Posted by: heatherinparadise | August 24, 2011

Adios, Sophia. Que le vaya bien!

While we were unable to find a pet escort flying to Seattle, Laura from Coco’s Cat Rescue came up with the great idea to fly Sophia with a willing pet escort who was flying from Cancun to Vancouver, BC, by way of Dallas.  Once in Vancouver, Sophia would be fostered for 4 days before her new adoptive family could drive from Seattle to pick her up.  My dear friend, Leasa, immediately volunteered to foster Sophia in her home near Vancouver (in fact, she practically threatened bodily harm if I DIDN’T allow her to foster for a few days) , and then offered to drive to meet the new adoptive family that weekend on the US side of the border, to save them some time.

Friends, getting this puppy to her new adoptive home was truly a triumph of teamwork and compassionate collaboration. On Tuesday, August 16, Russell and I drove Sophia over to the Vidas clinic site, where Andrea from CANDi was waiting to bring her to the airport to meet the pet escort she’d found, a kind lady named Susan who is apparently a veteran pet escort.

Laura from Coco's takes a break from her Vidas duties to give Sophia a hug goodbye

Andrea from CANDi and Sherry from VIDAS smooch Sophia for good luck on her journey

This is where it got a little ugly.  I had been so focused on finding a way to get Sophia to Seattle and her new adoptive parents that I hadn’t gotten around to realizing we were actually going to have to give her up.  Sophia turned out to be the most wonderful puppy, so playful, but relaxed and obedient–a true joy to be around.  As I held her that morning, reality started to set in and I felt these very strong, conflicting emotions building up in me–true joy in knowing she would be in a loving home, combined with tremendous sadness that I would no longer get to know her. Finally, I couldn’t help it anymore.  I cried.

I do believe Russell's photo perfectly captured my happy/sad state.

Sophia is so clever, she drove herself to the airport

Andrea let us know later that Sophia was great on the ride to the airport, apart from barfing all over the place. Once at the airport, Andrea made the puppy ‘handoff’ to Susan.  Susan reported that Sophia was a perfect angel on the both the flight to Dallas and the subsequent one to Vancouver.  She apparently charmed everyone so much that Susan was allowed to have her snuggling on her lap for much of the flight.

Susan showing off Sophia napping in her carrier, hugging her favorite toy between her paws

My friend Leasa met Susan late that evening at the airport in Vancouver to take Sophia to her temporary home.

As Russell said, she's come a loooong way from the chicken coop!

Sophia giving her foster mom, Leasa, some loves

It didn’t take Sophia long to make herself right at home at Leasa’s.  After a brief standoff, Leasa’s dog Moses even took to liking Sophia.  Leasa reported that Sophia was a lovely houseguest, doing her business outside like she should and being a good, well-behaved little pup…except for barfing in the car on the way home from the airport (Poor Sophia!).

Sophia immediately made herself at home on the couch (Russell, don't look!)

Do you remember what it felt like the first time you ever rolled around in soft, green grass?

Look, Lady, you're not getting me off this grass for a while, so just give up.

Sophia even got to go to work with Leasa

First time at the beach!

Leasa had to do some back-to-school shopping for her kids, which she normally does in the US, so she arranged to meet Sophia’s adoptive parents, Traci and Josh, across the border in Bellingham, WA.  Understandably, Sophia was a little freaked out by all the changes she’d been going through, but Traci didn’t report any barfing in the car, so perhaps Sophia’s acclimating to vehicular travel. :)

Ok, big guy, I'm a little shy right now, but give me a few minutes and I'm gonna adore you.

Traci and Josh's dog, Howie, didn't think much of Sophia that first or second day

...But Traci came home from work the next day to this happy little crew. Well, Howie still looks a little put out, but he'll fall in love with Sophia eventually, everyone does.

Traci says Sophia (whom they are now calling 'Sophie') reminds her of a spider

Both Russell and I miss Sophia, but have been happy to monitor her adventure from afar.  Leasa and Traci have been just wonderful to share with us photos and videos of Sophia’s transition–thank goodness I am facebook friends with them both!

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank everyone who had a hand in helping Sophia get to a home where she will be cherished, cared for, and loved.  Knowing people like you is what keeps me tied to this earth.

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  1. Awwww that photo of you saying goodbye…makes me cry!

    This is such a wonderful story with an incredible happy ending!!! Bravo to all involved!!! Lots & lots of good people & love made this happen!!

  2. Such a sweet story of a very adorable pup. Lucky girl! Seattle is a nice place to live :)

  3. Heather, KUDOS to you and Russell for loving these dogs and launching a campaign which in the end became a small army of love, goodwill and collaboration. And how about Margie, that she knew exactly how to get it all started. It’s a wonderful and humbling story. May you be blessed many times over!

  4. Lotsa nice, sentimental people. We can’t get our heads around all this whilst there are human infants dying for no good reason.

    • Fortunately, danan, I’m not so small-hearted or short-sighted to think we can ease EITHER the suffering of animals OR the suffering of humans. I contribute to and volunteer for charities which support both causes.

      • Danan – Should no one work to ease the suffering of animals?! Shall we pay attention only to human suffering and none to the rest? Instead of trying to “wrap your heads around all this”, perhaps you should open your minds to all the good works done by all kinds of people for ALL kinds of living things. It is not so much “sentimental” as you so condescendingly put it , as it is action full of sentiment, and to be applauded as such.

  5. We are really enjoying Sophie- she is such a fun addition to our family. Howie is still doing pretty good with her– not playing with her- but he’s a Shiba and well, thats just not their thing!
    Thank you Russell and Heather– and Leasa.. and everyone else involved in making this happen… I take no kudos as bringing Sophie here was purely for selfish reasons- we are the lucky to have her! THANK YOU!!!

  6. She is lucky to have a new family…i’m a dog lover and it’s breaking my heart to say goodbyes..

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