Faleena's Love Stories

Monday, December 25, 2017

Sophia, The Pet Adoption That Changed My Whole World

Ready for a rescue dog love story? :)

Meet Sophia. 

I just have. 

It took me a year and ten months before I was ready. That's how much our pets stay in our hearts. You don't want to replace them. 

It feels...wrong. 

But finally I'd stopped enough strangers on the streets asking to pet their dogs. 

I knew it was time to get my own. 
Four times I went to two shelters in my neighborhood. 

They had some cute pooches but none seemed exactly right. 

The final day, Dec. 13, 2017, I was petting a possible dog who was cute, happy, and small and could be carried on planes or the subway without a hitch. But she didn't feel right to me. In my heart. 

A hug on Day One before I'd even gotten her home. 

I was drawn to a sullen dog who was curled up on her cot behind the glass. (many are sullen in the shelters, but trust me, they don't stay that way) 

She was practically hairless. Turns out she lost it from stress.

I saw that she was seven, and looked it. 

Something told me to meet her. 

I was like, Seriously? 

"Can I please see Sophia?" I asked the volunteers at Best Friends Animal Society.

Two brought her to a meet-and-greet room. 

She was a mess. 

Shaking like a tiny chihuahua. 

I asked if she shook all the time. 

They said the phrase they kept repeating: "She's been through a lot." The "a lot" was dragged out with meaning. What is a lot? 

The first day...slept all the way through it.

Well, Sophia was stranded in Hurricane Harvey. Remember those videos on the news where boats went around picking up stranded dogs? She then stayed in a shelter with about 500 dogs in Houston for a couple months until Best Friends came and got her. She arrived in New York on Dec. 1st. I got her 12 days later. She'd lost her family and was uprooted and hadn't found a new home.

I walked into that shelter planning on getting a healthy dog. 

One who was good with other dogs. 
Hopefully smaller so I could take her/him on a plane. 

Instead I looked at this shaking, nearly hairless Pointer, and said, "I want that one!" 

The first two days with her, she slept the entire time. The stairs petrified her. I discovered that rain was the worst...because of the hurricane it meant certain death. But you know what? 

She hasn't shaken once since I brought her home. 

The stairs that once scared her, she now runs down

Her hair is growing back! 

She chose her dog bed.
shy high-five

There are patches where it will never (I think she was burned at one time.) But the rest is beginning to fill out. 
I never expected it would.

We went out in the rain for a second time and she didn't freak out! 

She's feeling safe with me, and trusts that I've got her, even in the rain. 

Where at first on the street she growled at dogs... (after being in a shelter with 500 of them, I would, too!)

Now she's curious about them, sniffs them with her tail wagging, whines a little to get closer, and probably soon will want to play. And it's only been two weeks of loving her back to happiness. 

Each day she blossoms into who she really is. 

And the best part is, so do I. 
With each hurdle we overcome together, 
I laugh, I've cried, 
I feel joy in my heart watching her learn to trust again. 
I needed a furry friend. 

And she's older, so yes...
I don't know how long we'll have together. 

But I can give her the best last years of her life. 

(Where'd I get her cute dog coat? It was only $16 friggin bucks here on 'Zon. Reversible, too. Crazy. She's in a size XL. Trim the edges of the velcro to soften them, but it's so cheap, whatdya expect? Enjoy!)  

Faleena Hopkins
Got her a matching doggie jacket (but not on purpose -- I don't think ahead like that)

Grumpy the Cat - Her fave to this day (a month later)

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