Thinking Oddly

Thursday morning I woke up at 5:30 for apparently no reason. Groggily I did my best to fall back asleep. When I woke up just before 7 I started thinking about why I had woken up.

It wasn’t the kids, it wasn’t something outside, it wasn’t the cat, it wasn’t Sue. Then it hit my like a ton of bricks.

Thursday was March 29th. That was the two year anniversary of Yoshi passing away. Oddly, it happened right around 5:30 in the morning.

I don’t think I will forget that day. I still love you Yoshi. RIP.

Yoshi Bench

Yesterday I took my buddy out for what I though was going to be his last ride ever. Yoshi passed away over a year ago, but I never got around to taking some of his ashes with me on a ride. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to do it. I thought about it lots over the past year. Yesterday was the day though.

The day was spectacular. The sun was out, and it was warm, bordering on hot at 10:30. I took my hardtail for the ride since I didn’t really want to be wearing my armour on a hot ride. Heart came with me too.

There were three places I wanted to take Yoshi to and leave some of his ashes at. I changed my mind on one of them though. I took a route that Yoshi enjoyed and stopped many times along the way. Heart came with me on the ride for moral support. She didn’t really know what I was up to, and I was ok with that. She is turning into a good trail dog, but her differences really remind me of Yoshi.

Yosh used to be constantly running through the bush whenever we stopped. He would like to lead the pack on the trail too, though he never liked to get too far in front of me. I will never forget that there is one section of trail that he did not like. There was something there that scared him, and any time we got close he would act very strange, and sometimes go the opposite direction on the trail. I often wondered if he smelled a cougar or something.

Heart on the other hand sticks close to me, usually in front. When I stop for a break, she sticks with me and hangs out.

The first stop was at the bench at the bottom of the Switchbacks. Any time we rested there Yoshi would look at us with his big tongue hanging out. Inevitably he would head down the bank to the stream and get a drink. I sprinkled some of him at the top of the path and marked it with a rock.

After a nice break Heart and I continued on to Twister. There is a clearing just after the first hill where we would often take a break. Yoshi would run around eating grass, or come visit for some scratches.

After Twister, Heart and I made our way up to Snakes and Ladders. At the top of the trail there is a nice rest area with a clearing over looking the dump, and the valley.

Here I found a rock to leave part of Yoshi under. The last little bit of ashes I had I tossed into the wind. In my mind I could see Yoshi running free. I thought back to his uncanny ability to always get up in the car when we got close to a destination for a walk. I remembered how when he ran wildly his ears, jowls and tongue would flap about. I missed him terribly at that moment. I still do.

After a moment of silence and thought of Yoshi I got back on my bike and headed back to my truck. I made one resolution though, that won’t be his last ride with me. I’m going to get a small container and seal some of his ashes in it. Then he can come with me on every ride.

Heart had a good run that day. She was pooped by the time we got to Skull trail and lagged far behind me on the double track back. After a big drink and a cool down, she had a deep snooze for the rest of the day.

View Remembering Yoshi in a larger map

Created by My Tracks on Android.

Total Distance: 6.86 km (4.3 mi)
Total Time: 1:34:39
Moving Time: 50:43
Average Speed: 4.35 km/h (2.7 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 8.12 km/h (5.0 mi/h)
Max Speed: 29.02 km/h (18.0 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 112 m (367 ft)
Max Elevation: 287 m (942 ft)
Elevation Gain: 312 m (1025 ft)
Max Grade: 5 %
Min Grade: -11 %

Quietly Habit

Heart is such a unique dog. She is sweet and lovely, but has a few funny qualities.

Sometimes she gets super excited when we get home. I mean, SUPER excited. As in crazy barking, running around, doing lags around the outside of the house excited. The kids generally get out of her way, but someday someone is going to get hurt.

The other thing is that in the morning when Heart come upstairs, she comes up ever so quietly, walks into out room and curls up on her bed up there. One of the reasons we locked Yoshi in the kitchen at night was because in the summer he would wake up at 5 am and come racing up the stairs. He was so loud he woke everyone up. Yoshi was a morning dog and never slept in. Heart will stay one her bed sleeping as long as there is no movement in the room.

Another peculiar habit is that she is a garbage can surfing dog. If we forget to close the cupboard, she will dip in there and find something to grab. She doesn’t always eat it though. Sue told me a story about this once, and I just experienced it today. The kids were on the couch watching TV. I had just sat down to read some blogs on my computer. Heart would not settle down. She was waling around the dinner table where I was sitting, then would walk around the couches. She did lay down at one point, then promptly got up. It was starting to get a little annoying. Then she walked toward me and she was holding her jaw funny.

I suddenly remembered Sue telling me a similar story and how Heart had gone into the garbage can and carried around something in her mouth for awhile. I grabbed her and opened her mouth. Sure enough there was a piece of celery stalk that I had likely dropped on the ground. It’s almost like she wants to eat the food/garbage, but knows it is wrong. Instead she skulks around the house with it in her mouth thinking “I am in so much trouble”, but unable to put the food down. Silly girl.

Anniversary Office

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Yoshi’s death. I still think about him a lot, and I still miss him a lot. He was a great dog, and even though we have Heart now (who is another great dog), the hole he left behind is still there. I find it hard to believe that a year has gone by already. I still distinctly remember his last night with us, and the awful trip to the vet’s office.

Having Heart around does help since she is so similar to Yoshi, but her differences make me think about him. I kind of like that. I never intended to replace him.

Jerky Sleeping

One of my many fond memories of Yoshi are of him sleeping. I loved listening to him sleep at night. His loud, long deep sighs would often bring a smile to my face. His snoring would make me laugh, and his jerky, running movements while asleep would crack me up.

Occasionally he would sleep with his eyes open which was always creeeepy. Specially when his eyeballs would start moving about.

We would often find Yoshi sleeping on his back, legs in the air. At first I thought it was pretty weird, then I came to think of it as quirky. For a while we let him sleep on the futon in the guest room (we had special Yoshi sheets on it). When it was set up as a couch, he would stretch out, then flip his legs up against the back of the futon and go to sleep. He would also sleep on his back on his dog bed. His jowls would lift up and his eyelids would droop.

When he first started doing this he was still intact. That was the only thing about him sleeping that way I didn’t like 🙂

This sleeping pattern was a trait in him that I loved. It’s coming up on a year when Yoshi passed away. I think of him a lot still, but the past couple weeks I have really been thinking about him. I miss him still.

Year Things

Today would have been Yoshi’s 12th birthday. Lots can change in a year.

I still think about Yoshi a lot, and I still miss him a lot. Some things really remind me of him. Simple things like the way a dog shakes his/her head, the sighs a dog makes, or even the excited noises a dog makes.

Yoshi was an excitable dog. Start throwing anything for him and he perked up and was happy. Stop throwing and he would get insistent and whiny. It bugged me at the time, but I miss it now.

I am looking forward to having another dog, but I do admit life this summer has been a lot easier not having a dog. There was no need to make arrangements when going away for the weekend, more room to pack with in the car, and the ability to get up and go was nice. Still, I long for that faithful companion. Soon, soon.

Excited Rolling

We looked after Plum for three weeks recently. She is a very sweet Lab/Retriever cross who was very easy to have in our house. She settled in quickly and didn’t seem to mind the chaos that erupted once in a while.

One thing that was interesting about Plum was that she had a couple behaviours that reminded me of Yoshi.

Plum is a protective girl. She barks when she sees something happening outside. She was actually taught that when she is barking to go look for a toy to put in her mouth instead. Seeing her frantically looking around for something, anything, to hold was cute. Often she would head downstairs and grab a dirty sock if she couldn’t find a toy.

Yoshi was like this. Before Elliot and Amy I can remember coming home and he would greet us at the door. If he didn’t have a toy with him he would give out an excited whimper and start looking for one. Sometimes he would come back with something strange like a shoe or a towel. We always kept lots of toys around for Yoshi for this reason. From very young he loved his rope toys. Something in his mouth had a calming influence on him.

The other thing Plum did that reminded me of Yoshi was scratching her face and back in the dried grass. Last summer Yoshi got in the habit of heading outside after eating his dinner. Out in the yard he would rub both sides of his face through the rough scratchy grass. He always looked like he was blissing out when he did this. After the face was thoroughly massage he would drop a shoulder and roll around on his back a bit. Once done rolling he would stand a give a great big shake.

I still miss seeing him shake those ears. I still miss his stubby little tail that seemed to vibrate when he was shaking his ears. I still miss him a lot.

Run Free

We’re looking after Digger, a friends black lab for a few days. We’ve known Digger all his life and he used to come to the Voice Mob office since he was a pup. Digger and Yoshi were great friends. Once they worked out their dominance issues, they played well together and got along famously.

Having Digger around is causing me to think about Yoshi a lot. I am missing him so much these days. The more reminders, the more I think about him. No reminders and it is one of those out of sight out of mind.

Seeing Digger on the beach today reminded me of some of the great times Yoshi had on the beach. Long Beach was a favourite of Yoshi’s. He could run and run and run with no boundaries and the most perfect sand ever. Running with his tongue flapping about is such a great memory of Yoshi. He always seemed happiest when he could get out and run like crazy.

When KaptainK (Diggers owner) got married, it was a surprise wedding. Her daughter, and her fiance’s kids were there, and so were Sox and I (before we had kids). The wedding was gorgeous. It was supposed to be on the beach, but we ended up at a house overlooking the ocean in Ucluelet. We were camping that weekend and were leaving the day of the wedding. We packed the truck up and drove to Ucluelet for the wedding. We left Yoshi in the truck with the rear slider window open. After the wedding we were going to head to the location for the pictures, and as I opened the front door, there was Yoshi. For the first time ever he had got himself out the rear window. Not only that, but then he walked across all our camping gear and jumped out of the truck! Thankfully he hadn’t gone far.

The day wasn’t done for him though. It turned out to be a sunny day and the pictures were being taken down on one of the beaches. The beach was a couple minute walk from the parking lot and we couldn’t leave Yoshi in the truck, especially after he escaped from the truck once. We took him on his flippy leash down to the beach and tied him up to a log. We left him in the shade and walked a ways away to have some pictures taken.

A short while later Yoshi broke his leash and came running at us in full gallop with a huge smile on his face. I could just that he was thinking “I’m free, I’m free” and he galloped at full speed with his tongue flapping around. As mad as I was, I could see how happy he was to be free.

I love these memories.

Vivid Yoshi

Sometime this morning I had a very vivid dream, and when I woke up I felt the effects for a long time.

The dream was about Yoshi. In the dream I got up one morning in “my” house and went to the kitchen. The house wasn’t the one that I currently live in, but int he dream it was definitely mine.

As I walked to the kitchen Yoshi came trotting by me and brushed up against me.

In the dream I knew that he was dead and for some reason him being there was not abnormal.

Still, I was elated to see him so I grabbed him and gave him a huge hug then lay on the floor with him for a while. From the dream I can remember his smell, hearing him breath, feeling his fur.

I woke up suddenly and felt intensely sad.

I sure miss him a lot.