Thursday, April 17, 2014

A very sad day for us here

This morning, we had to have our beautiful dog Sophie put to sleep. 

I took her into the vet today because she had been lame on her front left leg, and yesterday I knew she really wasn't well. We just thought it was a muscle or ligament problem, but it turned out to be exactly what Tristan had last August: hemangiosarcoma.

Except Tristan had his spleen and a huge tumour removed, and is still with us (on borrowed time.) Sophie, however, had three huge tumours on her liver, plus a scattering of small ones, plus a large metastasis on her shoulder (which was causing the limping.) She was already anemic and had a low platelet count due to internal bleeding. Fortunately, because of Tristan's cancer, I am well-read on the topic of this disease and knew the prognosis was terrible. Sophie was going to bleed out and die, probably very soon. We might have been able to bring her home for a day but we didn't want to risk having her die an agonizing death here, particularly as she was already bleeding internally and it was just a matter of time.

Luckily I managed to get ahold of Gordon, who was working in the courthouse just a few blocks away. He came, we said our good-byes, and were with Sophie as she passed peacefully. She was 11-1/2 years old. 

It was especiallly shocking because for months, we have been preparing ourselves to lose Tristan (even with his surgery, his prognosis was not good.) Sophie has always been our healthy dog: no arthritis, no problems, no nothing. Instead today we found ourselves saying good-bye to Sophie. And my vet has never before had clients with two dogs suffering from hemangiosarcoma at the same time. Very awful luck.

The day before we left on vacation, I took her and Tristan for a long walk in the snow. She was running and happy and looked as fit as could be. Fewer than three weeks later, she's gone.

Good bye, darling Sophie. You were always such a good girl. The best! We miss you so much. I hope you are in some kind of doggy heaven with your former master, who loved you and Tristan so much, he (at the last minute) decided not to take you with him when he committed suicide in 2007. Because of that, we had 6-1/2  truly wonderful years with you. 

I will miss you so, my devoted friend and walking buddy. Wherever your little doggy spirit resides, I hope you are happy.


  1. I'm so sorry,Natalie and sorry.
    Jane x

  2. Oh dear God! I have tears in my eyes. This was so unexpected! My heart goes out to you and Gordon!
    Beautiful Sphie, enjoy heaven sweet girl.

    Love, ♥♥♥

  3. You know my heart is broken for you and Gordon, Natalie, but I also keep thinking of what a lucky dog she was to have been so loved. She had the best life with you; she knew she was cherished, she had freedom to run, another dog to chum with & the best care a dog could ask for. Be comforted knowing this and soon memories of this lovely dog will bring a smile to your face. She'll be watching over you now from her resting place. Farewell dear Sophie. Hugs, Deb

  4. Oh Natalie, so very sorry. Jxxxx

  5. What a beautiful dog. My heart goes out to you. It's always hard to lose a loved companion. Deb has expressed it better than I can.

  6. So sad, but that's the price of the friendship. Take care and dwell on the good times.

  7. I feel so bad. I just loved Sophie. She will be missed. I miss her already.

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is not easy. :(


  10. Such a lovely face
    Been here so many times
    THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie
    Perfect passion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

    When the fourteen years which Nature permits
    Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
    And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
    To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
    Then you will find - it's your own affair, -
    But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the body that lived at your single will,
    With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!),
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone - wherever it goes - for good,
    You will discover how much you care,
    And will give your heart to a dog to tear!

    We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent,
    At compound interest of cent per cent,
    Though it is not always the case, I believe,
    That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve;
    For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short-time loan is as bad as a long -
    So why in - Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

  11. The poem is by Kipling
    Hope it helps xx

  12. So sorry for you and Gordon, Natalie. After doing some reading, I strongly suspect that's what Tux's growth was (because of the cost, we didn't have it sent away, but the Vet did say if it was cancer, he's likely to get more).
    I think Sophie showed no signs because she knew you were already worried about Tristan. And she gave you that last wonderful walk for memories, and waited until you came home so you could say good bye.

  13. When I saw the title, my first thought was Tristan. I'm so sorry about Sophie. What a sweet, sweet face.
    And John's right - the longer we have them the harder it is and the more we believe they'll be with us forever.

  14. What a shock. Your girl and your grief, but we're all stopped short by the sudden and senseless event. I am so sorry.

  15. That beautiful, trusting face speaks volumes about Sophie's devotion to you. I'm so glad that Gordon was available so you could both say your goodbyes and not make her suffer one minute longer than she had to. Well done!

  16. Oh I am so sorry for your loss . Sometimes it is the best thing to do for them so they do not suffer all though very hard for us to have to do regardless . She will be missed but not forgotten !

  17. I'm so sorry. You loved Sophie so much. Your readers loved her from afar, delighting in all the Sophie photos and stories. I didn't know about the tragic fate of her former owner, but I'm glad she and Tristan found a happy home with you and Gordon.

    Rest in peace, Sophie.

  18. My warmest hugs to you and Gordon; I know Sophie will leave a large hole in your heart for a long while. I am so sorry, and I'm thinking of you. xx Trish

  19. I'm so sorry Natalie and Gordon. Sophie was a joyous girl who loved being a member in your family as much as you loved her sweet presence in your lives and home.

  20. I'm sorry to hear that you lost one of the best puppies in the world. They become very important in our lives and it's hard to lose them.

  21. So sorry Natalie. I came in to check to see if there were piglets. Totally wasn't expecting to hear this, so I'm in tears too. Sophie will definitely be missed.

  22. Oh dear, this is awful. I dread anything happening to my two, so I can understand how you feel. Best wishes, Cro x.

  23. You will suffer through tough times now, but please remember that you were her saviors and very kind to her....such wonderful animal tenders.

  24. Anonymous12:01 am

    I, too, expected it to be Tristan when I read the post title. Oh, Natalie (and Gordon), I am truly sorry. My heart breaks for you both. Sophie had the best mum and dad a doggie could ask for. Sending loving thoughts your way.

  25. I am crying, We are so sorry for your loss.

  26. We read your blog on Good Friday morning, a gray and bleak day here in Germany, fitting the sad news about Sophie. We have fond memories of Sophie and her alligator, and her silent (but quite effective) begging under the table. We hope all the love being sent your way will help ease the pain of your loss.

  27. I, too, am sorry for your loss, Natalie. But you gave Sophie 6 1/2 extra years of love... and I expect she gave you so much more. Leaving a legacy of love is a wonderful thing.

  28. Oh dear, how shocking, how sad. I am so sorry to be reading this. It is SO hard to lose a member of the family, especially when it comes on suddenly. I am sending biggest hugs. You posted a beautiful tribute to Sophie. She was a wonderful and well-loved dog.

  29. OMG- I'm so sorry to hear this! What shocking news, so unexpected! She had the best time with you, and I loved reading about her and Tristan.

  30. Oh , nooz !
    Me and my mom-person are so sorry for your loss !
    Sending lots of (((purrs))) and huggies

  31. I'm a little late with my sympathy but I'm sure it is all still as raw for you. In a way, I'm glad that you didn't know you would lose her until the very end. It makes the decision so much easier and your memories are all of the loving, running, duck herding girl.

  32. My heart is breaking. I fell in love with Sophie through your stories and photos. She was lucky to have you all and you all were lucky to have her. Thanks so much for sharing her with all of us and for giving her such a wonderful life. I'm sending gigantic hugs from Spain; I recently read you have to hold them for 20 seconds to really make them work.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!