Tuesday, July 31, 2018


July was another interesting month. We had some much needed renovations on our house. The last week in June the interior of the house was painted. I painted the kitchen and half bath but we had a company do the rest. That was followed but having ALL new floors but in. That renovation took place at the beginning of July. The house was turned upside down with things in the middle of rooms and in boxes. 

We needed to get the animals out of the house one day. The dogs returned that night but the cats needed to be away over night because the steps were finished and sealed and we needed to stay off them for about 12 hours. So off we went to a local hotel. That was an adventure. Sophia and I went out to lunch while Steve stayed back with the animals in the hotel room. He somehow let Otto out and did not realize it for about 30 minutes. It took us another 30 minutes to find him. We had two other couples and the hotel manager looking for him. Mr Twinkletoes and Otto were out of sorts while we were in the hotel. Mr. Twinkletoes was hissing at Otto. I was worried but once we got home they were back to normal.  And check out Mr. Twinkletoes ears. They are no longer folded down. 

And our house looks great!

Sophia attended Horse Jamboree with her 4-H friends again. This is a weekend sleep away camp. Her and Emma gave a team demo on horse breads and took first place. They were the only ones doing a team demo so the competition wasn't hard but the experience is invaluable. Learning to speak in front of judges is going to take her far. 

We took our annual July 1st photo a little late because the referral picture was packed away. July 1st marked the twelve anniversary of seeing Sophia's face in her referral photos. I still get excited when I think about receiving her referral. 

After the two weeks of renovations we got in the car and drove down to Kentucky Horse Park for BreyerFest. Sophia has been saving up for this event for over a year. She bought our admissions in as part of our agreement for this trip. This was $235. She also saved every penny she earned or received as a gift and ended up buying herself 16 horse while down there. She spent over $600. She loves each horse. She even learned how to barter at the horse sales that happen in the Clarion hotel at night. She also worked a trade outside the special run tent and managed to get a shiny appaloosa horse which was one of the 175 models they made for this run.  We got to see shows and meet horses. Sophia participated in a horseless jumping completion on Saturday. She also took some workshops. Rachel, a friend from the barn went with her mother so Sophia spent some time with her while there. 

We did a 1 mile walk/run to benefit a horse rescue on Sunday. Sophia ended up hurting herself on Sunday at lunch when her and her friend Rachel were jumping over horse jumps. She misjudged it and hit her toe. The nail broke it was pretty painful. 

We went to Claiborne breeding farm and learned about how the race horse breeding program works. Secretariat was at this farm during his breeding "career."

Sophia decorated our car windows for this event. She was even interviewed for the New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/26/style/horse-girls-breyerfest.html

We were home for two days and then Sophia and I went to Connecticut to visit Linda and the girls. We stopped to see Aunt Philly on our way to Linda's house. She was thrilled to see us. I hope I am as spunky as she is when I am 95 years old. We went to a breakout game place and a town fair. We also had a family gathering where many of the Buccetti and Kuszpa cousins came. it was nice to see everyone. 


We started June on a very sad note. Kaegogi started yelping in the middle of the night on Friday, June 1. We did not know why. It was hard to know if she was in pain or anxious. Steve stayed ended up staying downstairs with her all night and pet her every time she woke up yelping. We spoke to the vet who prescribed a sedative that is used for dogs that get dementia. She did okay during the day on Saturday and we gave her the medicine on Saturday night around 6:00 PM. She slept the first couple of hours. We were relieved. But then she started waking up every hour, yelping, around midnight. We made the hard decision to put her down. We promised her we would not let her suffer. She has been such an amazing dog. 

She had trouble with bad knees but we kept her comfortable. She has even been getting acupuncture every couple of weeks for the last year and a half. We thought we were going to lose her back in January 2016. At that time she was listless and not eating. After some meds and a change in diet she bounced back. I hoped that his would be the case this time but clearly she was ready to let go. She let us know in a very clear way. 

The animals all seemed to know. They all spent time with her those last couple of days. They had even started laying in her bed. I had notice that Boba and Mr. Twinkletoes actually started laying in her bed about a week before she passed. I did not think much of this because they have done this from time to time. But now looking back I think this was different. 

The other animals seem to miss her. They continued to lay in her bed. They all were a bit quieter for about a week. 

Every night I gave Kaegogi and Mr. Twinkletoes their medicine. Then all of the animals got treats. The dogs would often be joined by Mr. Twinkletoes when they got their treats. Now it is just Gracie and Boba. It feels so different. Kae's presence is missed. 

The whole house is quieter without her. She was a vocal dog. She talked to me all the time. She cried to go outside, then to come back in. She talked to us when she wanted attention. I miss her so much. I always thought I was a cat person but somehow this dog got to my heart like no other one has. 

She has blessed us the last 14 1/2 years. 

Sophia ran in the Girls on the Run 5K. She loves running and hopes to join the track team in High School.

Sophia competed in the 4-H Hippology and Horse Judging competition at the state level. She was hesitant to do the oral reasons of horse judging when she first started. This is where you stand up before a judge and tell them why you placed the horses in the order you did. The first practice she couldn't get through the reasons. She had an eye for the placings but the oral reasons were hard. She stuck with it and became more confident. The night before the competition she told me she like the judging more than the written and practical hippo logy! She did amazing in the competition. She ended up placing 2nd overall in the Intermediate Novice division. I am so proud of her.

I went up to Connecticut for my Aunt Anna Jane's 90th birthday. It was so nice to see her and my Aunt Philly. All my cousins were there. It was nice to be with family.

I also went up to New Hampshire to finish out the Etna series. I went up a day early to spend time with one of my best friends, Michael. The entire weekend was amazing. I am so glad I made it up to New Hampshire for this series. 

Sophia and her cats!

This month was a roller coaster. A really low time but followed by lots of happy times. I tell Sophia that we can't appreciate the happiness without knowing the sadness. This month served as a lesson for that.