Friday, February 27, 2009

man's best friend

It is impossible to write about moments with Sophie without including a tale specifically about Jones and Sophie. While the notion of man’s best friend has been written about by many men who have owned dogs, I would like to discuss it from the perspective of the woman who occupies space in both the man’s and the dog’s life. It’s a perspective that I truly treasure.



I learned very early on, that the while the relationship between Jones and Sophie was going to be special, it was also going to be messy…and smelly. Their return to the house after one of their outings together never seems to be without muddy paw prints and footprints all over my floors or the musky scent of wet dog hanging in the air. However, it’s an odour I’ve learned to live with because I’ve seen the two of them sauntering up the street from their river walk: Sophie out in front, soaking wet, tail wagging, looking back every so often to make sure Jones is still at the other end of her leash and Jones following behind, squinting in the summer sun, smiling down at the little dog leading the way. That picture is worth every day smelling of wet dog.



When I think back over their first year together, my thoughts are a string of snapshots over time: the two of them standing on the pier looking out over the water in Port Elgin, a childhood haunt that holds a special place in Jones’ memories; Jones running across a snowy field with Sophie tearing after him during a favourite game of tag; Sophie curled up in bed on Sunday mornings while Jones reads, both cozy and content. I’ve seen Sophie’s love for Jones grow to the point that it’s palpable….she explodes in unequivocal, unrestrained joy at the very sight of him. And I’ve seen Jones, a fairly stoic and objective man, reach for a grip on his emotions in an instant when he thought Sophie might be injured or in pain.



There is a connection, a bond, between them that is very different than my relationship with either one of them. It seems to transcend the gap between species and extends beyond language and emotion. They share an inherent love of simplicity and nature in life, an appreciation of the world around them and of each other. To be able to watch them together, knowing how much they mean to each other, is an amazing gift. Sometimes, when we all go hiking together, I purposely fall behind a little bit and I watch their even tempo as they walk, their ease in each others company and I am moved.


26 comments:

Barry said...

I can't help but identify with Jones and Sophie. I take Lindsay for long runs along bluffs and meadows and trails through the Rouge Valley. And that often means bringing home a smell, muddy, burr covered dog to Linda.

Good job most women have a sense of humour.

Mason Dixie said...

It is so nice to share ones love with another. If my guy did not have a love for my Mason Dixie or a special bond I do not think I could keep him around. It says a lot when the man you love, love's the most precious thing in your life too. I am too blessed to have found that. =)

Joanne said...

I can't help thinking when reading this, particularly when you talk about Sophie's and Jones' bond transcending the gap between species, that you would love the book I am reading right now. It's called The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein. It is so touching, a novel looking back on the life of a dog and his beloved family and everything they have been through. But it is told completely through the dog's eyes, mind, point of view. The author did an amazing job crafting this story, I think you'd really be moved by it.

SassyDog said...

Nothing like a boy and his dog! Even tho Sophie is your girl, I'm glad she shares her love with him.

Dughallmor Beagles said...

Wow, what a beautifully written post....I actually had a wee lump in my throat! Gorgeous photos too :o) Port Elgin? We live about 20mins from Elgin, Moray!
Have a great weekend!
Slobbers xx

Far Side of Fifty said...

Loved the photos, especially the one where they are running! It looks and sounds like they have a great relationship too! I can appreciate that! Oh, I love the smell of a wet dog..always have..it is so earthy..LOL. Sophie is lucky to have you both to love:)

Maggie May said...

what a lovely, lovely post.

gigi said...

What a wonderful way with words that just fill my heart. Love the black and whites.
Happy weekend!

Carolina said...

A lovely post, a joy to read! Sweet!

Butler and Bagman said...

A perceptive, thoughtful post. I watched my son Brian and our dog Sally -- originally from Santa when he was 9. Inseparable. Now he lives 30 minutes away with wife, baby, and other dogs. So Sally has become closer to me, although age is separating her a bit from everything. But when he comes home, she doesn't seem to mind the other dog scent and he cuddles her like they both were children again.

Sharon said...

You know, it's the same with fathers and their children. That's why it is so important for animals and children to have both a male & female in the family. We both give differently and the outcome is a very happy, well-adjusted individual (whether it be human or of the animal species). I SOOOOO Love this post. Thank you for sharing it with us:)

Bruce said...

Sophie: It's nice having two such loving people care about you. You are a lucky dog:)

Kathy said...

I understand completely. My Chloe is first and foremost hubby Bob's dog. She would do anything for him and I am invisible once he comes in the room. But I love her just the same.

Natashya said...

I don't notice/mind the smell of my own wet dogs.. but other peoples'...!!
Beautiful pictures, very touching.

Shirley said...

A lovely, well written post! Tess is my dog, and we share that same bond. However, she loves Ted too, and at this moment is on the bed with him trying to convince him that it's time to get up....He has such a way with animals- very intuitive with them. He has been a great help to me in training my horses.He needs his very own dog; he wants a Pomeranian!

SGR said...

Woof! Well said / written ... I feel exactly the same way with my human dad. Woof! Sugar

Maria said...

beautiful story beautifully written, love the pictures

T said...

This was a very nice post, and I can so relate. I always say there is just something about a man and his dog. The relationship I witness between my hubby and the dogs, is just one of those things I can just sit back and watch with amazement and pure joy!!

The Write Girl said...

Hi Andrea,

Very lovely post. Jones and Sohpie have such a special relationship and you captured their friendship beautifully. Your black and white photos are classic. Thank you very much for your kind words and support on my site. I appreciate it and I look forward to reading more of your lovely words.

septembermom said...

What a beautiful touching post! You describe their relationship in such a loving way. Sophie is a true gift to both of you!! Dogs can always bring out the softer side in all of us.

Small Footprints said...

You, very beautifully, depicted the depth of love in your family! Our 4-legged family members certainly add a lot to our lives, don't they? I know mine does!

Thank you for sharing this!

Small Footprints
http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com

Neil Bytes said...

It looks like Sophie can go for hours!

The OP Pack said...

We are new to your blog but gosh, that was just beautiful. How observant of you and how wonderful for Jones and Sophie.

Tail wags, the OP Pack

ocmist said...

You have such a wonderful way with words... I love reading your posts, though often don't have time to leave a comment.

My OC's Mama, Mist, was heart and soul, my Hubby's dog... Over the 33 years we've been married, he's had two dogs like that, the other being Sheba, a Husky/Shepherd mix.

It is such a beautiful thing to see a grown man wrapped around the dew claw of his loving dog (Sort of like my son and his little Dott) There is something "softer/gentle" about a man that gives/receives the complete love of a dog.

Oz Girl said...

Andrea, you have such a poignant way with words... my aussie girl Tori rather defected from me when I moved here to Kansas, and has decided my husband is her "person". I see so much of what you have just written between them, same as you see between Jones & Sophie. What a beautiful post, thanks for sharing!

Hilary said...

How beautiful. Well written and illustrated with photos of your two best beings. Just lovely.