On our first wedding anniversary, October 22, 2005, Joel and I welcomed a black lab puppy into our lives. We named her Sophie. At the time I was into all things Oprah Winfrey, and since Oprah had a dog named Sophie, I too, needed a Sophie dog. I wouldn’t say I’m a “dog person,” but I was definitely a person to this dog. Not so much a love-hate relationship, I had a love/not-so-much-love-at-the-moment-because-you-just-puked-up-a-sock kind of relationship. As she began to show signs of age and decline in health over the years, Joel and I joked Sophie was gonna hang on until she finally won me over.
I think she finally won me over last October when she could no longer walk and we recognized it was time to put her down. A year ago, October 4, 2017, on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, we said goodbye to Sophie. Joel and I were so worried about how the kids would respond to the death of a pet. Turns out, he and I were the ones who took it hardest. We didn’t expect the flood of emotions over a dog.
Putting her down released a flood of memories and allowed us to reflect and contemplate the fun, easy-going life we had when Sophie first came into our lives. With no children yet, we had few commitments and led a carefree lifestyle. Long walks and runs with the dog, picnic outings to Ledges Park or Raccoon River Park where Sophie could run and swim. Low stress and living life well. Where did those cool people go? I want them back! :)
Sophie’s death marked a chapter in our lives and provided an opportunity to reassess a bit. I write and talk a lot about holy leisure, the ability to take time to enjoy beauty, to be at peace through the activities of the day, to pace ourselves and leave openings in our calendar to say yes to impromptu activities that bring us joy. In a strange way, that dog ushered in a wave of holy leisure into our lives.
Lofty memories of dog-inspired holy leisure aside, Sophie took a great deal of energy and expense. The kids want another dog. And I’m just not quite ready for that added responsibility now. Maybe in a few years. Maybe. But the desire to take long walks and participate in impromptu picnics at state parks remain in my heart. You can use CBD for dogs to alleviate their pan and manage their stress.
I joke that dog is God spelled backwards. Hmmmm?! Think about that one, would ya, in light of my thoughts on holy leisure on this feast of St.Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.