It has been a sad week here in my house hold, as we prepare to “farewell” a very close family member.
Having recently lost my father, just 12 months ago only makes this all that much harder.
Let’s go back to where this story began:
Still coming to terms with the sudden death of my mother, and now shopping about for a birthday gift for my soon-to-be eight year old boy, was terribly difficult but Master Jake had already decided what it was he wanted more than anything, and that was a dog. Not my first choice, be that I had said there were to be no more pets after we lost our last ( gorgeous golden cocker-spaniel named “Phoebie”), but young Jake and his father had made up their minds.
Originally we had gone looking for a Labrador but found this a rather hard task and rather expensive….this led us to a local pet store to see what kind of dogs were available. The shop was quite busy when we arrived so we just strolled about, casually looking at each adorable puppy hoping that something would appeal to our boy. One f the pups had been let out of its cage, and was scampering about the store, having an absolute ball as it bounded about! I think what really caught my eye was the fact it looked “all legs”, tripping and falling, then jumping right back up again, so cute. I turned to point this creature out to Jake, but he had found his own amusement outside the shop, leaving me to take care of business. What to do??
Before I knew it, the funny long-legged pup had jumped at my feet, and continued to follow me through the store, up & down the aisles, even dropping a toy in my direction which I proceeded to throw to it, again and again! A shop assistant appeared by my side, telling me about the mocha brown & white, collie cross border collie, female, who was only 3 months old and needed a good home. “She seems to like you”, she added. “Hmmmm….we WERE supposedly here for my son”, I mentioned, but it became clear, “I” was now looking for a dog. I ushered Jake’s father to come take a look at the pup, asking if he thought Jake would be happy? there was no denying, this collie x was beautiful, and what a gorgeous nature she had!
We quickly agreed, that she had won our hearts so I went about purchasing all the necessary items, and filling in paper work. “Have you thought of a name?” asked the shop assistant, showing me a list of names which could help in the selection process…..and there it was, so easy, and just like the pup had done, the name jumped right out at me…..”Sophie”.
Sophie has been a part of our life for the past 13 years, showering us with love and so much happiness….she has never left our side, living at 7 different addresses, from the outer west to the coast, we have had many wonderful years together….and even though Jake claimed her to be “his” dog, between you & me, Sophie was always, my girl.
Here’s where the story gets sad…..as with age, comes health problems, and even though Sophie lived her life pretty much without incident, the latter years were not so kind…a few months ago she suffered a stroke, and has gradually gone downhill since. She was diagnosed as having Vestibular Disease (geriatric form) dementia and severe osteoarthritis to which their sadly isn’t any medication available to fix, so has been suffering quite badly.
Unable to stand longer than a couple of minutes, with her back legs often giving way, we have had to make the heart-wrenching decision to end her life, hence end all her suffering. I cried so many tears yesterday after we made the arrangements that I am absolutely dreading how I will be on the actual day.
There has never been another like her in my life, and I just know, there never will be again. I will miss everything about Sophie, her pretty face, her gorgeous mocha brown/white coat, her bark, even her smell…..I pray my father (who came to adore her as much as us) is waiting for her now, ready to take her on some wonderful new walks and some new adventures.
Until we meet again…….