Say a Prayer for Sophie


This dog. This dog is breaking my heart.

We picked Sophie up from the kennel on Thursday and it was puppyville for a day. She went a little nuts coming home—which was fun. I seriously think she didn’t stop licking and nose-butting and pouncing on everyone for at least 20 minutes. Poor IZ nearly had his arm pulled out of the socket trying to get everything out of the car while Sophie clearly wanted nothing but to come inside!

We’ve jokingly called her our “door stop dog” for so long, because she really is a low energy pup. These long winters take a toll on her. She’s solar powered, like the rest of this family, but with an edge; she gets to hibernate! And hibernate she does, typically on the edge of the couch. If she moves, it’s to find a sunspot on the carpet. Having her frisk around like a puppy was such a change in her energy, we were a bit taken aback to find her sick 12 short hours later.

Thursday quickly melded into Friday and it all went down hill from there. I’ll spare you the bodily fluid descriptions, but last night found me in tears. I lost a dog to Parvo when I was Boy Wonder’s age and that experience has never left me. And I guess I go to that place when Sophie is this sick. She’s such a sweet dog, I can’t help but mourn with her when she’s ill. She looks at you with such pain in her eyes and I melt. She’s a tender soul, she’s embarrassed and shamed to be sick. So, there you are, cleaning up messes and she’s too sick to find a place to hide, but she’s looking at you with a million apologies. And all you want to do is scoop her up and hold her, except she winces in pain when you touch her. It makes you want to weep!

While we were certain she didn’t have Parvo due to her age and inoculations; her symptoms just couldn’t be ignored, which precipitated an early run to the vet this morning for fluids and medication. She’s home for now while we wait and see. We’ve been cautioned that she may need to come in for IV fluids tomorrow if the meds can’t stop the vomiting. Clearly, we’d like to avoid that.

So, this is where I find myself this morning. I’d had every intention of sharing with you my thoughts on compassion while the experiences from last week were still fresh. As you can imagine, after last week, I have quite a bit to say about that! But it will hold for Monday. Right now, this dog, this dog is breaking my heart.

UPDATE: Thank you, all, for your comments. IZ and I so appreciate them. It’s Sunday afternoon and while Sophie is still wonky on the medication, she’s showing signs of rapid recovery. I think she’ll be back to herself in a few days.

20 Responses to “Say a Prayer for Sophie”

  • IZ:

    Mine too. Mine too.


    You know, her chronic conditions are tolerable. You treat, you move on. It’s a habit… I torture her with eye-drops, she loves you. No big. But this is just heart-wrenching. ~W

  • ugh.
    ugh ugh ugh

    I know.


    Thanks! ~W

  • Awww, I’m so sorry. I know when my kitty was really sick, it felt the same to me as when my kids were sick.


    Yeah, it’s like with infants and they can’t tell you what’s wrong! It makes me very thankful that BW is at an age where he can verbalized EXACTLY what’s bugging him. : D~W

  • Sending all my healthy dog thoughts your way. Poor Sophie. Poor all of you!


    Thank you. This has been difficult to watch. Sophie is a proud dog. So losing control of her bowels and having uncontrollable vomiting has been hard on her. She gives you this look, right before she’s sick like, “HELP”. She knows she can’t make it to linoleum, so we snatch her up and run like the dickens to make it. It’s then I really feel so helpless. I’m sure she’s feeling it too. ~W

  • kat:

    oh poor sophie! I will send you good healthy prayers for her quick recovery. Nothing breaks my heart too than to hear that a dog or any animal is sick. They do look at you with their sweet eyes and it does melt your heart. Hope she is better soon!


    Thank you, kat. She’s such a sweetheart. She’s doing better today–all good signs, but she’s still not out of the woods. You know, dogs attempt to convince you they feel well, even when they don’t! I do think we’re on the right track with treatment—so, baring any set-back. . . I don’t know, I’m cautiously optimistic? ~W

  • lori:

    Have they tested her for pancreatitis? Working at a vet clinic, we see lots of this with older dogs and it’s either pancreatitis or kidney failure. Have you had bloodwork done or is it just getting to be “her time?” I will have you in my thoughts and will hug the sick ones even harder tomorrow for Sophie.


    Thank you, Lori. Usually I don’t give specifics, but since you see it every day: Miss Sophie is six and had just finished a 4 day stay at the kennel. The vet felt it was probably just a very serious case of kennel crud. However, kidney failure is still a possibility since she has other systemic issues. So, while still really young, for a Welsh, she isn’t as healthy as we’d like! Anyhow, if the vomiting hadn’t ceased, then yes, she would have been hospitalized and bloodwork done to make sure we weren’t in kidney failure. As it stands this morning, she hasn’t vomited in 24 hours (since medication) and is slowly regaining her appetite. We’re still waiting for bowel movements, but she is passing urine. NO BLOOD! She’s not out of the woods, but we’re very optimistic. So… we’ll see. 😀 And YES, YES, YES hug those sick dogs for us. ~W

  • connie Oates:

    I am so sorry, my heart is breaking for all of you and my prayer’s are going up for her. I remember to well our dog.


    That experience really marks me. You know, dogs puke. And they get diarrhea from time to time. But when it comes together and your dog goes limp… I don’t know, I go back to losing Kasey. You don’t forget Parvo. So, I tend to panic in these situations. But I think Sophie is on the mend. She’s still limp and wonky–but it’s the meds. When they wear off a bit, she’s all fight. Which is good to see. She’s even jumped off the couch to sniff at Snickers, so I think she’ll be back to herself in a few days. ~W

  • Keri:

    Oh dear heart. I’m so sorry. And know JUST how you feel. Our Bear was SO ill a few years back and suffered so much with pancreatic disease and finally cancer and it was so hard to go through the pain and illness with him. I’m happy to hear that as I join the story her appetite has improved and your optimism is returning. I’ll be holding all of you in my thoughts this evening. (((hugs)))

    Thank you! I don’t blog about every vet trip, because frankly, Sophie sees the vet A LOT. We’re used to dealing with all her chronic conditions. But this scared me. REALLY SCARED ME. She’s never so sick she won’t bark at another dog on the street. We always say, “She’s never met a fight she wouldn’t start.” And it was sudden. One moment she’s this funloving frisky dog, the next she’s vomiting etc. . . Scary. I do think we’re going to be OK. I always feel like I over-react to these situations. But I think if we’d waited until Monday to take her in, she’d be gone. Dogs just dehydrate so quickly. ~W

  • WENDE!! I’m so sorry. I just got back into town after a weekend with no computer. I feel your pain, honey. Really, I do. Poor, dear little Sophie. I love her! Will you let us know soon how she is doing?


    I KNOW! I think we’re in the clear. I wasn’t so sure this morning. But this afternoon, she got pushy about going outside and insisted on going for a walk. PLUS, she got all frisky about getting fed, and then complained that she didn’t like the food. However, she ate it.

    The meds make her wonky—very tired and unable to walk straight. Drunken Sailor dog, but when they wear off before we remedicate, she seems to perk up. So, I’m feeling really good that we got to this in time. But Saturday morning was a nightmare. She was a mess. IZ got up with her and decided she needed the vet NOW–so took her in without even waking me. I think he made a good decision, because she was so sick she refused to even acknowledge any of the other dogs at the vet, much less try to intimidate them like she usually does! ~W

  • Oh, the poor wee beastie! I am so very sorry for her ills, even though she sounds like she’s on the mend. It must be so very horrible to not be able to help yourself and feel embarrassed when you need outside help (I’m sure there’s a post on compassion in that sentence alone) I hope she finds her way to wellness soon…My tiny one was sneezing and rubbing her eye last night, and just those two actions had me on edge (of course, I’m doing the same from allergies right now…so we’re both just sneezing at each other)


    It is hard, isn’t it? It’s snowing here on the coast–so it’s doubly weird to have allergies in the snow! ~W

  • Amy:

    Awww, poor puppy. 🙁 I hope she feels bett


    I know! ~W

  • Amy:

    Awww, poor puppy. I hope she feels better soon!!! (sorry about the truncated message above…my computer is doing weird things.)


    Don’t you just hate that when that happens? Thanks so much, Amy. I think she’s on the mend. ~W

  • Cap:

    awwwwwww I feel bad, too. But I hope this message finds her feeling better soon!


    Thank you. She’s feeling much better. She’s snuggling with IZ right now, which she’s basically refused to do for days. So, I’m thinking she’s feeling MUCHO better. ~W

  • Geeze–I just about had a heart attack until I started reading the comments and realized that dear Sophie was improving. These animals do bring us much love and joy–but we worry about them too. Did the vet ever come up with a diagnosis? Poor Sophie and poor you, clean up person. I’m sending healthy thoughts! Sorry I missed out on all this; I was rarely on the computer in Spokane. (e-mail and that was rare) Take care, Sophie!!


    Oh, it’s OK, Margaret. I would have emailed you if it had gone wrong. She’s feeling much better… well enough to run and hide when she sees me coming with the medication. So, yeah, I’d say we’re in the clear. 😀 ~W

  • so sorry i’m late to read all of this, but at least i’m not in agony waiting to her of her progress. glad she’s coming along. it’s Tuesday now, so hopefully she’s doing MUCH better today. <3


    No worries… she’s doing much better, thank you. I was telling Margaret, Sophie is now well enough to avoid medication. I think she’s going to be just fine! ~W

  • I just read this entry…and I’m glad to see that she’s doing much better. A sick dog is a pitiful thing.


    Thank you. It is hard to watch. I’m glad she’s got her kick back. ~W

  • so relieved for you she’s on the mend. I hate it when the fur buddies get sick. I get frantic. It’s easier when the people go down because they can at least talk to you and tell you how it’s going.


    I get a little frantic too. It is easier when BW gets sick because he can tell you. And I know him well enough to know when we should go into the ER. The dog works hard to convince me she’s feeling OK even when she’s not. ~W

  • I am so sorry it took me so long to respond to your kind messages!!! Douglas is better. I was so worried about him. He got sick the same weekend as my best friend’s wedding and then school got crazy with end of the semester finals and papers. UGH! I thank you so much for checking in on my little guy. He is better and something tells me he would get along great with Sophie. xoxox-Kristen


    Heh… I wish they could be friends. I fear Sophie would eat Douglas; as she seems to be very misbehaved and things all small dogs are lunch. ~W

  • Oh my. I’m glad I read this AFTER you updated it. Poor little Soph, but I’m glad she’s feeling better. I know what you mean about feeling helpless when they’re sick. It’s like when the kids are tiny babies. You want to do something, but you aren’t quite sure just WHAT! We had our first baby, Keesha the pit bull, put to sleep 12 years ago, and I swore I’d never have another dog. So far, I haven’t, but I’m starting to want one. It never does leave you. Those little buggers work their way into your heart and they stay forever.


    Yeah, it does stay with you. We’re still in waiting mode with Sophie. She had a relapse on Friday so we’re still not sure how things are going to turn out. But, we’re holding good thoughts. 😀 ~W

  • I’ve been reading all of your Blogs about the Advent storm stories; including the seminar education and now the dog blog. Pretty good writing; it has kept me entertained for quite awhile this soggy afternoon. So sorry to hear you are having health problems with your doggy, I completely understand and am empathetic for your situation.

    We lost our 37-year-old son in 2005 (terrible loss for us); and shortly thereafter started having health problems with our felines. Out of the 6 babies we moved here with in 2002, we only have 3 left. All are Siamese, they never go outside, and so they live nice (seemingly) long lives, but we’ve had to “euthanize” 3 of our darlings, so far. We had them cremated afterwards because it’s somehow easier than just leaving them behind, and we have little urns for their ashes with paw prints over the outside of them. I say so far, because the oldest of the 3 left was born in 1989 (yes, he’s 20 this July). He’s the twin brother of my “beauty”. His hind legs are starting to show signs of not working so well, and he looks like a sack of bones with a beautiful face. He’s going blind, doesn’t hear so well, and has a little dementia. Most folks don’t believe that happens, but it does, and he is a source of much joy while bittersweet memories are still being made.

    I don’t mean to sound morbid while you are still treating your baby; but I just wanted to tell you a little about my life as the “Vet incognito” so you won’t feel alone. While I am dialyzing and medicating my babies, my husband is the big “cheese” around here with all of them. It’s a thankless job, as you’ve discovered, but as long as they have quality of life, I’ll put up with anything. When I started having to bathe their backsides 5-6 times a day, and face their sleeping quarters first thing in the AM ~ I cried “uncle”.

    The first one (my beauty) had a stroke and lost function in 3 of his legs. It was so sad, to see that beautiful face, and know that he was just “rallying” for me so I wouldn’t remember him sick and hurting; softly went to sleep peacefully in my arms. The vet was very accommodating while we both cried like babies. Five months later, my 2 little girls were next; they died 3 months apart, the last little one was down to 3.5 lbs and went to sleep in less than 30 seconds. I’ll spare you the details of what happened with my Merry. Suffice it to say, she had a very strong heart, but nothing else was strong on her poor little body.

    You know, animal lovers can cry for each other and for our losses, and I’m so very sorry for you. I hope it helps to know that there are many others going through the same things as you; I will keep you all in my prayers, yes I’m a devout, old, southern woman who believes in and loves Jesus/God/Holy Spirit with all my heart and soul.

    I’m so sorry for your loss–it’s so difficult to lose a pet.

    As for Sophie–this post you’re commenting on is a few years old. She’s actually doing very well these days. Her one eye is nearly blind and yes, I still have to hunt her down to keep it medicated. But other than that (and watching her like a hawk so she doesn’t eat food she shouldn’t!) she’s doing better than she ever has. I do appreciate the prayers tho–it’s lovely to hear from a reader. I hope you’ll stick around and read along with me!

    Blessings to you! (and it’s always good to hear from another Southerner–especially in these parts!)


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