To say companion is simply not enough

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I almost felt sorry for this little girl my daughter and ex-wife brought home to live with us about ten years ago. She was kind of cute, but her tongue stuck out of her mouth just a little and she had incredibly over-sized ears that made her resemble a butterfly. She didn’t take up much space because she didn’t have any clothing or personal belongings. She really needed us at that time in her life.

I was skeptical about adding this new member to the family. I had the money to afford her and figured it would be OK since it made my daughter happy. So, with mixed emotions, I remember telling my then-wife, “You and the kids are going to have to take care of her. I don’t have time. I am buried with the newspapers!”

So, on that day, the Andersons welcomed this 3-pound Papillon puppy named Sophie into our home. Now I know so many of you readers are animal lovers and just like me, you consider your pet a part of your family. When they are hungry, you seem to be hungry. When you go to sleep in your Barcalounger, your dog is right there on top of you or at your side snoozing away! When you go outside to get the daily mail your dog and sometimes your cat goes with you. Does that sound familiar? I won’t address what you might think you need to do when they need to go out in the yard!

I watched Sophie become such a comfort to Lauren. Along with her bird in the bird cage and fish in the fishbowl Lauren became quite the zookeeper. I would always stop by Lauren’s bedroom in the morning before she went to school to check on my little zookeeper and her collection of friends. Sophie just fit right into the mix and as we grew to love her, she grew to love us. She became loyal and turned into a very good friend to all of us.

In her early days, Sophie was not alone and had many other friends to play with. She had her big brother Frisco and sister Bella who as a trio would always welcome me home each evening from the newspaper with a remarkable chorus of coordinated barking and howling that should have been published on YouTube. Sophie would see me walk through that garage door and begin spinning around and yipping at the top of her lungs. It was always so nice to have that trio of dogs barking at me. They were my daily Rock-n-Roll version of Three Dog Night!

Sophie was a very finicky dog. Most Papillons are like that. She was also scared of her own shadow and especially of the underground drains in our neighborhood. She would always pull back on her leash begging me to let her walk around them whenever I took her on her daily walks. I just always laughed at this mighty tug the little dog would make on that leash.

She would always join Frisco and Bella in their jumping on top of me every evening when I would lay down on the couch for a few minutes break. Sophie would sit right on top of my head. It was heartwarming that someone could like a guy like me this much.

In 2012, I left the house, due to a divorce, and was separated from them for about a year. I got a call from my ex in 2013 offering to let me have Sophie and Frisco since I had a nice big backyard. I didn’t delay for a second and welcomed my little friends right into my new place. They loved it.

Sophie would always like to sit right beside me on the couch and she loved me to rub her soft tummy. She would stick that little tongue out and flip up on her side. She knew she had me at hello!

Last Easter, while I was working in the flowerbeds out in the front yard, Sophie wandered down to the end of the street and had one of her back legs bumped by a slow-moving Toyota Tundra. Her injury hampered her just a little but she recovered about 95%.

In early March as we all watched this pandemic unfolding, I noticed my little friend was really favoring her back leg. She had somehow reinjured it and it was causing her a lot of discomfort.

The veterinarian said she probably needed surgery and would live another five years as he sent me home with pain medicine for her.

Tuesday night about 11:00 p.m. she began howling, tossing and turning and looking at me for help. Her bed was right next to mine and I got right down there on the floor and rubbed her ears, back, snout and all over her little body to try and give her comfort until the medicine kicked in.

I laid my hands on her and prayed that God would take her pain and give it to me. I knew I deserved it and she didn’t.

Sophie Anderson went to heaven very early Wednesday morning. I had her funeral Wednesday evening and buried her in FRISCO’S and HER backyard right next to where I buried Frisco last year. I always knew I would be the last person in Sophie’s life. She loved me and I loved her. To say companion is simply not enough.

Thank you, Sophie, for being such a big part of my life. You are a good girl; I love you with all my heart and we will see each other again.

Thanks so much for reading. I will see you again next Saturday. Would you like a Progress?

Yukon Progress Publisher Randy K. Anderson can be reached at (405) 517-5168 or randyk.anderson@sbcglobal.net