Monday, October 22, 2007

In memory of Sofie ( ? - October 22, 2007)


I would like to thank everyone who wrote me, phoned me, and commented on my blog about my personal struggle with the "end of life" decision I faced regarding my beloved dog, Sofie. Her condition deteriorated rapidly over the weekend and by yesterday afternoon I knew it was time to use any means to end her suffering. Then all I needed was the courage. The courage came in the form of my dear Sister-in-Law, Debbie (my brother Steve's wife). While talking to my bawling butt on the phone yesterday she announced "I'm on my way" and drove down this morning from Chicago. She walked in the house and over to where Sofie lay. I started outlining all the reasons I wasn't "ready" to do the deed. She looked me square in the eye and boldly stated, "Diane, it's time". In our family, Deb is so highly regarded as the voice of reason that I didn't dare defy her.

She called the vet and made the arrangements. I was pretty much useless. When it came time to bundle up Sofie and put her in the car I almost couldn't even walk. Debbie laid hands on me and prayed for God's mercy and peace over the three of us. That gave me the strength I needed to get to the car.

The most amazing part of this story is that on the way to the vets, Sofie was the most comfortable and peaceful I had seen her in 3 days. Even at the vets office she seemed completely unphased by the events. I praise the Lord that he honored Deb's prayer and imparted his peace over us all.

John met us at the vets and when it came time for the end, I had to leave or I was certain to leave an undesireable offering of puke on their floor. John stayed and saw our faithful companion to the very end. He said she never whimpered, winced or flinched and it was over in a matter of seconds.

My heart is truly broken.. but I am comforted by her memories and the knowlege that we will someday reunite. My Dad, always eloquent and sensitive summed it up this afternoon by saying - "Diane, I really think you should lay off the animals for awhile". Thanks Dad, very heartfelt. Only my Dad can get away with talking like that!

If anyone has been touched by our story I would make this request. Sofie was adopted from PAWS. There was no other dog in the world that was more meant to be ours than her. She might not have been pedigreed, or physically perfect, but she was a wonderful loving and powerful influence in our lives. If you have room in your hearts, you can make room in your home for one of the millions of unwanted pets. Please consider adopting your next pet from a shelter rather than a breeder or petstore. Adopting a homeless pet will make a powerful and positive statement to your friends and family about who you are as a person and where your priorities lie. Be part of the solution and not the problem. Some day when I am emotionally ready, Sofie will pass her torch to the next loveable mutt destined for our home. Just as Daisy passed it to her.

13 comments:

Chef Kevin said...

Sorry about your loss, Diane. Some people think that pets are just that and don't understand the emotional involvement. While you are grieving from her loss, she is no longer suffering and there is some comfort in that.

My parents collie I wrote you about was TAPS dog as most of their pets have been.

Anonymous said...

Just want you to know Iam thinking of you on your lose of Sophie,know you did the right thing, she is in a better place,please refer to the web page Rainbow Bridge about the lose of a pet, it will comfort you and see what others have shared of their experience.You traveled a difficult path today, trust me that you will be stronger for it ! MsGem

Ramble On said...

So sorry for your loss. I know how difficult the decision is and you made the right one for Sofie. She was obviously well loved. Please know how much your sharing your story and your pain meant to me and to others, I am sure. I agree that adoption is wonderful. Both of my dogs came from PAWS as did five of my eight cats (the other three were street rescues).

East Bluff Barbie said...

I'm so sorry. My neighbor went through the same thing with her cat. It is hard to make those decisions about someone you love.

Jeep2000 said...

Thinking of you in your loss.

Jennifer said...

Diane,
I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you and your family find peace during this difficult time.
Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Diane,

I am so sorry for your loss. Try to take comfort in the fact that she is no longer suffering and that you did the right thing.

Terri & Airen
aka tls1995

Grandma's Attic said...

Diane, I am so sorry to hear that the day finally came. Just remember that what she gave to you and your family, she also received. Her life was all the better because you were in it. All anyone can do is love these little aliens that come into our lives, accept the love they give us freely and unconditionally, and remember them fondly and lovingly when it is their time to go home.

Anonymous said...

peace be with you

Kev said...

Sophie is healed now, and up in Heaven talking to the other dogs and bragging about the fact that " her Mom is the best Mom", and she's looking forward to seeing you again, but don't hurry. She'll be fine till you get there .
I'm proud of you Diane for the trial you went through, as I know it's tough. Don't take your dads advice though. Get another dog when you're ready, and provide & receive that special love again. There's really nothing like the unconditional love they can give so consistently.

Diane Vespa said...

Thank you, everybody. I have such wonderful friends here in Peoria. It has been a really hard week. I keep thinking I hear the clickety click of her little feet on the wood floors, and every time I turn a corner I see one of her "favorite spots". She had a lot of favorite spots. At lunch I dropped a piece of chicken on the floor and thought "Oh boy Sofie will love this", only to realize the next second that there would be noone there to lap it up. When I hopped in to my car this morning I had a fleeting thought that it was such a beautiful day today I'd take Sofie for a ride. Of course, not to be. Today my 6 year old started crying out of the clear blue sky... "It's not the same around here without Sofie". Huh, he is so intuitive.. that is exactly what I had been thinking all week. And it's true, the house has lost - something. I try to recall how long it took me to get over the passing of my cocker... I'm thinking it was a long time... and this is only Friday (she passed Monday).
The pain and loss can be unbearable at times. If only I had just one more hour with her...
Thank you, again, friends... I hope to be more of myself next week.

Kevin Lowe said...

My belated condolences to you and your family. I certainly know the pain of losing a loved one. Pets ARE part of the family and to lose one can be very difficult. But you're right. They never really leave us. They color our experiences, contribute to our lives, and make us a better part of what we are. And they stay with us.

Debbie Gizzi said...

Diane,
I'm finally getting to catch up on your awesome blogging. I'm so proud of you that you have shared your experience. You are a wonderful testimony to how God wants us to be connected to others by sharing openly our hearts. I can't wait to see Sofie again too. I love you. BIG HUGS.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE, WHO'S THE HUNK LAYING BACK ON THE TREE?!