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Finding Sophia by Jennifer Blair

Sophia and Ben

Sophia and her six-year-old buddy Ben

In August of 2013, I hit an emotional low. Numerous issues plagued me even though I seemed to be living a picture-perfect life.  I had a devoted husband, precious children to love, a good job that I enjoyed, a beautiful home to live in, and nice cars to drive. I couldn’t understand why my life seemed to be spiraling out of control.

I took a leave of absence from my job to work on myself.  Among other things, I tackled personal happiness.  I wasn’t happy and wanted to know how I could find it again.  I asked myself all sorts of questions: “What makes me happy?”  “What USED to make me happy?”  “What am I lacking in my life that will bring me happiness?”  One of my answers was – you guessed it – a dog.

During that difficult time, I came to the realization that I really, really wanted a companion dog.  One to be my buddy.  One to follow me around, cuddle with me, ride in the car and go places with me. One day, wandering around the Williamson County Animal Shelter, I saw a Great Pyrenees called Barbara. I fell in love.

I went home and talked with my husband Jordan. He agreed to go see her, so we loaded Holly, our Labrador, in the truck and headed toward the shelter. Less than two hours after I left, someone had already adopted Barbara.  I cried. I was so disappointed. I thought I had found the dog for me.

The same day I called about another Great Pyrenees I found on Pet finder. Her name was Carmela. In her picture she looked more “feminine” than Barbara and smaller too. She was beautiful. Things got even better when I called ICHBA. I really liked Donna, the lady that I spoke to about Carmela. I wanted to adopt a healthy dog that had been vetted. And Donna seemed to care so much about helping the animals in her program that I decided I would try to adopt Carmela.

We met Melissa and her husband Mason when they brought Carmela to our home to do a meet and greet.  That was another step that I had never been through with a rescue organization before – and I was nervous.  I felt like my house wasn’t clean enough, and I really wasn’t sure if we would live up to their expectations! Carmela was just as beautiful in person as she appeared in her pictures, and I knew by her calm temperament (even letting our small children hug and pet on her) that she would fit in well in our home. When Melissa asked if I wanted Carmela, I couldn’t pay the adoption fee fast enough!  Yes, I wanted Carmela!

Carmela went home with Melissa and Mason that day so she could be spayed.  I was just fine with that; I didn’t want her to have to recover in a new place, surrounded by new people. But it would be a lie if I didn’t admit that I was so sad to see her go.

In the days leading up to her arrival, we searched and searched for just the right name for her; we liked Carmela but it just wasn’t….right.  Her new name had to be regal, elegant – just like Carmela was. It was my dad that suggested Sophia.  My reaction was immediate. It was a perfect name for a beautiful dog.

Since Sophia joined the family, she has done great. Besides a few accidents on the carpet (which we expected from a dog that had lived outside) and the fact that we have had to teach her some manners (she loves to try and steal food right off your plate or out of your hand J) she is a darn near perfect dog.

Most importantly, she makes me happy every single day.

(For Sophia’s history, click here)

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