Our hearts are heavy tonight as the Grand Dame of our house, Sophie, is in the doggy hospital seriously ill with liver cancer. She has been a part of our life for 13 years. Our protector, confidant and friend.
I remember the cold, snowy February night we traveled to Comstock in response to an ad in the paper for $25.00 puppies. Her mom, a full blood German Shepard, paced the living room as we went to look at her puppies. If I remember right there were around 6 furry guys. Some black, some brown, all vying for our attention. One in particular caught my attention, because she had the most beautiful fur and seemed a little shy. To this day she has the most beautiful coat and softest fur. People want to pet her all the time. Anyway, Sam let me pick the one I wanted and I chose Sophie. Climbing in our blue Chevy pickup truck, the three of us headed back home to begin our life together.
Sophie and I had a love-hate relationship. I loved her and you know how she felt about me. She immediately bonded with Sam. She was his puppy. They would go for rides in the pickup and she would bounce from the front seat through the open sliding window into the bed of the truck. What an agile dog she was and she loved it.
Most feared her, as she was fear-aggressive, and very protective of the house. She scared the crap out of anyone who came to the door. My beloved guard dog, as I told her yesterday when we went to visit her. I was never afraid to be alone in the house or anywhere, if she was nearby. But she loved kids, knowing instinctively they were not a threat. Our Grandson Max would chase her around and around the pool table downstairs and they had such fun.
She eventually tolerated me, as we spent a lot of time together the last 3 years, when Sam was traveling so much. She would go into a depression when she saw Sam leave with his travel bag and do the dance of joy when he returned. If Sam went to bed before I did she would position herself between us, to keep an eye on both of us. She guarded the house, the car and her people.
Last night as we sat in the family room, one member of our family was missing. The house is emptier and quieter without Sophie around. Waylon misses his playmate, Sam misses his best friend, and I miss my protector. Regardless of the outcome which will be very sad, we must celebrate her life and the joy she brought to us. We are truly a family having spent the last five years in a strange state with only each other to count on. If only there were a way to slow down the aging process, but the girl’s body is nearly 100 years old and I am sure she is tired.
I know all dogs go to heaven, she has a loving spirit, and she will have playmates there. Hopefully one day we will all be together again on the other side.
It may not sound like it, but we are still hopeful that the Geriatric Vestibular Disease will run it’s course, she will get her equilibrium back so she can walk, and come home to us for however long she has.
Thank you Sophie, for a job well done.