Sophie, my best friend
My son and I got our Sophie from a local breeder the year after my husband passed away with cancer. She was so tiny, you could hold her in one hand. But she was a little bundle of love from the beginning. She never met a stranger, and always greeted everyone, new and old, with a wagging tail and sweet expression.
Through the years, we had our escapades with Sophie. She had a habit of following anyone she saw outside walking down the sidewalk, wagging her tail. My son, being only 12 when we got her, sometimes left a crack in the door when going outside to play with friends. One time I noticed her missing, as she stayed in the house. I immediately went outside and called her, with a lump forming in my throat.
I did not see her anywhere and began walking down the street calling her. A neighbor who lived several houses down the street asked me if I was looking for a small lost dog. Sure enough, our little Sophie had been trotting down the middle of the road greeting everyone she came upon and the neighbor's little girl called her over. I was so happy to get her back.
Another time she was missing for several days. I cried every day and could not wait to get home from work to search for her. I put up posters and soon another neighbor at the other end of the street called me and told me she had wandered down the street and had been staying at the house next door. She was not used to being left outside, and the couple left her outdoors at night. She barked all night long.
Once we took her camping with family in a pop-up tent. The family member made her stay in a small kennel at night, which Sophie did not like, so she barked all night and kept everyone awake. Needless to say, we were never invited back on any more camping trips.
My son would put Sophie in the bed with him on many occasions at night. Sophie was afraid to jump off the bed, so she had many "accidents" on the bed. I would get so upset about her urinating on my son's bed, but I couldn't help but hide a smile at the fact that my son loved her and was such a sucker when it came to whatever Sophie wanted. He would sneak her table food, even though I told him not to because it always upset her little tummy when she ate pizza, etc.
Many long days, struggling with the emptiness that my husband's death left us with, were made easier with Sophie to greet us with her sweet face and wagging tail. We acquired two cats, Rambo and Isabell. Rambo developed such an affection for Sophie and would rub himself lovingly against her often during the day.
Rudy, our African Grey Parrot, called Sophie many, many times during the day and always alerted us when Sophie had an "accident." Rudy would call out, "Sophie pooed on the floor. What did you do that for Sophie? You're supposed to go outside!" It was really a very comical thing to hear.
My son would sit her on the sofa beside him, and she would have such a proud look on her little face, like she was saying, "Look at me. I'm important too. I get to sit on the sofa." When I came home with a new toy for her, she would act so happy. Sometimes she would round up all her toys in a pile and just lay in the middle of them.
She loved to ride in the car, and she had her own doggie seat that allowed her to see out of the window. When Sophie was about 9, she just didn't seem as alert as she used to be. Sometimes she would seem confused. Then she had to have a benign tumor removed from her eye along with a graft on her cornea. She responded very well after the surgery, even acting more like her old self for a while.
Then she started going down, losing her appetite. I brought her to the vet, and she was diagnosed with viral pneumonia. The vet did everything he could do for her, but she just passed away that night at the vet hospital. We buried her today in the back yard, and we're going to get a marker with a picture of her on it for her grave.
What can I say about losing Sophie? Our hearts are broken. I've already shed many tears and probably will shed many more. She gave us so much love, and more, she helped us with our grief. She took so little in return.
She greeted us every day with her sweet face and wagging tail, always ready to play in her younger years, and waiting for a kind word in her older years. She lay at my feet wherever in the house I sat.
I'll miss her for a long, long time...maybe forever. Another dog for me? I don't think so. Sophie was more than a dog. She was my best friend. No other dog could ever fill the spot she has forever in my heart.