Thursday, August 27, 2009

join team sophie!

It's important to me that I maintain the integrity of this blog, Finding Sirius....that it doesn't stray too far from it's original purpose: a space to talk about my adventures in life with Sophie, about dog love and cat love, about the things that matter to me in this world. I have been approached by pet product companies to try their products and write reviews here about those products and have respectfully declined. I have been asked to link to sites that sell products and have also respectfully declined. This blog is not about generating sales, dollars or's simply a creative space that has been inspired by the love of a great dog. However....there is very worthy cause that Sophie is a champion for, so I am granting myself a bit of flexibility to reach out to all of Sophie's fans in the blogging world to inquire if they would like to support her in an upcoming event.

(Sophie at the finish line in 2007)

For the last two years, Sophie has participated in the Terry Fox Run. Most Canadians are familiar with the event...if you would like to learn more about it you can get all the information here. It's a 10k run that happens on the second Sunday in September each year across many cities in Canada to raise funds for cancer research. Jones, my significant other and his brothers run with their Dad every year. So when Sophie was just 7 months old she completed her first of many runs and raised $440 for the cure. Last year her fundraising efforts generated $650 from very generous family and friends...and this year we are hoping to raise $1000. I am proud to say that she is one of the only canine fundraisers in Canada!!

(Sophie and Jones, 2008)

I have to admit I felt a bit relunctant to embark on our normal fundraising campaign this year. I knew it would be tough....tough to ask people to part with even a small amount of their hard earned dollars in this tough economy. But I got thinking about that word "tough"...and as hard as it is to ask I know it's tougher to lose a pet to cancer. And I know its tougher to have a loved one diagnosed....or yourself diagnosed...with cancer. And I know its even tougher to lose someone to this terrible diseaase. So, you see, fundraising doesn't seem so tough anymore.

(Quotes from Terry Fox along the way, 2008)

You can join Sophie on the Marathon of Hope, no matter where you live in this big world, by sponsoring her online at the following link:


We will proudly be displaying the names of Sophie`s supporters on our sidebar (with active links where applicable) as well on a bandana that Sophie will be wearing during run day. Whether you can spare $5 or $50, every little bit helps us get one step closer to finding a cure for cancer. You can read about Sophie's first run in the article below. It ran in a local Toronto paper back in 2007...written from Sophìe's point of view, of course.

My Walk with Terry - by Sophie

On Sunday, September 16th I walked with my “mom” and “dad” in the Terry Fox Run. In this issue of SNAP North Toronto, I wanted to write about my day and why I walked with Terry. I say “with” Terry, instead of “for” because I think that every Canadian (furry and not!) who believes in finding a cure for cancer carries a piece of the Terry Fox spirit within themselves all the time and especially during the day of the Run.

It was a cool Sunday morning, but the sun was shining as we drove to the park. As we walked down to the start line, I was so excited I wanted to burst off my leash! My “dad” and his family took off running, while my “mom” and I began our walk. There was a live band sending out notes of old rock & roll dancing through the air, corn was being husked for roasting later on in the day and volunteers were handing out crisp green apples and satin soft Terry Fox ribbons to the runners. But what struck me the most were the people.

On our walk I met a man in a wheelchair with his 7 year old Border Collie/Lab mix named Oscar. I saw families with kids on bikes and their Terry Fox ribbons waving in the wind as they past by. I saw a group of women in their forties wearing hats that said: “In memory of Barbara” walking together, their cheeks stained with tears. I saw an elderly couple with walking canes in one hand and each other’s hand in the other. And in everyone’s eyes, I saw hope.

I was so tired when we finished, that I fell asleep in the car on the way home! But I had lots of important reasons for doing the run. The main reason I walked with Terry on September 16th was for my “dad”. He runs with his Dad and brothers every year, so I wanted to go too! Also, those who have met me know how much I LOVE to meet people and I had started thinking about all the people I would never get to meet because cancer had slipped in and stolen them from this world before their time. So I walked with Terry on September 16th for all of those people and their stolen time.

In my short time on the planet, I have also met many of my mom and dad’s family and friends. I realized that almost everyone I know has been affected by this terrible disease through the loss of someone dear to them. It has touched so many people and left a scar on their hearts that will stay with them forever. So I walked with Terry on September 16th to help lift the weight of those scars even if only by a little.

I am so glad that I was part of the Marathon of Hope this year. I raised $440 for the cure! Thank you to all my friends and family who were able to sponsor me. Next year I will be running…running with Terry for my “dad”, for stolen time and for those scars. Running to help find a way to rid this world of this terrible disease. Running for hope.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

magic - an interlude

I have been working on my post about my journy over the course of the last year after losing my job last August. I am late in posting it because I am struggling with articulating some of the moments, some of the key turning points that lead me to the joyful place that I find myself in today. And here is why....

I have shared parts of this story with a wide audience and find myself questioned frequently about the weight of the role that Sophie played in this journey. Some people find it troublesome that a dog had such an impact on my life course rather than people. They have percieved, mistakenly, that I do not have good human relationships in my life and, therefore, needed to turn to a dog instead. I have also struggled, sometimes, to explain exactly how Sophie enabled me to see more she showed me a path that fit with my true self. And I realized my struggle to explain stems from one simple fact: I don't know how she did it. But she did.

So as I was writing my post about our journey...and re-writing to try and explain it better....and re-writing to try and show those in doubt that I do not believe dog love replaces human love....I decided to just stop. Why does it need to be explained? I've tossed away my hours of analysis and decided to rely on my instinct (another lesson from Sophie) and summed it up to this: magic.

Not the kind of magic that makes rabbits disappear in hats or that levitates objects or that foresees the future. It was the kind of magic that happens around us everyday if we look hard enough for it: in a stranger's random act of kindness, in baby girl's wide eyes as she catches her first glimpse of the world around her, in the love of a good dog. It's the kind of magic that fills up your heart and that opens your eyes to what is good, to what is possible in this life. We shouldn't question ourselves or each other on where we find it.....whether it's in our children, in our travels to different countries, in our cameras, in our writing, in our churches or even in our dogs...we should just recognize it for the gift that it is and grab onto it with all our might.

Sophie brought that magic into my life at a time when I needed it most. So the story that I am going to post this week about our journey over the last year will not be about how and will just be about us. About us...and the magic.