Sophie is a resilient and sassy pup who beat the odds to find her way to safety. A year prior to coming into the rescue, Dogs Deserve Better of Northern Virginia (DDB) helped save ten of Sophie’s brothers and sisters, but sadly she was left behind. The story begins when one of our volunteers, Amanda, spotted Sophie’s mom running along a rural South Carolina highway, dangerously close to traffic. After a frantic search with the help of some local rescue folks, they located the stray dog’s owner and was told that she had just had a litter of eleven puppies and they were living underneath their porch. Amanda offered to take the mom and all the puppies into rescue, but the owner refused.
Feeling torn about leaving the dogs behind, Amanda left her name and number just in case the owner changed his mind, and less than a week later she received a call saying that the mother dog had been killed on the highway, and they wanted to surrender the puppies to DDB. The owner would only release ten of the eleven puppies, keeping one for his daughter. The remaining puppies were immediately picked up and brought to Northern Virginia, and were adopted to great local families, and we could only hope the best for the puppy that was left behind.
The story comes full circle months later when Amanda was driving the same stretch of highway, and stopped to help another dog she spotted running along the road. She followed the dog back to the same area where the 10 puppies had been rescued, and spoke with the family who lived next door. They had been feeding the stray puppy for the past 10 months, but had no idea who she belonged to. Based on the timeline, location, and the pup’s age and appearance, Amanda knew this was the puppy who had been left behind. Little Sophie had survived on her own, and was being given a second chance to find a family who would love and care for her.
Since that day, Sophie’s life has changed. She came into the rescue very fearful and anxious, never having lived in a home with family, and spent a few months in her foster home adjusting to home life. She was initially hesitant on leash, with all the new sights and sounds of the suburbs, but learned to enjoy walks and exploring her community. We also discovered she was anxious when left alone, and suffered from separation anxiety.
Sophie needed more training than your typical foster home could give, so DDB reached out to the Happy Hounds Prison Dog Program (HHPDP), a special inmate dog training program at the Roxbury Correctional Institute in Hagerstown, MD, for help. DDB has had two other dogs go through this program, and they have worked wonders. Sophie has been in the program for the past five months getting one-on-one attention and training, working on her social skills, mastering her basic commands, and addressing her separation anxiety. She also gets regular workouts on the program's agility training courses. She's very connected with her handler and closely bonds with her person.
In February, Sophie passed her final behavioral test in the program, and is ready to go home. She is still a young pup at only two years old, and weighs about 45 pounds with a very a slender frame. She has a gentle nature, would be good with kids, and is a playful pup who would fit best with an active family. She needs an owner who is willing to work with her to settle her in. The trainers at the Happy Hounds program have helped her work through some of her separation anxiety, and she can now be crated for periods of time and knows her basic commands.
While Sophie is a great dog, and she is certainly dainty and pretty, she is also a confident and sometimes stubborn lady who is ready to be in charge in the absence of a confident leader. Sophie needs a dog-savvy owner with a flexible schedule – someone who works from home, or a family with a staggered work schedule would be ideal. She loves to play and is good with some dogs when given a proper introduction, but she would love to be an only dog too.
We are looking for an adopter who will open their heart to Sophie, show her the ropes, and allow her some time to acclimate. The trainers from the program will be there to support you and help transition this gorgeous sweet girl. She’s done the work, and deserves the chance to have a good life.
BREED ESTIMATE: Tree Walking Coonhound mix
APPROXIMATE WEIGHT: 45 lbs
APPROXIMATE AGE: 2 years year old
COAT TYPE: Short
ADOPTION FEE: $350
OTHER INFO: UTD on shots/spayed/monthly preventatives
FOR MORE INFO OR TO ADOPT: Please go to http://adopt.ddbnova.org and complete the application.
You can also help save dogs like this one by becoming a foster, providing a rescue dog with a temporary home and giving them the love and care they need until they are permanently adopted. Every person who fosters is directly responsible for saving the life of a dog, because we can only save as many dogs as we have foster families available to welcome them into their homes. If you think you might be interested in becoming a foster and want to learn more, please go to http://foster.ddbnova.org and fill out an application.
Dogs Deserve Better of Northern Virginia is an all-volunteer, foster-based rescue that primarily adopts to families in the DC Metro area.
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