This is Sophie’s little red wagon. I have been holding onto it and all of Sophie’s belongings like a hoarder since she passed away. I have her boots, 3 different sizes of lifting harnesses, her leash, collar, bowl, her big red stroller and her little red wagon. Having these items nearby makes me feel connected to Sophie and always puts a smile on my face when I run into them around the house. At times I’ve even found a use for her stuff. I loaned her boots to a friend whose dog was having a problem walking and recently I used the largest harness to keep Cody’s back legs steady during the final days when he was too weak to walk alone.
Tomorrow I will be saying goodbye to the Radio Flyer Red Wagon and while I am excited that it will be going to someone I love, I am also sad to see it leave. It will be a reality-check that an era, which can never be replaced, has truly passed by.
Why Sophie had a little red wagon
I’ve written before that Sophie and her housemates, Shadow and Cody, loved being outdoors. Our family used to go on a 3 mile walk around our community every day. We walked so often that our neighbors thought my husband, Ken, and I had a dog walking service. People would routinely stop to ask us how much we charged to walk a dog.
When Sophie first started having trouble walking and her hind legs were slipping out from under her, both Ken and I knew we couldn’t stop our walking routine. Sophie still craved the fresh air and the smells of our neighborhood. We knew we had to find a way for her to keep walking with us.
At the time our veterinarian wasn’t sure what was causing Sophie’s weakness and she couldn’t tell us whether or not it would be a permanent condition so Ken and I decided a Radio Flyer wagon would be the perfect solution to keep Sophie mobile. We liked it because of the reasonable price and it was easy to pull while we were walking the two other dogs.
The wagon was built with a foldout seat for a child so we had to fill in that area to make it more comfortable for a dog. We used a big fluffy blanket to build up the inside the wagon.
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Sophie’s first ride
It was a proud day when we took Sophie out for her first ride in her Radio Flyer. We were beaming with pride as we put her on the comfy blanket and pulled her down the driveway. Unfortunately Sophie wasn’t as convinced about this new form of transportation as we were. Sometime during the walk, Sophie decided she had enough of being pulled around and she threw her body out of the wagon.
I screamed as Sophie’s body crashed onto the sidewalk. We ran to see if she was hurt, but in typical alpha dog fashion, Sophie just shook off the whole ordeal with a few flicks of her head.
Sophie never really got used to traveling in the wagon although she allowed us to use it for the first several months of her illness. Finally we put the wagon away and started to look for another mode of transportation which led us to the purchase of dog wheelchair and later a big red stroller that Sophie loved.
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Where the little wagon is headed
Last year on July 24, 2015 my first grandbaby was born. Her name is Shayna and she has become the center of our world. We will soon be celebrating Shayna’s first birthday and my son and daughter-in-law talked about getting her a red wagon so they could pull her around the neighborhood.
I offered for them to take Sophie’s wagon and they were delighted. So yesterday I pulled the wagon from a shelf in the garage and wheeled it into the backyard where I hosed it down to make it clean and shiny. It brought back a flood of memories and a few stupid tears. It reminded me that time passes on no matter how hard you try to stop it.
Tomorrow Shayna will be riding in that sweet little red wagon and I want a picture of her smiling as her parents pull her on their daily walk around the neighborhood.