Sophie is a resilient and lucky little pup who beat the odds to find her way to safety. A year prior to coming into the rescue, Dogs Deserve Better (DDB) helped save 10 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 that 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 momma dog had been killed on the highway, and they wanted to surrender the puppies to DDB. The owner would only release 10 of the 11 puppies, keeping one for his daughter. The remaining puppies were immediately picked up and brought to Northern Virginia. Each of the puppies 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’d spotted running along the road. She followed the dog back to a house next to the home where the 10 puppies had been rescued, and spoke with the family who lived there. They had been feeding this 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 was 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 being very fearful and anxious, never having lived in a home with family. She spent a few months in her foster home adjusting and learning the rules of home life. She was initially hesitant on leash, with all the new sights and sounds of the suburbs, but now loves her walks and enjoys exploring her community. She is crate trained and house trained, but we discovered she becomes very anxious when left alone, and was suffering from some 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 training program at the Roxbury Correctional Institute in Hagerstown, MD, for help. DDB has had 2 other dogs go through this program and the training worked wonders. Sophie has been in the program for the past 2 months getting one-on-one attention and training, working on her socialization skills meeting new people and other dogs, mastering her basic commands, and addressing her separation anxiety. She also gets regular workouts on the program's agility training courses, and playtime with the other dogs. She has been a great student, and will be completing the program in mid-late December.
Sophie is only 1.5 to 2 years old, weighs about 45 lbs, and has a very a slender, dainty frame. She has a gentle nature, is good with kids and other dogs, and is a playful pup who would fit best with an active family. We would love for her to have a fenced-in yard so she can run to her heart’s content, or an active owner who will take her out to explore the world every day. Sophie will only be placed in a home with another dog, and, and will need a family who has a flexible schedule and is willing to work with her to settle her in and continue her training. The HHPDP offers support and guidance to families after adoption as needed.
UPDATE - 1/28/17 - Sohpie just passed her final behavioral test in the Happy Hounds Prison Dog Program, and has officially graduated!
Sophie’s handler reports, “Sophie is a great dog, well-mannered and knows all of her cues. She does very well with people and other dogs, and is an attention seeker. She insists on attention from people and dogs, but shows no signs of people or dog aggression. She is very vocal when playing with other dogs, which is a normal action for her breed, but she needs play breaks because she gets over excited. She still has a minor issue with separation anxiety, but if she’s left with something to occupy her, she will be good.”
Sophie is a very affectionate dog who loves to cuddle on the couch and is pretty laid back in the home. She also loves to play, and will make a great playmate an companion pup. T his sweet girl has come such a long way, and is ready to start her new life.
If you are an active family with another dog looking to add an affectionate and playful cutie to your family pack, Sophie is the dog for you.
BREED ESTIMATE: 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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