Sophie entered our lives as a Valentine gift for her mommy in 2008.  We had adopted Missy, our first adorable Maltese in 2004 and thought Sophie would be a good companion for her as well.  Sophie greeted us cautiously during the first day at our house and she pretty much stayed to herself.  We were told that though she was housetrained there might be issues until she made the adjustment to her new environment.  So, with that piece of advice we prepared for whatever would happen and watched her closely.  To our surprise, on the very first night with us, little miss Sophie got up from her bed and strutted to the back door where we had let her out earlier. She stood patiently waiting and this was her signal throughout her time with us until she became very ill.  We set up sleeping quarters in our bedroom and it didn't take long for Sophie to recognize where she was expected to sleep.  After learning this, every night around 9:00 Sophie would get up and walk through the living room out to the hallway and then into the bedroom where she would promptly retire for the evening.  Never mind the fact that we were still up talking and watching television.  Her little routine not only showcased how smart she was but it was just too cute! 

There were many precious moments with Sophie but in the summer of 2010, she was diagnosed with SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome) which rendered her blind.  We were devastated and didn't know how we would handle and adjust to such an overwhelming diagnosis.  Naturally, Sophie was confused and seemed somewhat depressed for quite some time.  But, to our delight, she quickly relearned everything about the house and was once again her old self.  We were relieved to have Sophie back again and have life return to normal.  About a year later, we noticed Sophie was not as enthusiastic about eating and was sleeping a lot more than usual.  I reported this during a vet visit and he decided to do blood work to determine the problem.  The results showed a kidney ailment and for the next couple of months she was treated and we were hoping for a miracle.  Eventually, Sophie stopped eating and she spent most of her days sleeping.  We were heartbroken because it became apparent that our efforts to save her were not working.  In our loving selfishness and deep desire to keep her with us, we were helpless to save her and watched as she deteriorate beyond our control.  

On a Saturday morning in late September we called the vet because we knew, as he had once hinted, that it was time to let her go.  This was absolutely the toughest decision we have had to make involving a pet in our care. Sophie had become so much a part of our family until it was unthinkable to not have her with us.  Needless to say, even now our house is so very sad without her.  We had her cremated and we have placed the decorative box with her ashes, along with a picture of her, on the mantle.  Every night, as we sit and do whatever we are doing, around 9:00 I still think of Sophie getting up with her eyes staring straight ahead as she makes her way through the living room headed for her bed and, believe it or not, I still hear myself whisper "goodnight Sophie."   

We will forever miss you!
Mom, Dad & Missy
For our Loved Ones, The Heart Never Forgets
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