More Senior Mischief
In honor of Senior Pets Month, I’m writing my mischief posts on my senior dogs. Our most senior dog was Sally or Sweet Sally Brown. Even though she’s no longer with us, she was the dog we had first and the one we had the longest. We’ve written about Sally in the past here and here and we feature her often in our Wordless Wednesday or Black & White Sunday photos. She was our first and is still very special to us. She’s been gone for 4.5 years now.
We have so many mischief stories to tell of Sally – some of these adventures she shared with her brother Tino and some were solely hers. Here’s a few of our favorites:
Sally was never a big chewer as a puppy – I think we gave her enough hard treats to chew on, but one day we came home to a bit of a mess. She had torn up a book I left out…entitled “How to Train Your Puppy”. Swear to god, that’s the only thing she ever really destroyed.
Sally had a mind of her own and while she was about 95% on her recall, it was only if there was nothing more interesting. We used to run around the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, down a path along the stream that ran through the golf course. It was along the bottom of a very steep hill that lead up to a road. One day Steve was running Sally, off leash, and she disappeared. She liked to lag behind sniffing this or that and when Steve turned to check on her, she was just gone. He ran back to where he’d last seen her and saw no sign of her. He called and called…nothing. So he started running up the hill. Mind you, this was a very overgrown, heavily wooded area with lots of underbrush, so it was no easy task. And much of that underbrush was poison oak. He traversed that hill up and down, up and down three or four times before finally coming upon her about 5 feet off the trail just about where he’d last seen, her happily munching on a dead animal. Steve came home and spent about 45 minutes in the shower doing a deep cleanse and still got a pretty bad outbreak of poison oak.
Sally was big on dead animals, eating them was great fun, but even better was rolling in them. Past the Rose Bowl was the grounds for JPL and we used to run there too – it was actually a dam that was used for winter rain runoff and it had a few holding ponds that would fill with water…stagnant water. The held excellent opportunities for dead fish to roll in. It was a mission for Sally and Tino to find the oldest and smelliest fish to roll in – they loved it. I could barely stand driving home with them in the car sometimes. She also got skunked more than any dog I know.
As Sally got older, she developed some orthopedic issues that limited her ability to go running with us, but she still had lots of fun. Sometimes her arthritis was particularly bad so I bought a wagon so that I could still take her out on walks. It was a total waste though as I’d no sooner get 100 yards from the house and she’d jump out with a look that said “Thanks mom, but I’ll walk”.
One of the most endearing qualities of Sally was her daily snuggle quota – it was high – very high. She was a really loving dog. She was a smallish lab – only about 55lbs, but the type who thought she was a lap dog. I didn’t mind, she kept me warm. She would sleep, curled up between us every night in bed. In the mornings, after Steve got up and fed them, she would come back to bed and insist on sleeping on the other side of me, not in the spot she just vacated, but on the other side of me, the outside of the bed, not the middle. She would stand there until I skooched over and let her be where she wanted to be. Not sure what that was about, but it was every morning and I could be sound asleep and she would stand over me until I woke up and moved out of her way. Did I mention she was stubborn?
We lost her quickly Memorial Day weekend in 2009 due to what we believe was a severe injury to her neck and spine. We enjoyed her and her brand of mischief every day that she was with us and miss her terribly still. We say that she and Jack would have been a handful, her brains and his brawn would have been a formidable team.