On February 24 of last year, Deborah Sofia of Rohnert Park, CA, lost the joy of her life—a male pit bull she'd had since he was 10 weeks old. "Cody had been with me through a divorce, a major move and his cancer," remembers Deborah. "On Sunday, March 2—his birthday—I picked up his ashes and spent the night crying."
The very next day, Deborah was supposed to meet a friend for dinner, but her plans were canceled. "I pulled up to my apartment complex, and standing directly in front of my car was a female pit bull who was about to run into the busy street," she recalls. "I called to her and she came right away." As the pooch jumped into her car, Deborah was stunned—the dog looked identical to her Cody, but was about 60 pounds smaller. Since the local animal shelter had no record of a lost female pit bull, Deborah kept her and named her Jersey.
Right away Deborah saw that this nine-month-old was a tough little survivor. "She's very rambunctious," says Deborah. "She loves roughhousing with my roommate's dog and has a lot of determination and drive—she just goes along with whatever comes her way."
As pooch and mom get comfortable with one another, Deborah is noticing one big difference between Cody and Jersey. "Cody was a momma's boy—very sensitive," Deborah remembers. "He seemed to get depressed when I left him. Jersey learned to fend for herself on the streets, and she's happy in almost anyone's company."
Though Jersey loves her independence, she's got a dash of "momma's girl" in her, too. "During the day, Jersey wants to run around and find her own way," says Deborah. "When I'm sleeping, though, she just has to cuddle close."