Missing Miss Sophie

By: Anne Corke

May 18 2021

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I keep glancing at the dog bed in the office expecting to see Sophie sleeping there but she’s not. Tomorrow she will have been gone from us for a week and we are missing her. And though I know we were lucky to have her with us for so long, it could never have been long enough.

Sophie was sixteen. She went blind about three years ago. At first, she could navigate the house and the yard quite well but more recently she would get disoriented and I would find her under a chair or standing in a corner unsure of where she was. She developed spinal problems which caused weakness in her hips and hind legs limiting her mobility. And for many years she had suffered chronic skin allergies. Due to her advanced age she would have trouble going through the night without a pee break so for the past few months we would get up around three every morning to avoid accidents. I would carry her down the deck stairs so she could attend to business then back up again, she would get a treat and I would settle her down in her bed for a few more hours sleep. Last Tuesday, she was having terrible problems with her balance. She was thrashing around trying to get up from her bed. When I picked her up and tried to set her on her feet, her head and neck would snap from side to side and she’d collapse in a heap. She couldn’t stand long enough to pee or poop. On Wednesday she was no better so I called the vet and made an appointment to take her in to be put to sleep. I just had a feeling that she was tired of all her health struggles, that life had become something that she merely endured, that the quality of her life was now lacking and she was ready to move on to her next adventure. She spent Wednesday sleeping, curled up on her right side in the crook of my left arm with her head on my chest as she so often did. She didn’t seem distressed, in fact she seemed quite content and relaxed, safe in my arms. I turned the recliner to face the window so I could watch the birds as we whiled away the afternoon cuddling together, my right hand continuously stroking her head, frequent tears running down my cheeks, our hearts in constant communication. She never changed position. Jeremy and Amanda came to say goodbye mid afternoon and each took a turn cuddling her. Again her position never changed. Indeed it never changed when we got into the car for her last ride or when we entered the procedure room at the vet clinic. She lay against my chest and dozed on. The only time she stirred was when she felt the needle which delivered the sedative but she quickly settled back against me. When we put her on the table for the last injection, I lay her down in the same position just as she was when I left her there a short time later. I don’t know what is most difficult, watching your pet slowly fade away or walking away and leaving their body behind, never to be seen again. However, I did take some solace in those last hours of cuddles that I like to think were hours of comfort, peace and love for both of us. I honestly don’t know if I was comforting her or she was comforting me. Perhaps we were comforting one another, reminiscing about all the good times together and whispering long loving goodbyes knowing what was to come. And I believe she truly loved those last cuddles with her family, with me, Jeremy and Amanda. Maybe that was her way of saying au revoir and thanks for all the love. I will always miss those peaceful moments cuddling with her, her soft head resting against me, the gentle thump of her heart, her little nose pointing up towards my face. Dear Sophie, cuddler extraordinaire, you will always be my best girl. I will carry you in my heart forever.

Copyright 2021 Anne Corke

One comment on “Missing Miss Sophie”

  1. No words Anne…. just gobs and gobs of ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤


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