Tag: Susan Leighton

A beautiful boxer named Sophie

The third goodbye!

Last week, I wrote up the beautiful and touching memory of Buddy from Jim and Janet Goodbrod, and the memories of Diego by Laura Bruzzese.

Over on the We Shall Not Forget Them page there had been a tribute from Susan Leighton for the loss of her Sophie back in 2014.

Here is Susan’s tribute as a separate blog post that will be linked to as with the others.


A Beautiful Boxer Named Sophie

by Susan Leighton
dsc01164Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful Boxer named Sophie. My husband fell in love with her at first sight. He had to talk me into taking her home. It didn’t take long for me to see the light. The next thing I know I was carrying her in my arms.

She grew and filled our lives with joy. We loved her Boxer curl and the way that she would sit on the couch with us and just lean against our sides. Then around her 7th year, we noticed that she lost her appetite. Concerned like any parents, we took her to the vet. We received the worst news possible.

She had cancer that had metastasized in her liver. Her last few months with us were precious.

dsc01159The vet had her on steroids and there for a time she returned to her happy-go-lucky Boxer self. We were fortunate to give her one last Christmas.

Our darling passed away in the early morning hours on January 31, 2014.

It has been two years but the pain is still there. Every time we see a beautiful Boxer, we see our Sophie in his or her eyes.

dsc01153Thank you for allowing us to remember those companions that have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. They will always be in our hearts.


 They will always be in our hearts!

Happy Birthday, Maggie

A further guest post for the first of February.

I was emailed as follows back on the 25th January:

Hi Paul,
I hope all is well with you and Jean and the furry kids. About a month ago, you had mentioned that you would welcome a post about Maggie in honor of her 9th birthday.

Maggie was very enthusiastic about this venture and managed to write a little blog with her advice on aging. I have enclosed the result for your review.

Her birthday is on 2/3. Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity.  Take care!

Kind Regards,

Susan & Maggie

Ergo, this coming Friday is Maggie’s birthday.


Maggie’s Advice on Aging


Hello! My name is Maggie.

I have a much longer AKC registered moniker that Mom & Dad christened me with but it’s ridiculous so I just shortened it.

Anyway, Paul was so gracious to invite me to do a post for all of you good folks at Learning from Dogs. Since I have a birthday coming up (in case you are wondering, I’ll be 9), I thought what better topic to write about than aging.

To me, age is just a number. I know that is a cliché but it’s the truth! I don’t know what other dogs my age do but I’m not ready to just lay down on the couch. Not me! I’ve got too many things to do and way too many places to see.

Here are some of my tips on how you can feel like a puppy:

  1. Take your vitamins – I will admit. After Mom and Dad replaced my favorite brand of fish oil with another one that didn’t taste so good, I refused to take the pill. They would try and hide it in my food but I would just find it and set it to the side. I mean, who do they think they are dealing with? They finally wised up and now I am back to my brand. Some of you might be thinking, fish oil, yuck! Seriously, I swear by it. It promotes heart health and it keeps my coat silky smooth. I also have these tasty Milk Bone vitamins that help me to stay healthy and they even improve joint mobility! That way I will be keeping the ‘rents on their toes for years to come.
  2. Get off the couch – Yes, I like couch time with my Mom and Dad but I love nothing more than to lollygag in our gigantic backyard playing ball. I will do this for hours! My bipeds on the other hand, they have their limits. I also enjoy going for walks in this cool, new park near our house. It’s in the woods and I love all the places I can explore. Just being active is not only good for you but it keeps you engaged and learning new things all the time.
  3. Annual checkups – Going to the vet isn’t fun. I don’t know anyone that enjoys it. However, I know that everything they do for me keeps me healthy. The ‘rents see to it that I get my yearly vaccinations and physical. It keeps me in tip top shape so I will be barking at them for years to come. Mom loves it when I yell at her.
  4. Watch your diet – Okay. I will admit this one bites. If I had my way, I would be chowing down on all kinds of good things like meat, cheese, bacon…. the list goes on and on. I need to watch my girlish figure! I eat the best food with no preservatives and it’s also chockful of vitamins. Believe it or not, I love my yummy meals, they taste good!
  5. It’s the little things – This is what happiness is for me. I love nothing more than playing with the really cool stuffed teddies Dad got me or going for rides in the car with Mom. I really like family time when we watch movies and cuddle on the couch. Just being with my two favorite people in the world keeps me going. We spend quite a bit of time hanging out and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I hope you found these tips helpful. It was fun spending time with all of you. Take care and give your parents a hug! They deserve it.




That’s one hell of a smart dog!

Being saved by a dog!

A serendipitous find!

Yesterday, I published a post under the title of Forecasting Wonderful ‘Blu’ Days!

There was an exchange of thoughts between me and Susan Leighton, who is the author of the blog Woman On the Ledge:

(In part:)

Susan: Dogs can be such a comfort when life becomes overwhelming.

Me: For nobody can escape those moments when life becomes overwhelming. A loving partner is precious beyond words at those times, but there’s still something comforting beyond that love when it comes to our dogs.

Susan: Very true, Paul. A dog has saved me many times!

Later on yesterday, when I was looking for something for today’s post, I came across this video:

 Published on Jan 5, 2015

Hantu the White German Shepherd Plays Surrogate Mum to Poncho the Opossum at the Rare Species Fund, South Carolina, USA.
Poncho the opossum was found clinging to his mother’s back after she had been hit by an oncoming vehicle, a common hazard for nocturnal animals. Under veterinary supervision, Poncho was brought to the Rare Species Fund in South Carolina where he has nursed to health. Opossums are the only New World marsupials and, in the wild, spend the first several months of their lives clinging to their mother’s backs. Having had no puppies of her own, Hantu seems a more than willing foster mum and mode of transportation for Poncho. Robert Johnson of the Rare Species Fund says, “They are both playing important roles in each other’s lives. When Hantu goes for her daily walks through the woods, she won’t leave the house until Poncho is securely mounted on her back.”

Just thought that was a lovely reminder of the unconditional love offered by our dogs; for humans and for other creatures!

Life Lessons from Maggie

But not before I celebrate this:

The September equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south and vice versa in March.

That moment is at precisely 14:21 UTC today, September 22nd. Welcome to Autumn, or Fall in American speak!


I was contacted by Susan Leighton recently offering me a guest post. Susan is a regular follower of this place and frequently drops in with responses and comments. Susan is also the founder of the blog: Woman on the Ledge (I can recommend her blog, by the way!)

Here is Susan’s guest post.


Life Lessons from Maggie

I have walked this earth for fifty years and I have been a proud dog parent several times over. My latest child is an incredibly exuberant eight-year-old Boston Terrier named Maggie. Maggie Mae’s Up, Up, and Away is her full name. My husband and I got her in New Mexico which is the site of a world famous hot air balloon festival so hence the nod to the 5th Dimensions song.
Maggie was actually a surprise. I was going through an exceptionally rough time (unfortunately it was the beginning of several trying years) and my husband thought that she would cheer me up. The moment she was placed in my arms, a love affair and deep bond began. I looked into her expressive brown eyes and knew that I had just met my canine BFF.
When she was a puppy, we had a bit of a health scare with her. She was diagnosed with a severe case of giardia. The medication we were given to combat the illness wasn’t working. Our vet decided to treat her with a round of shots. It was touch and go for a few days but she came through with flying colors.
From an early age, she was our little toughie. Small in stature, she refused to let her bigger sisters get the best of her. Their long legs might have surpassed hers but she never gave up and would constantly compete to be number one in back yard games.
Dogs are amazing creatures. They are incredibly intuitive and sometimes I think they just might be smarter than us. In the years that I have been privileged to know Maggie she has taught me many life lessons. I would like to share some of that knowledge with you.

Every day is an adventure – don’t be a slave to routine. Maggie definitely isn’t one. Yesterday, she had an impromptu game of keep away with her stuffed animal. Today she was feeling like playing tug of war with her rope. Try something new. Even if you work 8 hours a day, you can still incorporate little surprises into your schedule. Maybe you always eat the same lunch every day. Change it up. Instead of that boring sandwich, opt for a salad or even a taco! Have a break between meetings or conference calls? Go outside and take a brisk walk for 10 minutes. Every day is new, treat it that way!

Make time to play – you know what I dislike the most about being an adult next to paying bills? I miss not having recess. That was my favorite time of the day when I was a kid. School stopped for an hour and I could run around with my friends and have fun. Why is it that we lose our sense of play when we grow older? Maggie has helped me to realize that it is possible to metaphorically return to the school yard. Every day we go outside and play catch in the back yard. Not only is it good bonding time for us but it is also a chance for me to relax and let go of the stress of the day.

Love unconditionally – this seems simple right? It really isn’t. So many people make it their mission to change the ones they love. Their significant other has a personality quirk that is less than endearing, why not try to lessen it or eliminate it altogether? I understand that life is about compromise but at the expense of not being able to be comfortable in your own skin? Maggie has been with me through many changes and throughout those changes, she has done nothing but support me. She loves me if I am having a bad hair day or if I have gained a few pounds. She loves the real me blemishes and all!

Be curious – whenever we take Maggie on a jaunt to the local pet store, she is more than willing to approach other dogs and other people. She wants to know more about everything in life. I jokingly tell her that she suffers from FOMO (fear of missing out) because she wants to be involved in every activity. I guess this is why I challenge myself to learn about new technologies, new books, new music, etc. The more engaged I feel, the more alive I am. I have never stopped learning.

Give thanks – whenever Maggie is presented with food, a treat, her ball, a toy, she is thankful. She is just glad that she is able to enjoy these things but mostly she is thrilled that she gets to have time with her family. As the years pass by, I am acutely aware of how tenuous life is and how in the blink of an eye, the people that we cherish may not be around for us to tell them how much we value their presence in our life. I make it a point to let the people closest to me know that I am thankful for them each and every day.

Hug your dog and let him or her know how grateful you are for the life lessons that they have shared with you. That is what I will be doing with Maggie. I could not have asked for a better teacher.


No more words from me – just this picture!