Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Sweet Sophie: The End of Our Sheepdog Lives
Our Old English Sheepdog era has come to its end. We lost Mike and Duffy over a year ago, but we’ve been lucky to still have had regular doggie time with their younger sister Sophie (owned by our friend Donna). The three dogs were a pack throughout their lives, going on frequent outings to Miami Whitewater Forest and elsewhere, and Sophie has been a regular visitor to our house since puppyhood. Donna called me last Saturday (March 11) to see if I were available to help take Sophie to the vet. Sophie hadn’t eaten for three or four days, had drunk very little, had diarrhea, and was very lethargic. The vet suggested that she was approaching her life’s end, and Donna made the hard decision to have her euthanized. Lot of tears.
Donna asked what was special about March 11, Sophie’s last day, and the one thing I thought of was that the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade was going on in downtown Cincinnati. When I googled St. Patrick a little later, it turned out that he had been kidnapped by pirates as a teenager and had spent six years as a sheepherder. There are dozens of greeting cards with St. Patrick and his Old English Sheepdog on the Web. The next day I joined Donna for a hike in Eden Park because we always took the dogs there each spring to see the magnolias in bloom. The temperature had dropped to nineteen on the night that Sophie died, and all the magnolia blossoms had died as a consequence. It felt as though the magnolia gods were also grieving.
Sophie was a great pleasure to Donna and to everyone else she came in contact with. She was a very smart dog, very loving, playful, and loyal. She adored Donna, and she felt at home at our house too. Sophie stayed with us every now and then when Donna made family trips to Nashville, and it has always been a treat to have her in the house. Our experiences with sheepdogs will stick in our memories forevermore. Here are a few pics from the last several years which are reminders of Sophie’s many looks.