Photos by Wagsmore Photography
I haven’t written much here about our four-legged baby, but believe me when I say our family just would not be complete without her.
When we first met Sophie at the Pulaski County Humane Society almost seven years ago, she had the craziest of crazy hair-dos – and if you’ve ever actually met her you’ll know that’s saying something. She had lived under a trailer for weeks with two big Rottweilers, all three dogs having been abandoned by the cretins who were responsible for them. (We’ll never know what kind of life she lived with those nimnods, but we could tell instantly that she feared most people. The Humane Society folks told us that she had refused to come out for food if anyone was around, even though there could be no question she was hungry.) Anyway, all this under-the-trailer living had resulted in a lot of matted hair and the groomer who tackled that mess shaved her almost to the skin in places and left big sprigs of wild hair in others.
Matt and I went to the Humane Society on a whim one Sunday, not really planning to meet anyone to bring home with us. I was still mourning the loss of one of my best friends in the whole world – my oh-so-much loved schnauzer Alex – and I wasn’t really ready to let another dog in just yet.
We wandered through the shelter, and we were just about to leave when one of the workers there said there was one dog she especially wanted us to see. I don’t know what it was about us that made this woman believe we would be a match but she said she hadn’t shown this dog to many people, even though dogs her size are always in demand. For some reason, though, she thought we needed to meet and she went down the hall to get “Ladybird,” as she was known back then.
We sat in one of those little rooms near the front of the buildings and waited, and when the woman came in with “Ladybird” warned us that she probably wouldn’t come near us because all she had been through made her afraid of almost everyone.
But. Ladybird wasn’t afraid of me at all. As soon as the woman put her on the floor she scampered over to me and climbed right into my lap. She sat there, trembling and looking up at me like I was some kind of savior, and all my resolve about not being ready to love another dog faded right away. I knew in an instant we wouldn’t be leaving that place without her.
Her hair grew into a more normal look, although she has been known to still have a crazy hair day here and there (Come on, really, don’t we all?).
And she has overcome much of her fear of people – she no longer hides behind us when a stranger approaches – but she is still very shy and she is quick to move away when someone comes too close. (And she barks. A lot. I think that makes her feel big, and I don’t bother telling her she weighs less than 20 pounds. What would be the point?)
When Matt told me he was taking her out for some professional photos with a male photographer she had never seen before, I laughed out loud. I think my response was something like, “Do you think he’s actually going to be able to get a decent picture of her? Without her mouth open mid-bark? And without her running away? Really? Bwahahahaha.”
I think these photos are fantastic, though. I’m really impressed that Steve was able to get these pictures of her looking like she’s just enjoying a lazy afternoon on the banks of the Arkansas River, not a care in the world.
I should have known, though. This is one cool dog. How else could she pull off this winning combination of shades and pearls?