Sophie’s Blue EyesPosted 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.
-Agnes Sligh Turnbull