Valentine's Day, 2002
Juanita and I went to one of the cities down the mountain from us to find a dog for the lodge (our previous dog had died the December before and the lodge was just FAR too empty when we would come home). Sophie was sitting in the back of her cage there at the humane society, surrounded by maniacal barking dogs in the other cages. She was just watching. I checked the clipboard on her pen.
"So. Your name is Sophie."
She heard her name and walked up to the front of her kennel to introduce herself. She went home with us.
Sophie had been returned a couple of times for "behavior problems". Well, she had been behaving like a puppy. At 6-7 months, she was still very much a puppy.
We had a vacation planned starting several days after we took the dog home with us, so after spending a few days with us, we took her to our favorite kennel in Estes Park, so we could fly away. When we got home, I returned to pick her up from the kennel. Happy, bouncy young dog greeted me at the counter. Happy, bouncy young dog rode home with me to the lodge. The happy, bouncy young dog jumped out of the car and ran to the front door. She stared at it for a moment. Then she looked at me, then back to the door. Then she LOST HER MIND!
"I'M HOME! THEY BROUGHT ME BACK AGAIN! IT'S HOME!"
Happy, bouncy young dog knew her place in the world.
Sophie has been greeting guests, playing with guests and being stroked by guests for the last 9 and a half years. She has never met a stranger, just people who haven't petted her yet.
She would join us in the fall on our trail rides, and had her own blaze orange t-shirt to wear during hunting season, Washoe the horse taught her how to walk down the trail WELL in front of the following horses.
We began buying pickup trucks with back seats so she could join us on vacations when we took the horses with us. She would join us on trail rides when she could, and sleep in the truck or trailer when she wasn't allowed.
Well, the old girl has slowed down noticeably this summer. Wal-mart would have canned her for slacking on her greeting people as they come through the door. Sometimes the newcomers rate no more than a raised eyebrow.
So, last weekend I changed the sign over the desk
I've never seen that much hair on a slug.