Sadie and Sophie hanging out on the couch

My first Sheltie girl, Sophie, came to me after my older son died in August of 2009. My husband brought her home in December as a six-week-old puppy newly weaned from mamma. She was this tiny ball of fuzz that I couldn’t help crying over. She was perfect.

Young Sophie 2011. Couldn’t find her puppy picture.

At that time, I didn’t know how much I would need her. We named her Sophie and she became a companion for me. She got to know Patrick, my younger son, a bit. He was bound to his bed and so all she really got to know him as…a little inside joke for home, not meant as mean…but she knew him as just the talking head. He spent a lot of time completely covered to stay warm except for his head.

In September of 2010, the 17th to be exact, my world came crashing down. Patrick died that morning and so did I, in a way. I remember squatting by his bed saying, I’m not ready for this, over and over. He was my soul’s match. We had such a strong bond. I can’t describe our bond except to say it was like our souls had been together since the beginning of time. I loved Shane so much. He was my first born. I love my husband. I loved Patrick, but there was so much more there. When he died it was like it tore part of my soul away.

That is where Sophie came in. If it hadn’t been for her needing me to take her out or feed her, I don’t think I’d have gotten out of bed. Then I found that I needed her much more than she needed me. She became my support, my psychiatrist, she knew the moment I was having a bad time. I don’t know how many tears I shed upon her fur while she leaned against me giving her Sheltie love and casting her magic on me.

Sophie, now. She’s waiting to go outside.

Ten years later, I am doing better. I still grieve and miss my sons with all my heart and soul. Sophie helped me get to where I don’t feel like I need to stay, as I call it, back there, with the boys. For a long time, I was afraid to move on. If felt like I was leaving them behind. I function well these days, doing things for myself. However, the loss of the boys led me to learn that the depression I suffer now was something I’ve had all along, even as a child. That is for another post. This one is supposed to be about my Shelties and me.

Sophie is still my support dog. She will be ten on October 23rd. It doesn’t seem possible. I don’t want her to get older though, I hate it. As she gets older, I know there will be a goodbye for her gentle, loving soul.

Almost three years ago, Sophie’s breeder parents called us and told us they had a couple of Sheltie babies born and if we still wanted one, we could choose from the two. We chose a little girl with a thin white strip down her nose, hoping it might widen and she’d look a bit like Sophie.

Sadie at four months just after she came home.

This baby already had the name Sadie before she came home. I’d named her before we even know if we’d ever have another Sheltie.

She spent three weeks in the truck with my husband. He’d taken a load specifically to go get her and then get a load to come back home right away. Well, thanks to the company he worked for being even bigger jerks than they were previously couldn’t or wouldn’t get him a load coming back from Texas to Arizona. At first, hubby went to Springfield, Missouri where the home terminal is, thinking they’d get him a load out of there home. No, they didn’t do that, he ended up going to Illinois. That is not the way back to Arizona. They told him, oh, do this load and we’ll get you sent home. This went on for almost three weeks and hubby finally told them to send him home, he needed to get this puppy home. She was three months old when he went to get her, she was four months old by the time we got her home. She has bonded with hubby a lot more than she has with me.

I call her my comic relief because she isn’t quite as attentive to mood changes as Sophie. She loves to play, she gets into things that aren’t supposed to be for doggies, she loves to lick people. When she begs she does this thing where she lays her head on your leg, the couch, or chair where you are snacking and stares at you with this cute expression. You can hardly say no to that face.

Sadie and the new way she begs from dad.

She has learned to be quite vocal. She will tell her cats what to do and if she can’t get them to straighten up, she will come tell us all about it. If we don’t do something that she thinks we should do, we get told about it.

She loves her sister. She will sit on her to get her to play. Sophie loves her too, now. At first though, I think Sophie thought we’d ruined her life bringing that puppy into her life. Now, they are never far apart.

I love the Sheltie breed. They hold a special place in my heart, and I feel as many Sheltie owners feel that they are the most special breed on the planet. Of course, that goes for anyone who has a specific breed they are enamored with. I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to say that Shelties are the best breed or anything like that. What I am saying is that the Sheltie breed is the best breed for me.

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