A Toast to the Past and Future

Written By: Tipsy Table - Dec• 31•14

Tonight we will chill a bottle of Champagne and toast the prospects of the incoming New Year. Many others around the world will do the same. If the last year was difficult, one can toast to Gef 1 its ending, if all the chips are on your side of the table, well, toast your good fortune. Regardless, we can all toast the incoming year as an expression of hope. Our beverage will be a vintage Gabriel et Fils, a fine Champagne for the occasion, but we will talk more about Champagne in another posting.

This day is the third anniversary of our loss of beloved Sophie Blue Wolf, our Husky mix companion of more than 15 years. Although this day is melancholy for us, we will enjoy the bubbly and so many memories of this wondrous dog.

Years ago, considering once again bringing a dog into the family after years without, we visited a popular rescue shelter near our Seattle home. It was closed when we arrived, but just before leaving, a young girl approached with a puppy under one arm, and a baby in the other. She explained she purchased the puppy the day before, but there was no room in her mother’s apartment and she had to give it away. She wondered if we wanted it; we did not hesitate, though it was a sad and abrupt transition. Our lives changed immediately, and we drove to a nearby pet store for supplies with a small piglet-like puppy asleep in an empty Xerox box in the backseat. The fact we knew little about breeds, and had no idea of the requirements of a Husky as a companion, was just one of a number of issues in our long and exceptional learning curve.

When this piglet emerged from her little box, it seemed no more than days than she morphed into the most beautiful dog anywhere. Her combination of Siberian Husky and Samoyed captured the best in both breeds. Sophie PuppyHer architecture was perfect, her stature regal, the magnificent white coat fit for the red carpet, with blue eyes that could start a campfire. She had a Husky independence, even aloofness, but a strong affection for humans. Here was a dog selected from a scruffy litter of pups at a discount store parking lot who believed she was royalty. She was and that is how she lived her long life.

Sophie was with us nearly every hour of all those years of her life. She traveled from the beaches of the Pacific to the shores of the Atlantic and the Gulf, wading in most of the major rivers and visiting many of the national parks along the way. She attended business meetings, sleeping under the boardroom table, and would stand in line at breaks for refreshments. Sophie had abundant friends in the Seattle neighborhood and along the trails of the Wood River Valley, canine and human, though she seemed to favor the humans.

Beloved Sophie had a grand life, though she suffered a variety of setbacks in her final years. As she went blind and lame, she continued to communicate to us how important was her pack, both immediate and extended. She wanted to continue on and she did, pushing against limited mobility to take short walks and spend time with those she loved. She died quietly on her bed in the sunroom of the Idaho house with Pinky resting at her side. The Colonel, awakened suddenly from deep sleep, joined the passing, drawn somehow by the powerful spirit of this amazing animal.

So it is that we will throw back some bubbly and salute our beautiful girl on this evening, just three years from her passing–three years during which we have thought about her every day. Her siblings Django Skyy Blue, who adored Sophie, and new rescue Mascoutah Blue, both white Huskies in her image, will join us.

Cheers and Happy New Year.Bon Voyage SB fix

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