What do you say about a dog you never met, across a continent, who changed your life in a profound way?
This is how I felt about Eloise, a dog that came across my Facebook page in a random Rescue plea, like the hundreds and thousands of other postings that I see and hear about on a regular basis. The shelter staff named her Eloise – whether or not in haste, just because she needed any name to be identified in the shelter, or because someone took the time to look at Eloise and decided that was the name for her – Eloise is how she fondly is remembered by me.
Here is that original Facebook post:
Roughly 2,441 miles separated us, but from the moment I saw that post, I knew I was going to get her out of that high-kill shelter environment and help find her a loving forever home.
Pulling Eloise from the shelter: Read the happy blog here. The shelter staff at New Leash on Life renamed her Pocahontas because they thought she looked like a little Indian.
Eloise finds her forever home: Read the joyous blog here. Her new family lovingly named her Sophie.
It always hurts, so much, when you can’t save an animal in need.
And it always hurts, so much, when you hear of an animal’s passing, whether s/he is your very own or not.
As many of you know, I kept in touch with Sophie’s family because Sophie had my heart and I just couldn’t bear to not get updates.
Here is my last update. Sophie was passed on Friday, January 5, 2018 surrounded by her family, in her own home.
I would like to share the e-mail that I received from Sophie’s family:
The thing about losing a pet in ANY manner is this: there really are no words.
Here’s what I will say: Every day, every where, animals are dumped, dying, hungry, cold, lonely, abused, exploited, hurt, and abandoned. Many are over looked for adoption in favor of younger, cuter, healthier animals.
Maybe someone else would have looked at Sophie, who was a little worn, pretty haggard, and definitely tired, and passed her by without a second thought.
But Sophie’s family looked at Sophie, and gobbled her up, loved her inside and out, and gave that girl as much love, care and adoration as any animal deserved. It didn’t matter to them that she was a little worn, pretty haggard, and definitely tired.
No-one knows Sophie’s beginning, or her journey up until she ended up at the shelter. However, in the short time between shelter life and new home life, Sophie loved and lived A LOT. And in the end, that’s all anyone can ask for.
I have thought about Sophie every day on some level since I first saw her picture in that Facebook post. And, I will continue to think of her every day, as I carry her in my heart no matter what. Sophie’s last day is written on my calendar, but it’s not a date that I will ever forget.
One dog changed the way that I view others, has made me see the positive, creative ways that people can come together to make a difference, and has given me optimism that there are lots of warm, wonderful people out there whose hearts are big enough to love an animal with any kind of challenge, no matter what the circumstance. Look closely at Eloise’s shelter picture. Her tail is wagging. Wagging. And that means hope. Eloise left me with many gifts. Impacted by a dog I have never even met. Wow.
I love you, Eloise.
Sophie, above, with her family.