Age: 8 - DOB 7/05/07
Color: Black with tan
Activity Level: medium
Good with other dogs? yes
Good with cats? unknown
Foster Parent: Bob and Lisa F.
Photos by: Loueen LaVallee
SmugMug page: more images here:
Sophie has worked as a therapy dog and had to be retired early because of elbow dysplasia and arthritis. She was not happy, having to stay at home while her owner went to work, so she barked, which caused neighbors to complain. Her owner contacted GSRNE to ask if we could help this 8-year-old girl.
We didn’t have a foster home available, so we appealed to one of our experienced adopters who had just lost their GSRNE dog; and they stepped up and agreed to foster Sophie. Once we met her, we were all impressed by her ability to take things in stride and go along with whatever we were asking. She had to stay overnight in a temporary home before moving to her foster home, and she calmly explored the yard on leash, ate her supper and slept quietly through the night in a crate in a room by herself. We did discover one unexpected quirk, though, when she was outside at night for a potty break. When a flashlight was switched on to help with walking in the dark, Sophie immediately became fixated on the lighted area, and all thoughts of taking care of business went right out of her head. The next morning, we noticed that she also became fixated on the light reflecting off the tags on her collar and couldn’t take her eyes off that spot on the wall. It’s an issue that is being worked on in her foster home, and we’re hoping the behavior will eventually extinguish.
Because she was a therapy dog, Sophie has learned all the basic commands and some extras. For instance, you can point to where you want her to stand, say “here,” and she’ll move to that spot. If she’s walking with you through a crowd, she may nose people’s legs to move them out of your way. In a public place, she will sometimes stand out in front of you to create a barrier between you and other people passing by. In her foster home, Sophie enjoys a mile long walk in the woods in the mornings and afternoons and pays particular attention to any squirrels in the area. She’s good in the car and is usually comfortable meeting other dogs or going into stores where dogs are allowed.
Her foster parents have become quite attached to Sophie, and she has helped ease the ache that was left when they lost their own dog. They have asked to adopt this special girl, and we’re very happy for them and for Sophie. We’ll be covering the cost of the surgery to correct her elbow dysplasia, and she’ll be able to recover with the family she already knows and loves so well.