I feel like a new parent talking about a new baby. Sophie has the sweetest disposition I have ever seen in a dog. She is friendly with a unique personality all her own. I rediscovered happiness in life spending time with her, playing “puppy” games and teaching her some basic tricks. Sophie is so smart and picks up on new situations with little or no prompting.
Sophie is so protective of both me and my wife, but she knows she is my dog and always keeps me as her primary focus.
Sophie wakes me up if I am having a nightmare. When I’m awake she stays very close to me and will lean up against me if I’m starting to escalate or lose control of my anger in order to soothe me. If her leaning isn’t enough, she will bark and demand to go outside, taking me on a walk until I calm down. It is incredible how she is able to sense my moods and emotions, defusing the anger until it is gone.
We have two feral cats, one several years old and another about 4-5 months old. Sophie has made them a part of her life. The older cat is stand-offish, but if we aren’t looking, she will play with Sophie. Road Rash (the kitten) & Kitty Girl (the oldest feral cat) play with Sophie when they are outside. Her other buddy is a dog named Tommy who lives behind us. They run back and forth along the fence playing. When we go outside and “visit” Sophie is friendly to everyone, including the mailman who likes her as well.
My wife has been there throughout my multiple deployments and has always been a blessing. Sophie fills a need that another person cannot. We have bonded. Sophie never criticizes or scolds me. She is just there, understanding and caring. Sophie just wants attention from me. I know that I’m the only thing that matters to her. Sophie knows when to play and when to just sit near me. Her cold nose & unconditional love provides comfort on a level people cannot begin to understand.
Mere words cannot express my gratitude for the gift of Sophie. She has done so much to erase my depression, defuse my angry outbursts, and verbal assaults. She is there when I lose my sense of direction or my frustration over things I cannot control. And my wife is not allergic to her!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Jim G. US Army, Retired
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Originally posted in our December 2014 newsletter.