Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ABC Wednesday: Special S's

Today's ABC Wednesday is brought to you by the letter S, which represents someone very special in my life . . .

. . . Sophie

Sophie is no longer a puppy, in appearance at least, having more than doubled in size since she came to live with us three months ago. She turns six months old on Saturday and just last week received her diploma for completing Level I of Puppy Training Class. I had hoped to take a nice picture of her with her diploma, but she was too entranced by a bumblebee flying over my garden. Fortunately, she wasn't able to catch it.

According to her diploma, Sophie has learned to "Sit, Stand, Walk on Lead, Stay, Off, Come, and Polite Manners." Well, at least she demonstrated that in class. At home, it's often another story. Because we have such a large yard, we've allowed her to walk off leash quite a bit until she suddenly discovered birds flying over the fields. On several occasions I've had to trudge through muddy fields in my ratty blue bathrobe trying to retrieve her. Nope, no picture here of that; I'm just hoping none of the neighbors have one either. Obviously, we need to work on the command "Come, girl," so I've signed us up for Level II of Puppy Training. Both Sophie and I could benefit from more training. For example . . .

. . . I need to learn not to leave a roll of toilet tissue within reach of Sophie.

But even this mess pales in comparison to the day she ate right through the cord of my brand new vacuum. Fortunately, it wasn't plugged in, and I now have a real appreciation for Sears' 30-day no-questions-asked replacement policy. Then, of course, there was the week I spent in Arizona, when she ate a 6-foot long strip out of my hallway carpet. That makes worry somewhat about leaving for four days this weekend . . .

At the same time, Sophie has learned to be a little more mannerly around the younger grandkids. Both 5-year-old granddaughter and 4-year-old grandson (above) love to play with her now that she will settle down for them. Youngest grandson, not-quite-two, is still a little wary of her rambunctious behavior, though; Sophie certainly didn't win any points with him either when she stole his bag of cookies last weekend.

But like the toddler that she is, she is an angel when she's asleep!

S is also for Sunshine. After complaining a week ago about all the rain we have had, we've now enjoyed a full week of welcome sunshine, enabling the farmers to get much of their crops planted. I've also planted a lot of seeds in the new butterfly garden and finally got the tomatoes and peppers into the vegetable garden. I've made a big dent in the "pot ghetto" in front of my garage, although more plants somehow keep appearing there:)

The rest of these are going to have to remain homeless for a few more days, because I am leaving Thursday for a long weekend in Chicago--the second annual Spring Fling. For those not familiar with this term, Spring Fling will be a gathering of over 50 garden bloggers from across the country. We'll be visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden, the famous Millenium Park, some private gardens, and, of course, enjoying some social time, discussing--what else but gardening and blogging!

I am so excited to finally meet some of my blogging friends! I have formed so many wonderful friendships through blogging, and all of you have encouraged me, given me helpful advice, and even sent me some seeds and plants (the subject of a later post). Of course, not all my blogging friends will be in attendance, and I hope this will be just the first of many meetings with all of you. I want to mention one friend across the pond in particular today--a big congratulations to Liz, who just found out she is going to be a grandmother for the first time!

And just to show how wonderful my blogging friends are . . .

. . . I received a Surprise in the mail today--an early birthday present from a dear UK friend. A lovely necklace, plant markers, and two books will certainly be put to good use. Hmmm, she must be psychic; I think I'd better read the top book immediately:) Thank you so much, Cheryl.

Four days at Spring Fling means I will be incommunicado for several days, but I will catch up with all of you when I return. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and thanks to Denise Nesbitt for sponsoring ABC Wednesdays.


  1. That picture of Sophie sitting in the mess she's made is priceless, Rose! She looks so innocent :)

  2. I'll be seeing you in just a few days! Can you believe that? Should be a great time.

    This evening, I rushed around and got everything sitting in tiny pots and flats planted. Tomorrow evening, I attack the worst weeds, and then I'm ready to go.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. Your Sophie reminds me a LOT of my Daisy, a yellow lab. She was destructive and pretty wild for her first year -- in spite of passing obedience training! At 2 and a half, she's calmed down considerably and become a pleasure to have around.
    Funny that you have a similar picture of your boys riding a rocking horse. Those were fun times.
    Great S entries! Have fun at spring fling.

  4. I'm with Joyce, Sophie sitting in the middle of her mess is indeed priceless! But I love all your photos and they're all great for the S day!

  5. You just can't beat those goldens no matter how much mischief they get up to! I hope Sophie behaves herself while you have a fantastic time in Chicago. I am thinking she will miss you ever so much but will outgrow it soon enough. Have a fabulous time!

  6. Great pet, your Sophie! Loved that picture of her sitting among all the chewed up toilet paper. I think that one would win a prize! How could anyone be cross with her?
    All your photos are great, but this one is extra special!

    Enjoy your Birthday when it comes!

  7. Oh this is such a lovely post!!
    Sophie is so endearing!

    Greetings from the ABC Team!

  8. Maybe a dog in the garde is like an elephant in a china shop?

    PS Thank you for the nice comment!

  9. Sophie is a darling little rascal! I'm going to send this to my Mum! She has a new little pup that got into her closet and ate every shoes she owned. Ahhhh!

  10. Aw ... Sophie is gorgeous! Puppies are a handful, indeed! I will soon have a new dog to train, but he's six years old and an ex-racing greyhound. I'm hoping to turn him into a PAT 'therapy visiting' dog. He has the right temperament, but I know from previous experience that older dogs take a little longer to learn new things and get out of old habits. ;)

    I'm very impressed with Sears' replacement policy!

  11. Hi Rose, Happy birthday in advance! Sophie is very sweet, though my cats think dogs' fascination with TP is juvenile. (I tried to explain that she IS a puppy, but they won't hear it!). I have a question for you about spring fling. Can you please email me at gardenfaerie02 at yahoo dot com today? Thanks!

  12. That Sophie is a cutie. If you can live through the puppy years she will become a great dog. Hang in there.

    I can't wait to meet you and all the other gardeners at the SF.

  13. This is cute a cute and funny post Rose. Sophie is so cute!

    Hope you have a wonderful time at the Spring fling.

  14. Your Sophie and my cat Toby. What is it about TP? Toby would love to have her for a playmate. Aggie won't play with him.

    Have a wonderful time at Spring Fling. Hope you guys bring back lots of photos and stories.

  15. what a cutie that sophie is...especially asleep on the couch. that is a funny picture of her amongst the ripped up t/p. puppies have so much energy and always looking for something to expand their horizons.
    i hope you have a great time at the spring fling...i will be on the beach in florida soaking up the rays.

  16. Thanks, everyone for your comments. I am busy packing and taking care of last minute details before leaving for Spring Fling, so I probably won't have time to reply to all your comments, but I will try to visit everyone before I leave.

    Hubby and Daughter will be home to watch Sophie, so I do hope she doesn't miss me too much and get into too much mischief:)

  17. Sophie is adorable for sure! Thanks for the lovely post! Your garden must look wonderful now. I enjoyed being on your blog! Thanks also for your visit to my blog.

  18. Rose, Sophie is too cute! Blogging has been delightful and we've made such good friends...like your friendship with Cheryl. What a good friend she is and wonderfully thoughtful. I can't believe tomorrow we will be in Chicago! I can't wait to meet you! Have a good day! gail

  19. She is an adorable pup and I'm sure in time she will learn to chew on her toys...lol. We had the same issues with our beagle Misty when we first got her as a 6 month old. 12 years later she is a well behaved senior citizen. ;) Have fun at Spring Fling, wish I was able to attend this year. Maybe next? Hopefully!

  20. Happy Birthday Rose and what a wonderful collage of gifts from over the pond! I may need to borrow that book for the Saints parents as they are still working on getting their puppy (2 years old now) trained. She is so spoiled that we say she is beyond training. I know your Sophie will calm down more as she gets out of her terrible two’s toddler stage! I am sure the birds will be happy as well. The vision of you in your housecoat running in the mud will be in my memory for the day. Thanks for the laugh. That must get even a chuckle out of you. I am glad my neighbors are not home during the day as I too do such amusing things when the critters call out to me. I ran out to rescue a cat from attacking dogs with broom in hand and no bra on. I am not sure if the dogs ran off from my screaming, beating the broom to the fence or the boobs flopping from within the night gown! lol... The things we do for harmony...

    Have fun at Spring Fling, I wanted to make the trip but way too many trips the past two months to make this one. Sigh, maybe next year. Have fun and raise a glass to us Bloggers that could not be there....

  21. Wow, Sophie has grown up fast! That mess photo made me laugh – how true! I think puppies train us more than we them. I know not to leave out any food or suffer the consequences. It is worth it as goldens are so good around kids and angels asleep. You really have captured the puppy experience so well.

  22. Dear Rose....Sophie is such a sweet looking dog....they are wonderful companions and I know you would not be without her. Nella still does not obey the 'come' command when she is chasing rabbits or rats......so I do know how you feel.

    I do hope you all have such a wonderful weekend and that the sun shines. I wish I could be there to meet you but it is just too far.......perhaps one day....we will see......

    I am glad you like the gifts and hope you get much pleasure from them.......

    Safe journey, have fun and have a glass of wine for me......

  23. Aww, what a sweet little doggie! She looks adorable. I can't wait for sunshine, as it's raining here and will be for another 2 days.

    Hope the sun continues to shine where you are and you enjoy your weekend!

  24. Dear Rose,
    Sophie is charming!
    Happy early birthday. Cheryl is a dear heart!
    Have lots and lots of fun meeting blogging friends.

  25. Ah, have a great trip - this is a special s post, to be sure! The photos are wonderful...

  26. Oh, thank you, Rose!

    And Sophie is just a delight! She sounds a little better than george ...

    Trouble is that george knows all the commands and will obey sometimes - unless he's otherwise distracted.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  27. Great bunch of S photos. Sophie is too cute.

  28. Sophie is beautiful! I love your sunshin that is making your flowers grow! Wonderful!

  29. Sophie is adorable. Too bad about the mess she made. ;-) Ans who doesn't love sunshine? Nice photos!

  30. Gosh how beautiful she is and naughty too! It was lovely to read about Sophie and her antics, thank you. I hope she doesn't wreck too much while you are away!


  31. Have fun at Chicago Spring Fling, Rose! Last year's Fling in Austin was wonderful, and you'll get to meet some of the same people who were part of the meeting here...bet the Chicago Botanical Garden will be special!


  32. is it not so sweet how a pet can become a best friend and family member

  33. What a delightful post, Rose! I'm trying to catch up a little at a time, so it has taken me a while to get over here. I woke up this morning thinking about the Fling and wishing I could be there with all of you! Hope you're having a great time. I'm looking forward to reading all of the posts about it. So many perspectives, and I can't wait to see some of my favorite bloggers at the big event!

  34. Hi Rose,
    I read the note from blotanical that it's your birthday, so came over, did some catching up, and thought this would be a good post to tell you, happy birthday on!

    Our Heidi is 5 years old, and still has puppy ways. I had to laugh about your class. Heidi was the youngest member of her class. We made the mistake of not going to the next level. She has scratched up closet doors trying to get to my chocolate, her treats, or whatever else she may be after. She gets into the garbage, and digs in the yard. I hope Sophie is better behaved than that when she gets older.

    I enjoyed your other posts, and loved reading about the spring fling. Thanks!


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