Softing Rosy


“Take my picture!” Sophie demanded first thing this morning.

I really mean first thing. It was 6. Between the big girl bed and summer’s approach, there will be no more sleeping in — not for a while, at least.

Sophie was sitting on the floor next to Rosy, thumb in her mouth, rubbing the dog’s fur. She clearly thought she looked cute and I agreed and thought, I better take pictures now, while I can, so I grabbed the phone to snap one.

Rosy is 14. As I write this, the vet is at the house (bless Dr. Kennaway, our mobile vet) to give Jack his last puppy shots, and also to take a look at Rosy.

Rosy pooped on the kitchen floor this morning. That’s not unusual and I can’t blame her. When I’m her age (what is that in dog years? 98?) I expect I’ll poop on the kitchen floor, too. I also plan to eat whatever the hell I want, which is why I’ve taken to sneaking Rosy lots of baloney and other people food. Rosy is arthritic and Dr. Kennaway gives her pills that control the pain and make it a little easier to get around, but still, she has accidents.

We have some very old pets. Izzy the Cornish Rex (the almost hairless, scary looking, rat-like white cat Ray absolutely adores and to be fair, even I consider her a member of the family) is 15 and for a few weeks not long ago, she peed by the kitchen sink several times a day. Rosy’s once-black muzzle is quickly going gray. She’s pretty deaf. At some point, quality of life will diminish enough that It Will Be Time.

I can’t think about it. Ray is right when he says that I don’t spend enough quality time with Rosy; to be honest, I never have, and that dropped dramatically after the kids were born. I won’t pretend that I’ve been a Good Dog Mom. But I love Rosy, she’s my first child in that way that dogs are your kids before you have kids, and I named her after my most sacred possesion, Rosie the Blanket. (Note the different spellings.) We have spent our share of time hanging out together.

Now, Sophie’s the only one in the house with a really serious sensory thing going on (one of the things to be addressed with the elusive occupational therapist at school) and she’s pretty obsessive about rubbing her fingers over her bangs, Piglet’s ear, or the bristles of a paintbrush. We call it softing.

But the term “softing” predates Sophie. It even predates Annabelle (she’s a big softer herself) though I’m fairly certain that before the kids I never uttered the word, only thought it to myself, as in “softing Rosie”.

If you have a blanket (and more of you do than will admit it, I know from the number of you who do admit it) then you know what softing is. My college friend Heather perfected it with a pillow to which she’s still particularly attached. (And she’s a successful LA lawyer with two kids and a cute husband, fully functioning.)

I don’t bring Rosie to work and Heather doesn’t bring Petty with her, either, though I believe Petty still travels. (Rosie’s just a crumb, as I’ve written before, so she stays in Tempe.)

And then there’s Rosy the Dog. For years, the springer spaniel and golden retriever in her made Rosy extremely rambunctious. It feels like she left puppyhood for senior citizendom overnight. She’ll still get excited for a treat, but mostly she’s on the floor, relaxing. Enjoying her later years, Annabelle and I decided last night. (As much as Jack will let her; he wants to play ALL THE TIME. Hard to blame him.)

All that is to say that Rosy is perfect for softing. Sophie found a good spot, sighed, and settled in for a good cuddle. Not a bad way to start the day.


1 Comment

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One response to “Softing Rosy

  1. Heather Belle

    Petty (pronounced pet-tee) most recently travelled to Las Vegas. Cha-Ching! I don’t bring it to work, but sometimes could really use it there! Softers of the World Unite!

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