days are far behind us….no more snapping, no more tears.

4. There are times when I am green with envy over Sophie’s love of Jones (my significant other). He is her fun loving playmate, her best bud….her first choice. But I know she loves me, too…and if she’s hurt or scared the only place she wants to be is with me.

5. When Sophie was diagnosed with hip dysplasia (a genetic disease) at the age of one, part of me still thinks I had a role to play in it….that I fed her the wrong food or exercised her too much when she was a puppy. It is burden I still carry with me today.

6. I feel guilty sometimes that Elora does not get the attention she used to before Sophie’s arrival in our household.

7. In all of my life, if I sum up all of my accomplishments in school, sports, work, etc….nothing has ever made me feel as proud as I do when someone comments on how well Sophie and I work together, on what a great dog she is. When she ran her first complete agility course, my heart nearly burst out of my chest with pride. It was a moment I will never forget.

8. I wonder sometimes if I rely on her too much….seeking comfort, companionship and joy in a dog when I maybe I should be finding more of those things in people.

9. As great of a dog that Sophie is, there are areas that I failed her….she cannot walk on a leash very well; she can be aggressive with dogs if a toy is involved; she gets overexcited and will jump up on people. Most of the time I love her just the way she is, but sometimes I feel disappointment with those failures because as hard as we have worked we cannot seem to conquer them.

10. I often worry about life down the road. Because right now I cannot imagine a world without her…yet I know it’s inevitable at some point. I worry that when the time comes I won’t have the strength to make the right decision, to say good-bye and to survive it as I have done with pets in the past. But Sophie is different….she is my heart and soul, whether that’s right or wrong….and how do you survive saying good-bye to that?

Now as for passing the award on, I know not everyone likes to be "tapped" but I do have a couple of fellow bloggers that I feel embody the spirit of Honest Scrap (please don't feel obligated to participate):

b&g girl: because if i could hand out this award in real life it would go her....a great friend whose authenticity and honesty has never ceased to amaze me.

jan: you always seem to tell it like it is with a humor and poignancy that really speaks to me

laurie: because the integrity and soul in your honest writing about life always inspires me.

Thanks again for the award, Sherri....and huge thanks to all of you who have started following mine and Sophie's journey. We love reading your comments, visiting your blogs and sharing in your lives a little bit.


Sherri said...

Great post, Andrea. I, for one, am totally in sync with your feelings for Sophie. My husband and I have had other great dogs in our lives, but none have grabbed our hearts like our Beau has. He is very special and has so much personality and just plain cuteness.

I often think along the same lines you do--especially when he is a little under the weather.

Love your blog and thanks for accpeting the award.

Sherri said...

"accPETing" ..Freudian "fat finger"for accepting? LOL

Small Footprints said...

Hi Andrea! Thanks for stopping by Reduce Footprints and leaving a comment! Jan's place is great, isn't it?

Sophie is beautiful! I love your blog about life with her. Animals add something so special to our lives ... I can't imagine what mine would be like without them.

If you don't mind ... I'll follow your blog!

Take Care!

Small Footprints

Joanne said...

It's nice to see even more of the bond between you and Sophie. Embrace that dog in your life without doubt, and the rest will follow. How wonderful for her to be living the life, too, that you are giving her.

Kathy said...

My Chloe loves her Dad more than me too. But when she is scared or he is mad at her she is my best bud. I know how you feel. And our cats take a back seat to her always, and we had them first. They accept it. Love the pictures of Sophie playing.

NCmountainwoman said...

Lovely post. First, there is nothing you could have done or failed to do that has anything to do with the hip dysplasia. So quit beating yourself up over that!

I share your same worries about losing one of our dogs. We lost a Springer at age 16, and then got another one who lived until age 15. Both losses were extremely painful and we will never forget those two wonderful dogs.

I worry more about our two Golden Retrievers who are so close to one another. I can't imagine how one will respond when something happens to the other one.

But we don't dwell on it and try to live and love in the moment. That's all we can do.

gigi said...

Congratulations ladies! Great post Andrea.

gtyyup said...

Congrats on your first blogging award! You did good...honest, real answers.

The thoughts of ourselves not training the animal to perfection...or the animal doesn't act perfect all the time...if you've done your best and you're continuing to do your best, that's all you can do.

You're doing a fantastic job with Sophie...enjoy her and don't be too hard on your self.

Barry said...

Congratulations on the award! Well deserved.

And on your honesty.

Some animals, especially the very intelligent ones like Sophie, can dig very deeply into our hearts.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Congratulations on your award. I really enjoy reading your blog; I find it very inspirational. said...

Loved your blog! I can relate to the dog being extra special to you...Shamu is that way with me. He also has some of the same traits that Sirius does with regards to jumping, etc...but he is mostly a one person dog...not real friendly with outsiders, unfortunately.But, we are still working on that one!Never give up-they are smart dogs!!!

b&g girl said...

Fitz, the shortness of knowing you by the measure of time does not show the deep roots that is our friendship. Congratulations to you, truly inspired by you and absolutey thankful for your frienship.

Mountain Woman said...

I could relate to so many of the things you posted about Sophie. I have two very elderly golden retrievers and I dread the day when we will have to say goodbye.
My very first newfie got terrible hip dysplasia and I too wondered if I had done something.
There is something so special about dogs in our lives. It's an absolute special joy and bond and I enjoyed reading your post.
Congratulations on your award.

Neas Nuttiness said...

You are the "embodiment" of a dog lover. I think that's the highest compliment I can give!
Come on over to my've got yourself another award!

Ed said...

Great post, I did mine a couple of weeks ago, and Most excellent pics, she sure is a ham...

Mary said...

Andrea, I love your honesty here. Sophie is a wonderful dog and don't they all have their quirks and areas with room for improvement? Heck, both of mine embarrass me every day!

My older Boston was my greatest challenge as a puppy and young dog. And, she still grates on my nerves but I love her above all others.


laurie said...

what a wonderful post. i'm sure that you didn't cause sophie's dysplasia--puppies are supposed to play hard, and that problem usualy comes from overbreeding.

i love love LOVE the pictures you posted of her, too.

and completely get the feelings of jealousy for jones; i feel that way whenever riley (who is stingy with his affection) prefers to snuggle with doug than me. (mainly because he seldom wants to snuggle with anyone.)

and THANK YOU for passing this award on to me! i always forget to do things with these awards but i will try to remember to do something with this one because it's a real honor.

and congratulations to you.

SassyDog said...

Hi, Andrea, greetings from chilly central Florida. I love your love story of Sophie, Elora and her frog. I have 6 dogs and 6 cats. Libby@Neas Nuttiness is my best friend. Pugs are my true love. I have different breeds at the moment, I love them all. It is very hard to lose a pet. I have had many over the years and it was tough letting go. Still have the memories. Ever read "Rainbow Bridge"? I have so many waiting there for me. I will have to take a suitcase full of cookies for them. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the cold weather from Canada. I love it!!

Karen ~ Cider Antiques said...

Wonderful post! and wonderful pictures of your sweet pup. I always think they are pups no matter how old they get :)

Your Sophie is adorable!

Thank you for your comments on my blog.

~ Karen

Pam said...

Congrats on your reward! I love that first photo of Sophie!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Sophie has captured your heart! You are young yet, Sophie is teaching you many things. You will have lots of dogs that will come after her, each will be special in their own way. I have had many special dogs in my life, Chance is just one of the special ones. Part of truly loving any pet, is doing the best for them everday of their life. I have to remind myself that I will no doubt out live Chance, it would be sad without him, but I wouldn't want to give up any of the joys we share everday either. I have a big group ready to meet me at the Rainbow Bridge!
I am sorry to hear of Sophies Hip Dysplasia, she must be doing Ok for now. We had a Scottie Mix that had hip hardly bothered her at all after the first few episodes when she was about one year old, and she lived to be 15. I used to worry about Chance and all his jumping and playing antics as a pup, whether all the activity was good for him. The Vet said just let him play however he wants.
As for leash can practice that! Juming on people is a BC thing, although Chance knows OFF, he sometimes ignores because he can't contain himself! It always used to be the well dressed people with white clothing he liked to get all muddy..:)

BeccaRoo said...

My mom has a Border Collie they are great dogs and companions.