She loved the front yard and layed out there watching the kids coming and going to school. she would bark at my Daycare kids and walk them from the neighbors driveway to the house and then go back for more. She knew which ones came to our house and started wagging her tail and barking when she saw them on the schoolyard sidewalk. One time a concerned parent called the Dog catcher and said there was a big dog barking at the kids.....the officer said "Oh that is just copper and she is a big cream puff. You don't have to be concerned about her. She is the one dog in town that does not need a leash or chain. I had two different parents waiting to pick up their kids ask me How much and where they could get the electronic dog fences...I told them I had no idea and they asked where we got ours...they were speechless when I told them we did not have one. The next question was " can I pay you to train my dog to behave like yours?"
I had 3 Daycare kids over the years who had Hysterical fears of dogs and after one week they were feeding Copper treats out of their hands. The most interesting thing about Copper is that so many people knew her that we did not know...and they did not know us. We went to an anniversary party of some friends. Our friends were the only ones we knew there. While chatting with a couple they asked where we lived and we told them and they said "Oh you live with Copper" I have lost count of all the times people have said "Oh you live with copper" Or You're Copper's mom?? Everyone who walked by knew her....Everyone who ever picked up a child from school knew her....Everyone who went to the school across the street knew her....Plus, they all told people they knew Copper stories....She had so many human friends.
She loved her yard and would lay and watch the intersection and patrol the sidewalk. If someone walked on this side she would walk them from one neighbors driveway to the other and then sit down and watch them go on. Sometimes she would go running to the curb and skid to a stop and bark or just watch the dog walking across the street. I would holler, "she won't go into the street." They would laugh and say" we know. " Many walkers would holler "Hi Copper. How are you today"
The garbage collectors loved her and she would bark and when I told her not to bark she would pick up a stuffed animal and whip her hear back and forth and bark "silently" LOL the guys would say" Come on copper you can get us>
" An elderly man who lives on the opposite side of the block would walk around and around the block for exercise and he would stop and get her and take her along. If I saw him coming I would say Copper, Leo's coming and she would jump up and take off around the house and meet him. Wagging her whole body.
One morning I got up and realized that my husband had forgotten to let her in when he went to bed " (she always stayed out "Watching" till he went to bed at 11) she was sound asleep on her comforter on the step. "Character is how you behave when no one is watching" If that is true she had VERY good character.
She and I would walk around the block..I would just let her walk free without a leash. I have arthritis in my knee so am pretty slow. She would go ahead of me sniffing and checking everything out and every once in awhile she would stop and see where I was and if I was quite aways back she would sit down and wait for me. I would tell her "You can go on" and she would continue. At the corner she would stop and look at me with the ??? in her eyes and I would tell her either to "go right" or "Wait for me" and she would do whichever. One day an older gentleman was walking and saw her check to see where I was and sit down and wait and he just shook his head and said "What an AMAZING dog...How on earth did you train her to do that??" I told him I didn't...that she was REALLY just a kid with fur and she just used her head. He said "I know alot of kids who are not that smart"
She would stand very quietly in the back yard and peek between the slats of the fence at our neighbor in his yard....I told him if he ever had the "feeling" that someone was watching him, it was not me.
She loved taking a shower. We had a walk in shower downstairs with a hand held head and she loved it. One day Jim took her for a walk. It had been raining and when they got back her tummy and legs were all muddy. I looked at her and said " Oh, I think you need" and at that point she turned around and ran downstairs and when I got down there she was standing in the shower. And they say dogs don't think. Only those who do not bother to get to know them can say that.
One time we were going to leave for the weekend and I called her to come in. She didn't come and finally after calling several times which was really odd, she always came instantly. I went out to look and she was sitting beside the flower bed. Taz our cat had gotten out and was laying in the flower bed....she was not about to move until I saw Taz then she got up and went around the house. She did that 3 other times when one of the cats got out and we did not know. Would keep them in the yard and sat by them untill I noticed.
7 years ago I found a lump on her side and on her belly. It turned out to be a Mast Cell cancer....Bad stuff from what her Dr said.....He did surgery and had to take so much tissue to be sure to get it all......we had a tough recovery...I say we because I sat or layed by her for at least a month to keep her quiet as the incisions were really iffy. He told me later that they were very concerned and didn't think they would hold together the skin was stretched so tight. Probably wouldn't have if I wouldn't have been able to keep her very quiet. I put neo sporin on them and when she saw me coming with that she would roll over so I could put it on. After she was up and about I put T-Shirts on her so she wouldn't scratch them.
I looked out one day and my Daycare girls were out at the sidewalk dancing and singing. they had a bucket on a chair and people where stopping and a car stopped and the lady got out...I ran out to check on them. They had signs and they were having a "Fund Raiser" for Copper 's Cancer Surgery I had seen a man stop and talk to copper and she wagged her tail.She was laying out there with her T-shirt on. What a hoot...they had $4.30...they bought her a stuffed animal.
She loved stuffed animals and one day we went to a Garage sale on the other side of the block...there was a box of animals there and I asked her if she wanted one...she looked at me with those bright eyes full of ???? and wagged her tail. I told her to pick one out...she put her nose in the box and rummaged around and finally decided on one and carried it over to the gal for me to pay..and then carried it home wagging her tail and looking at me like "Thanks SOOO much mom!!!" We left a whole driveway full of people laughing that day.
She blew out her left rear knee and had surgery to repair that...that was a 6mo recovery too and again I got alot of reading and scrapbooking done. That time the Garbage man came to the door and asked if she was alright....I put her in the back on Garbage day so she wouldn't get so excited. They were concerned since she wasn't even in the window
We understood each other so well.....I could look into her eyes and "KNOW" what it was she was thinking or trying to say. A friend of mine said maybe only once in a lifetime we will have a pet who is a "soul mate"...We may love many but there will not be many we truly connect with and can understand each other in that way....Copper was my "Soul Mate".
In March, she began to limp and I took her in to Dr T right away and he diagnosed what he felt certain was bone cancer in her right front leg. We were devistated...We decided to treat her with pain meds and Dr T said he felt certain she would have a better quality and longer life going that route. I could not put her through any more surgeries or Chemo. I cried for days and then settled down to making the time we had left the very best it could be. We had a wonderful summer and fall. We enjoyed time together in the sun in her yard. When we found out she had bone cancer I told several of her human friends and during the summer months she had alot of human visitors...
.One of my X-Daycare dads came by to see her....those boys are in college now...Copper knew him instantly and was so happy to see him. I looked out the front window one afternoon and the mom and dad of one of my daycare kids (who is now married) were sitting out on the lawn with her feeding her a Dairy Queen Ice cream cone......she was wagging her tail and lovin ever min of the attention I heard a voice one day and the older man that walked her was sitting out on the step with her talking to her,,,I heard " Getting old is the pits isn't it copper" and Copper is "talking" to him too and wagging her tail. He came several times....would drive tho so he wouldn't make her feel bad when she couldn't go for a walk....
.We were blessed with her in our lives for 9 more months so it was the right decision. Her mind and attitude were just as smiley and normal as could be...but she at the end struggled so to walk and get up and down the two steps into the house....I wonder if I made the decision to let her go too soon or if I waited too long....I force my mind to think of her happy face and her waggy tail and ask God to give her warm fuzzies for me.
Copper did leave the yard once....this last spring the man that walked her called and asked if she was here....I looked out and she was laying in the front yard. He said they had just gotten home and she was sitting on their front step. His wife said "Copper, does Carol know you are not in your yard??" She said her ears went back and she took off running about 50 mph to the corner and south and by the time they got in the house and called me she was home. She was feeling REALLY guilty tho....when I opened the doors she got the slanty eyes and slinky body that she did when she knew she had done something she shouldn't have done. I told her"You know you are not suppose to leave the yard with out a human....you come in and have a time out. She came in and layed by the window and wouldn't look at me till I told her "I love you Copper" then she jumped up and showered me with kisses. Leo had started walking with his wife indoors and so had not been around for 2 or 3 months. I know she really missed him. She loved him so much. She will be very happy when he gets to heaven too. Later that afternoon he came by and got her and took her for a walk.
After she died I put a small piece in the paper and got 18 sympathy cards and many calls. Many of which were from friends of hers that she had not introduced to me. One from one of the Garbage men, I am still getting the "Oh your Coppers mom" I went to a scrapbooking day and was working on the album for her and a lady walked by and looked over my shoulder at what I was doing....she stopped and said "How do you know Copper???" I said" How do YOU know Copper" She said "Everyone knows Copper"....Her grandchildren go to the school across the street...she said I know alot of Copper stories..I got cards from people who I had never met. I just got a new daycare child and when I asked the mom if she knew where we lived she said no and I described the house and she said OK, you are the one with Copper aren't you? She was a treasure and a blessing like no other...she will be remembered and loved by many many people and I miss her so much. But I am glad she is not having to deal with all the cold and snow and struggle of daily life here on earth. I love her too much to want that....My heart still aches tho. She is truly my "Furever Friend" and I will think of her every day of my life.
It has helped me alot the last few weeks to think of her life. I also made lists of "I Miss" and I Remember" and "I love" they will one day make their way to my scrapbook pages and I will be able to reflect on the many ways she blessed my life. Carol