Sophie comes home to Texas

Welcoming Committee greets Sophie

"Baa-Ram-Ewe": Welcoming Committee interviews Sophie.

July 24, 2011

About six years ago, Sophie joined our extended family as a companion for Frances’ Mom. A slim, energetic young English setter, Sophie understood her duties well: To provide an instant injection of good-natured enthusiasm whenever called upon, and to gulp down everything her owner secretly slipped her way at the dinner table. She was very good at her job.

Sadly, after a good long life, Mom passed away last week up north. We were called upon to fulfill our solemn promise to care for Sophie. So we all piled into a rental car and hit the road, bound for Texas. This represented a homecoming for Sophie, as she was raised by breeders outside of Houston. Her original mission in life was to be a hunting dog. But her advanced startle reflex had the unfortunate effect of causing her to shy from loud noises (like shots from hunting rifles). Unsuited for her genetic role of calling attention to birds hiding from hunters, Sophie ended up half a country away gobbling down table scraps.

After three days and two nights on the road, we pulled into our dry dusty driveway yesterday afternoon and commenced the difficult task of explaining to the 20 other animals on the property just why we needed to bring in a 21st. The reactions, breed-by-breed, were predictable:

  • Sheep: The sheep collective quickly applied their trademarked empty-headed curiosity to the situation, bravely massing on one side of a reliable fence in order to inspect the new arrival (see photo above). Each time Sophie moved, the sheep scattered. No surprises there.
  • Dogs: The two Great Pyrs instinctively knew something was up, having sniffed out a billion Sophie smells on our shoes and pants upon our arrival. We cut to the chase and introduced Sophie. Tentative nose-touchings led to a few wagging tails last night, but this morning the female, Freckles, emitted a few sub-sonic throat growls almost too soft to be heard. This probably was related more to the fact that she was eating breakfast than anything else. But we’ll have to watch.

    "Bird... must... die."

  • Chickens: The foolhardy chickens immediately approached for an inspection. From deep inside the recesses of Sophie’s little brain an ancient instinct awakened. “Bird… must… die…” Sophie flung her body through the air at the chickens, who quickly realized the error of their approach and flapped out of the way. (See photo at right.)
  • Cats: As expected, the felines are treating this as an event on a par with Pearl Harbor in terms of its catastrophic impact. Babar the Wonder Cat — the only male — was immediately spooked, but once he ascertained that this dog would not affect his incoming supply of snacks, he greeted Sophie neutrally, if not warmly. Missy, the senior citizen, is doing her best to glare menacingly at Sophie. If Sophie wanders too closely nearby, Missy will take a half-hearted swing at her. But it’s poor Moonie who has gone off the deep end. Even before we entered the house she seemed to know there was a d-o-g in tow. She immediately took to the top shelf of the bedroom closet, where she stayed for a few hours until I pried her loose from the old sweaters. I brought her out to the kitchen but this completely unhinged her. She jumped onto the counter and then straight up in the air to the top of the cabinets, as if she had Flubber on the pads of her feet. (See photo below.) We will keep an eye on her, but she may need a long recuperative holiday after this is all over.

Moonie heeds the lessons of Sun-Tzu and assumes the higher ground.


About Steely Dan Reader

Four decades of interviews and reviews about Steely Dan.
This entry was posted in Dogs, Farm life. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sophie comes home to Texas

  1. Cathy Gill says:

    Haha, love this post. I predict (after a few days of ups and downs) that the animal kingdom will go back to normal and that Sophie will fit right in. She looks like a beautiful dog. xox Cathy

  2. Daniel Lathrop says:

    Poor Moonie. Tell her my cats expressed their sympathy with her plight,

  3. Sandy says:

    aaaawwww Sophie…..what a Wonderful Dog! I will always miss our walks… Mom loved her so very much! They were a Team. Thanks Frances and John for “saving Sophie” and ALL that you have done……Sending all my love to my “Family” in Texas. ~~~Sandy~~~

  4. Ann says:

    Welcome home, Sophie; I’m sure they will all find their way around each other in no time.

  5. Star says:

    I’m so glad the you were able to take Sophie home with you. She is a good dog, and she looks very happy in Texas. Hope you’re all well. Lots of love!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s