#10 - The Need for Companionship
See, I don't trust people (rarely if I do) and if I have your trust it can be broken easily. Sophie changed that by teaching me what companionship means and why it is necessary to have to live in this world. Thank you Sophie. I love you.
#9 - How to relax
Prior to getting her I did not know how to relax. My life always revolved around drama, I didn't know how to live without drama. But when she wanted to rest rather than play I rested with her. Thank you Sophie for teaching me how to relax.
#8 - Taking Responsibility
I am a single woman with no children, and I am fine with that. I never saw myself with children because I did not want to take on that responsibility. The curious thing is dog's need their owners to take responsibility for their well-being. Sophie made that really easy. I loved to take care of her. In her last 2 and a half months of life she really needed me to be responsible. By me ensuring she had her medicine at the right time she remained pain free as the tumor continued to grow within her nose.
#7 - Facing your Fears
Sophie taught me that you are never to old to overcome your fears. Sophie hated water when I adopted her and in 2012 I learned she hated any type of bridge that went over or was near water. When we took our trip to Martha's Vineyard I had to carry her onto the Ferry and off of it. In 2013 me and her were walking on the Roanoke green way which runs beside the Roanoke river. That day she crossed not only 1 bridge over the water but 2 for a total of 4 when you count going and coming back. She overcame her fear. I can too. Thank you Sophie.
#6 - How to play
No matter how old Sophie got she loved to play. When ever I was doing things on the computer, work related or more recently school assignments, she would nudge her head up against the computer. That was her way of saying, "Mom, it's play time"
#5 - Live life Now
I always hear people say they are working hard now so they can play hard when they retire. I have always thought that was strange because I had friends who would never make it to retirement, they were dead. While I had Sophie we traveled and moved a lot. Here is a list of the places we have been:
Atlantic Beach, NC
Wickford, Rhode Island
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Peaks of Otter, VA
Peaks of Otter
#4 - The Importance of Trust
When I first adopted Sophie she would not let my father come near her. He fed her and gave her water everyday for two weeks before she would allow him to pet her. She had trust issues, no doubt. Over the years she was on this earth she would come to befriend 4 men. That may not seem a lot but it is a lot further along from where she came from. While I am still learning I have found people that are worthy of trust.
#3 - Be flexible
Since I adopted Sophie in 2007 we have moved 5 times. Every place we moved she made it home. Moving can typically create turmoil within a family pet but Sophie always went with the flow. All these moves represent change in my life and if anyone knows me I HATE change. This is a valuable lesson she has taught me. When you are flexible things seem to be a lot easier.
#2 - Loyalty
I think because she knew I loved her she was always loyal, always protecting me from unknown people who came to our homes. Our world lacks in this area. We all need to know we have a loyal friend so that is what I strive to be to all who I know. Loyal.
The #1 thing Sophie taught me is:
The picture below was taken the day before she died.
At this point she could no longer breath through her nose and her sleep was constantly being interrupted because dog's are not designed to breath through their mouth, though that is what she did. What this picture does not show you is the locksmith who is replacing a deadbolt on my door. Here she is in the midst of struggling to breath watching this man and her normal stance of protection over me. All I can deduce from this is that she not only knew I loved her but she felt it. My love is what compelled her to protect and remain loyal to me, resulting in her to endure what I can only imagine was a difficult and unbearable decline thanks to cancer.
What I realize is that I can endure anything because I not only know that God loves me but I feel the love of God.