Sophie – A Year of Joy

Sophie was born on May 26, 2016. She brings joy and happiness to us senior citizens and empty nesters. She fills our home with love and loyal companionship. This is her story. Enjoy!


I think only Sheltie lovers really understand each other’s love for their Shelties. 

I’m talking about Sheltie lovers whose Sheltie sleeps with them, eats with them, sits on the couch with them, goes to the post office with them, and travels on long family trips with them. 

I’m talking about Sheltie lovers who grieve and shed tears over the death of their beloved Sheltie and celebrate the arrival of a new Sheltie puppy. 

I’m talking about Sheltie lovers who feed them quality food like Little Caesar’s or Blue Buffalo.  None of this “Ole Roy” junk food from a 50 pound bag. Only the best will do for a Sheltie lovers dog. 

You get the picture. Sheltie lovers. People who love them and consider them part of the family.  

August 26, 2016, Sophie at 3 months and Tipper

So, it was with great grief and a lot of tears on that sad, June 9, 2016, morning when we had to send Maggie, our beloved Sheltie, over the rainbow bridge. She was a valued member of our family. She loved us, and we loved her. 
Here’s my tribute to Maggie. Click the link to read it.

Sweet Maggie, December 25, 2015

We moped around the house that mournful afternoon and for days afterward. The house was way too quiet. No more welcome home barks or excited Sheltie circles when we walked in the door. It was tough. 

We had to put Maggie down before our trip to Chicago on June 13, 2017, to see our daughter and son-in-law, Kelly and Scott Sorenson. Even though we were excited and looking forward to seeing Kelly and Scott, it was a quiet, sad, long 900 mile trip without Maggie propped up between Joyce and me helping me drive. 

I enjoyed sitting on Kelly’s patio with a good Perdoma cigar and an Old Style Chicago beer watching Kelly and Joyce work. 

Watching Kelly and Joyce work

One morning, I  was sitting out there alone looking at their manicured yard. I visualized Maggie running and playing ball with me. I couldn’t get my mind off her and the previous trip we made to see Kelly some months back.

Maggie was healthy and the life of the party. But, no more. Kelly’s two Papillons helped my grief some. I enjoyed watching them cut the fool while I sat outside playing the blues. 

Oh, how I missed Maggie!

The thought entered my mind that I really, really needed a Sheltie puppy not to replace Maggie but to simply enjoy another Sheltie and have a faithful, live-wire little companion. 

I pulled out my iPhone and searched “Chicago Shelties.”  Bingo!  I got a hit. 

I went to the website. “Sheltie puppies for sale.”  My heart raced. Then, I saw the price. $2,000. Holy cow! I can’t pay $2,000 for a puppy. 

I read further. These puppies came from champions that had won all sorts of Sheltie agility contests and prize money. 

Sheltie Agility Competition

Geeze. All I wanted was a pet.

I thought and prayed and prayed and thought. Yes, I prayed for a Sheltie puppy!

Then I thought of a Facebook group that I’m a member of.  It’s “Georgia  Sheltie Lovers.”

I went to that group, and whatta you know?  “Sheltie puppies for sale” was posted. I excitedly told Joyce. 

Andy, Sophie’s dad

“Wonderful!” she exclaimed. “But, I’m not paying more than $300. That’s all we paid for Maggie. Find out how much they are.” (Joyce runs the family finances).

“No problem,” I thought. 

I messaged the owner, Kristie Wiehe, in Flowery Branch, Georgia, north of Atlanta. 

The price? $600!  Whew! I’ve got to do some selling and begging.

“Uh, they’re only $600. We paid $300 for Maggie. It’s inflation, you know,” I boldly said.

Nope, $300 is the limit. I’m not paying $600 for a dog!” Joyce said emphatically. 

“I have $80 cash. Come on Joyce. It’s only $220 more.”

By now, Kelly had entered the scene having heard everything. I told her that I needed a $220 loan to get my puppy. 

“Ah Dad, I’ll just give you the $220. Tell the lady you will take the puppy.”

Tybee’s litter. Sophie’s mom, brothers, and sisters
Whohoo!  I excitedly called Kristie after getting her number. I told her we were in Chicago for a few more days and would pick her up on the way home. 

“I need a $200 deposit to hold her,” Kristie replied. All the others are spoken for and I have a person who wants this little female, but he hasn’t made a deposit yet.”

Kelly and I jumped in the car and off to Western Union we went to wire Kristie the funds. 

Our money was there before the other guy could say, “Sheltie!”

Immediately, my mood shifted to happy. It was a foreshadowing of the happiness little Sophie would bring me and Joyce. 

The long trip home was sure a lot better than the trip to Chicago without Maggie. We were going to get our new Sheltie puppy!

Sophie – July 7, 2016. Couldn’t wait to get her!

We spent the night on the road in Tennessee on July 13, 2016. I could hardly wait that night. It was like anticipating Christmas on Christmas Eve when I was a kid. 

Our GPS directed us to the Wiehie’s beautiful home on Lake Lanier. I knocked on the door. My heart pounded like my first date with Joyce. 

Kristie opened the door, and there was my little Sheltie puppy. I had already seen pictures of her. She looked just like Maggie. 

Kristie’s teenage son, Tristen, and little Granddaughter, Brooksie, were entertaining her, or should I that say the puppy was entertaining them!

Brooksie and Sophie

I forked over the balance we owed. And by the way, I didn’t have to take Kelly’s money. Joyce acquiesced!

On July 14, 2016, I held cuteness for the first time. It was love at first sight. 

Of course, we had to decide on a name. “Maggie,” I said. “Little Maggie II.”

“Nope,” Joyce replied. “She needs her own identity. Try again.”

I tried to run through a list of names. None fit. I glanced over at my new bundle of joy and drove on through the horrid Atlanta traffic on I-285. I merged on to I-20 eastbound headed for home about 100 miles away. 

Somewhere on I-20, it hit me. “Sophia Scarlett.”

I shared my revelation with Joyce. 

I explained. “Sophia because she’s beautiful like Sophia Loren and Scarlett because she’s got mischief in her eyes like Scarlet O’Hara in my favorite movie, “Gone with the Wind.”  And, like Scarlet, she’s from Atlanta!  

“Sophia Scarlet!” I told Joyce, and she agreed. 

“We’ll call her Sophie!”

Sophia Scarlett and me July 23, 2016

So there we were. Two senior citizens with a bouncy, mischievous puppy on our hands to try and keep up with!

Fortunately, Sophie went through the trauma of separation from her mother and brothers and the loss of her human companions without a whimper. 

Sophie (in back) and her siblings. July 9, 2016

Of course, we put her in bed with us the first night and every night since then. That probably helped her adjust. Somehow, I knew that she knew that she was surrounded by love. 

Sophie surrounded by love

It’s been fun and entertaining watching her grow up. 

It was a big deal when she finally climbed up the steps from my man cave and followed Joyce into the house. 

It’s fun taking her to the post office. All I have to do is rattle the keys and she, like Maggie, barks and circles with “I want to go too” excitement.

She pouts when we have to go run errands or go out for the evening and is left behind. When she hears us drive up, she props herself up on our bedroom window and then runs to meet us at the door into the garage just like Maggie did. 

Here’s a pic of her pouting by the window after I left her with Joyce to run errands and couldn’t take her with me. 

Sophie was watching for me. Then pouts.

At meal time, Sophie props herself up on the table wondering why Joyce didn’t set a place for her too.  She also sits beside us on the floor begging impatiently for a handout which she always gets. 

Sophie waiting for a handout!
Sophie has us trained to get what she wants!

She knows when we are getting ready to go for our daily walk either on the walking track or on the trails of Mistletoe State Park near our home. Sophie enthusiastically and rather impatiently waits for Joyce to get her leash on. Once her collar and leash are on, she’s ready to go pulling me out the door. 

Sophie me at Mistletoe State Park, March 6, 2016

When it’s time to go to the great room after supper, she jumps up on the couch to sit beside Joyce. 

Whenever I go to the man cave to read, write, or watch the Braves, she follows me there and alternates back and forth between Joyce and I. It sort of reminds me of that passage in the Book of Ruth where Ruth declared her loyalty to Naomi, her mother-in-law. “Where you go I will go” (Ruth 1:16). 

Sophie under my feet in the man cave

Sophie has her own personality just like Joyce said she would. Yet, in some ways, she’s so much like Maggie. Sophie really fills that empty place I had when we had to say “Good-bye” to Maggie.”

Maggie helping me drive, June 22, 2015.

And, Sophie helping me drive too! May 8, 2017. 

Maggie prewashing the dishes May 29, 2015. 

Sophie prewashing the dishes February 25, 2017. 

Of course, Sophie went with us for our 2016 Christmas visit to be with Kelly and Scott in Chicago.  She mostly sat or slept in Joyce’s lap the whole long trip up there. 

The first morning we were there, a heavy snowfall greeted us. And of course, it rarely snows in Georgia. It was the first time Sophie had ever seen snow. 

At first, she tried to eat it!  That wasn’t much fun. Then, she frolicked and played with Kelly’s Papillons, Taco and Buffy. We took our other two Shelties, old Tipper, and our rescue, Lilly. 

Tipper didn’t like it and would just stand in it frozen and unhappy. Lilly didn’t know what to think about. She played a little but was soon ready to come back into the warm house. 

Ahh, but Sophie? She was fascinated and loved the cold white stuff.

Here’s the video taken on December 13, 2016. 

Sophie loves to help Joyce with the housework. 

And Sophie helped Kelly with her gardening on our recent visit to her and Scott’s home in Palos Heights, Illinois from May 9-17, 2017. 

On the way home from Illinois, we were fortunate to find a hotel in Beckley, West Virginia, that accepted all three of our Shelties for only $102 a night and no pet deposit!  From left to right: Sophie, and our rescues Lilly, and Tipper. 

At the Country Inn and Suites, Beckley, WV. (L-R Sophie, Lilly, and Tipper)

We take our Shelties wherever we go. We don’t want them boarded in a cage. Overprotective? Yea. But, I wouldn’t want to be caged up even for a day  I don’t think our Shelties would either!

At home, Sophie helps my nephew, Joseph, fly his drone. 

And, she viciously protects her territory against all intruders!

​Sophie gives lots of good lovin’ too. Here, she loves up on my brother, Don. 

And, my nephew, Joseph. 

Like all females, she enjoys drying and fixing her hair just right. 

About the only thing Sophie doesn’t like is bath time. 

Sophia Scarlett! That $600 was well spent. Joyce often says now that she wouldn’t take a million dollars for her!  Nope. No amount of money could entice us to go back to the way things were before Sophie came bounding into our lives filling our hearts and home with love, joy, happiness, companionship, and laughter. She’s here to stay. 

Sophie July 14, 2016 at the Wiehie’s

Sophie turned a year old Friday, May 26, 2017, a day before my wife’s 65th birthday. The year has flown by as they all seem to do now. She’s growing up fast. She is family. 

Happy birthday Sophie!

Sophie is an entertaining delight to us senior citizens. There’s never a dull moment with Sophie in our lives. I’m grateful to God for filling our empty-nest house with her love and companionship. She is truely an answer to prayer and a gift from the good Lord to us two senior citizens!  Sophie has made us young in heart again. 

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