Sophie’s Blue Eyes

Posted by Pamela Hart, Director of ALDF's Animal Law Program on May 13, 2010

I don’t like to blog, never have, don’t know why. Maybe because I’m not of generation X, Y, or Z. Maybe because the informal format feels too personal, which can be uncomfortable for a Type A lawyer. This week it feels particularly terrifying because I know there is only one subject I can write about; my beloved companion and friend, Sophie.

Whenever people ask me how I got involved in animal rights, I frequently tell an anecdotal story about the first dog I adopted in my adulthood. His name is Max and he is a wonderful gentle dog who has been with me for almost 15 years. He came from a very abusive situation before he landed at the NYC ASPCA shelter. His background and painful plight opened my eyes to the link between human violence and animal cruelty.

But I have also lived with another dog for almost as long….until last week. Her name was Sophie and she too came from a terrifying situation, where she silently suffered with abuse and neglect for over three years. When I adopted her she was afraid of me, Max, men, women, children and anything that moved suddenly. Over time, she became comfortable enough to show me and others close to me what a loving, trusting, gentle soul she was. She had huge beautiful blue eyes that never seemed to blink and just stared at you, imploring you to understand where she came from. She was polite, sweet, loyal, tolerant and most of all forgiving. She was a wonderful dog, who taught me much.

Sophie lost her battle to cancer last week. I miss her terribly. I miss her blue eyes following me everywhere, I miss her nudging me at the end of the day after everyone else in the house has gotten their needs met and have long gone to bed. People say it will get easier with time, I hope they are right. For now, I will take comfort in my memories and thoughts of her and I will squeeze and hold Max a bit tighter.

"Dogs lives are too short…their only fault, really."  
-Agnes Sligh Turnbull

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12 thoughts on “Sophie’s Blue Eyes

  1. Linda Manning says:

    Hi Pam, So very sorry to hear about the passing of your beautiful Sophie. You were both so lucky and blessed to have found each other.

    Take care,
    Linda Manning

  2. baileykix says:

    You’re definitely a stronger person for having shared this. Thank you for letting us see how special Sophie was to you. Hugs.

  3. christina says:

    So very sorry for your loss. Rest in peace, sweet girl.

  4. Linda Wangen says:

    So very sorry for your loss. I must go home and show my furry friends a bit more love and attention tonight. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Kimberly says:

    I am sorry for your loss too Pamela. Sophie was a beautiful dog. There is so much we can learn from animals & isn’t it strange sometimes that they have a much greater capacity to forgive & love unconditionally more than people do many times? I know there will be animals in heaven, because it wouldn’t be heaven without them.

  6. Sabrina Cohen says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. The loss of pets has always been the hardest thing for me to understand and cope with, but it is beautiful that you rescued Sophie and showed her love and compassion. Thank you so much.

  7. Christina says:

    I know the feeling of losing a beloved dog. I had Cali in my life for 12 years. She was a 105lb black lab mix who made my life complete. My children were grown and out of the house and it was just me and Cali. Cali became a Delta Society Theraphy dog and was great with children suffering with cancer, the elderly and people with disabilities. I often used to wonder in amazement how she became so compassionate, understand and loving. My beloved Cali passed away 2.5 years ago, but she is always in my heart. I now have 2 rescue puppies who will never take the place of Cali, but already are extremely loving, kind and filling the empty space in my heart.

    When I feel a sadness for Cali I remember the “Rainbow Bridge” and just smile. Here is how it begins: “Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.”

    It goes on and is beautiful, it’s on the internet.

    It will get easier, but you will always have a place in your heart for your beloved pet.

  8. Sheryl Hallahan says:

    So sorry about sophie please look up Rainbow bridge, it does give some comfort, when my time comes ther will be quite a few waiting for me. They teach us so much if we are willing to learn all my pets have been rescued one way or another. I still miss all of them but so very thankful for all the love they gave..

  9. Barbara says:

    Pam, Sophie was blessed to have you. All any companion wants is love and you gave that to her.

    Many prayers that happy memories of her will soon take away the sadness in your heart.

    Barbara Albright/NH

  10. lenny matthews says:

    thank you so very much for sharing, out into blogging cyberspace, a connection that had such a deep place in your life, positioned in your heart. I don’t even know you and I sit here grieving for you and your loss…

  11. Maggie McGill says:

    Pam, I know how much she meant to you. I am so sorry to hear of her passing. What a blessing she was to you and you to her. My thoughts are with you.

  12. Reagan says:

    Sending warm thoughts your way…