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It snowed all day yesterday and we got a total of about 3″ of the fluffy stuff. Vic and both had a great time with Tobie playing out there in our back yard. We filled the bird feeders and of course started throwing snow at each other. It’s snowed a few times in the previous years we’ve been here and let me tell you, I’ve never seen a happier dog in the snow that Apple. I’ve got photos of Apple & Tobie in the snow in 2006 and 2008 and I just crack up every time I look at them. Apple’s grandma (my mom) was pretty fed up with her stripping the bark off of a few bushes in the back yard of her old house in Glendora, so she got the bright idea to throw her a trash can lid. After that it was all over. She loved her trash can lids. As she grew older we had to get bigger and bigger lids. We started at the 30 gallon lid level and ended up at the 55 gallon lid level. I thought she would eventually tire of her game, but it never happened. She loved doing all sorts of things with the lid. First off when she first saw it every morning in the backyard she would pounce on it like a cat and then try and pick it up from the edge while she was standing on it. A second game, similar to the first, is that she would bring it to me and want me to throw it. Of course how could one say no to a 165lb dog bringing a 55 gallon trash can lid to you in her mouth? No way. I would throw it like a Frisbee as far as I could and sometimes it would land on a hard surface like asphalt or concrete. She would tear after it, full speed like a train, and pounce on it! She would use her full speed with her front paws on the back end of the lid and push the lid across the hard surface! She wouldn’t have her head down at all, it was all the way up with her mouth open and her tongue hanging out in pure happiness. This lid would slide across the concrete or even the grass sometimes and she would just ride with it until it stopped. It was hilarious! She’d then pick it up again and we’d go for another round. She loved having the lid thrown. Always barreling after it at full speed. For a dog her size I’d think they’d tire out pretty quick. Nope, not for a good long while.

The other game she’d play with her lid was to pick one end up with her mouth and then stick the top of the lid under her chest. She’d then lean into it and try to get the bottom of the lid, thus folding it in half. This whole time she’d be growling at it and having a great time. I don’t know what she was trying to accomplish, but it sure was funny to watch.  And finally her favorite thing to do with the lids was to take her lid to a pile of leaves or a pile of snow. Just like a kid, the lid would disappear into the pile, she’d find it, wrestle with it and then scoop up leaves or snow and flip it around. It was so funny that we couldn’t get mad at her. I’m sure many of you can relate to spending hours raking leaves into a pile only to have kids jump into it. She always had such a great time! Apple didn’t know it, but I feel she has taught me the first few lessons of being a parent and reminded me to not take things too seriously.

Pie & Pong

I’m sure as a parent of either a human or an animal, we all have a preconceived notion of what to expect in the future with the arrival of a child or pet. Well thankfully I was wrong. Apple brought  a joy and happiness into our lives I could not have imagined before adopting her. Within the 6 years we were given with her, I have such fond memories with the great ones vastly outnumbering the sad ones. One of my favorite memories is us playing Ping Pong. Apple loved to chase after balls of any size, from tennis balls to beach balls and tear them up. At our house in Glendora, CA we had a ping pong table set up in a back room that Vic and I would often play on. We got pretty good together after a while. Not wanting to be left out, Apple would come stand next to one of us and set her huge head on the table. Apple was a big girl. She weighed a solid 165lbs in her prime and stood tall enough to rest her head on a table without  much of a problem. Well, Apple would track the tiny orange ping pong ball back and forth from one side to the other until the ball came too close to her. Imagine this, an orange ping pong ball bouncing back and forth on the green ping pong table, Apple’s black mask and muzzle resting on one corner with her brown eyes intently focusing on the balls motion. The orange ball bounces right in front of her, a flash of pink and the orange ball disappears into the black. We laughed so hard the first time that happened. It was like the old game Hungry Hungry Hippo, where the hippos are all grabbing at the marbles making them disappear from the game board. The ball just disappeared! I loved it when she was on Vic’s side of the table because I could slowly have the ball head her way and watch it get sucked into the black. It always looked like a magic trick; now it’s here and now it’s gone! Voila! Sometimes she would puncture the ball, but it was not very often. Most of the time though we would say “Drop it” and she would just spit it out. Puh. That was just as hilarious. A flash of pink and out comes the orange ball again. Some magic trick! We would have to wipe off the slobber, but it was always worth it. The really funny part is when we’d play ping pong with our friend. The looks on their faces was always surprise with Apple’s Disappearing Ball Trick.

Apple the Explorer

When we lived in California, we would often go and hike up Glendora Mountain Road. It was a fireroad that we used as a hiking trail. I went up there all the time as a kid and many of my memories involve these hikes. We loved going up there a few days after a good rain to catch the stream that would come down the mountain. Apple love romping through the water. She would run full speed into the stream and find a pond deep enough to come up to her chest. We would show her a pebble and toss it near her. She would follow it and stick her head under the water! After a few times inhaling water, she learned to blow bubbles out of her nose. We laughed and laughed. She was such a funny dog. Apple was a great hiker, she would walk up ahead of us and never get out of site. She would always look back as if to say “Hurry up, Mommy & Daddy! There’s so much fun just around the corner”. I learned a lot from her, she took life with a grain of salt, always happy to just be here. Vic & I don’t have any kids right now, but she also taught me many of the good things about having kids, and some bad. For instance, I loved to watch her explore the world around her and discover new things, like a stick in a stream. I had to learn the balance of reacting from worry and letting her make mistakes; it was tough watching her brave the deep end of a pond, I had to convince my fear of the possible dangers that I was there and could react in time to save her. It was more important for her to explore and discover than ward off the danger. This may sound callous and irresponsible, but I believe that every parent has to make that choice at one time or another raising a child. I know my parents did, growing up I was constantly poking around to find the boundaries of my world. I’m very thankful to have had parents that let me explore because I am now all grown up and still get drawn to find out what’s just around the corner out of site.

Our Beautiful Apple Pie

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.”

- Washington Irving

This website is about our baby girl Apple Pie.

After the untimely loss of Apple, we wanted to setup a site where we could share stories & help us pass through our grief. Apple was an amazing animal. We both have had quite a lot of dogs growing up, but Apple tops them all. She was gentle, loving and always there to greet you with a smile. Apple was a beautiful fawn colored purebred English Mastiff. We found her in April of 2004 at the Pasadena Humane Society as a puppy given up for adoption.

Take a look through the pages as we post our stories & memories. Feel free to leave your comments and enjoy the trip.

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