Sophie – Age 10
Rescued August 2013
Sophie went missing from her original home 9 years prior and was picked as a stray up by a rural shelter

10 years old, 53 lbs, blonde, female

Sophie is a sweet girl who came to GRRCC from a local shelter. She was covered in fleas and ticks with a severe skin infection- the first two weeks her foster family could only pet her head because she would flinch if they touched her body. She was 10-15 lbs underweight so she initially gulped her food and drank water by the bowl- almost as if she was afraid she would not have another meal or clean water. She was so woebegone that the shelter and the vet thought she was 12+ years old! We named her Sophie since it fit with her sweet and gentle nature.

But there is more to her Incredible Journey from hobo to soon-to-be beloved family member! When the shelter picked her up as a stray, they scanned her for a microchip. She actually did have one but sadly, it was unregistered. The GRRCC Intake person decided to put on her Sherlock Holmes hat and see if she could track down the owner. She contacted the vet who had implanted the chip and was able to get some contact information but it was no longer current. Through a fortunate chain of events she was in fact able to ultimately find her original owner. She excitedly called them, thinking perhaps Sophie was a much loved dog that had been missing for a while and had a family desperately looking for her. When she did speak to the owner, wow…what a story. It turns out that Sophie (and eerily enough, she had been named Sophie by her original owner!) had been stolen from their yard 9 years ago when she was just 1 year old. They had looked and looked for her but eventually gave up. Imagine their surprise when we told them we had her, and our surprise, when we heard her story! They came and met her and were so happy she was safe and they could have closure. They were not in a position to take Sophie back and were very grateful to GRRCC for helping her find a Forever Home. So, where has Sophie been for 9 years?? Starting from a home in southern Union County, she was found as a stray in the northern most part of Iredell County. How many families or people had had her? How many people had tried to help her and how many others turned their back on her? How did she survive? She clearly knew love, at least occasionally, given her personality and manners…but it could also be that she is just a typical loving Golden Retriever that gladly ignores humankind’s indifference or cruelty.

Sophie has gained weight (although she still needs another 5 lbs +/-) and her coat is now starting to be soft and shiny….and she loves for her foster mom to brush her every night. Her heart shaped face is always looking for attention and to be touched by their hands….she is a dog that clearly has been starved for love as well as food. She literally smiles up at her foster family when they look at her- her joy at being in the house and part of a family is evident every single minute. She is a very grateful dog that is learning to settle in and not be concerned that she will be put outside and forgotten again.

Sophie is a nudger. She will do just about anything to get you to put your hand on her body. She is a cuddler and loves to sit next to you on the couch. Sophie sleeps in her foster mom’s bed every night on her own side of the bed- stretched out and asleep within 2 minutes of turning out the light. Sophie loves all dogs and shows her friendship by kissing them on the mouth- and her excitement at another “friend” is evident in her smiling face. Serioulsy, this dog has a 1,000 watt smile! She was having a blast at GRRCC’s Tennis Ball Raffle recently when she got to romp and play with 50 or so other happy Goldens. Her foster mom has taken Sophie out on a 30ft lead and she is retrieving a soft ball for them. She has watched her foster brother, Ryder, run full speed and catch the tennis ball- and is doing the same with her soft pink ball. Clearly she is intelligent and learns very easily. She is housebroken and will stand next to you when she wants to go outside to potty.

They have a special bowl for Sophie to feed her- it is segmented so the food is spread out- and this has stopped the “gulping” of her food so she eats slower now. She sits for a treat after going outside- and has learned not to grab the treat. Sophie is crate trained and readily goes out on a leash. She could still use some leash training but does not pull or strain on the leash. She is 10 yrs old but acts like a dog much younger. She has a great energy level for her age and always gets up to follow them around but is also content to ‘chill’ when her foster family is settled in for the day or evening. She has never even barked in the over 1 month they have had her.  Sophie LOVES everyone and would be of ZERO value as a watch dog (typical Golden that she is!).

Sophie is all healed now and ready to find her new home. Her ideal home will be one slightly on the quieter side I think although she does have more energy than an ‘average’ 10 year old. I think she would be happiest in a home where someone was home during the day…surely she deserves to get all the time and attention she has been deprived of these last 9 years. She is a very ‘gentle’ dog and is wonderful around her foster mom’s elderly mother who is not always steady on her feet. To watch this wonderful little lady heal and blossom (physically and emotionally) has been an honor, and she is one of those dogs that keep those of us in rescue ‘coming back for more’. We’ll never know what she has experienced these last 9 years. She’ll never tell and, given the condition she was in when Animal Control picked her up, I am pretty sure it’s not a story we would want to hear. All we know is that now, Sophie’s future is bright and Her Story will have a fairy tale ending!