A Shoe-In for the Job
Gena Eggert of New Haven, CT, knew as soon as they met that chocolate Lab Sophie was coming home with her. “She’d been abandoned at the Humane Society of Missouri and had been driven east to an adoption event in Rocky Hill, CT, with 10 other dogs,” remembers Gena. “When I saw her, it was love at first sight. I loaded her into the back of my car, where she stayed—not a peep out of her all the way home.”
On that first afternoon, the two-year-old pooch remained quietly content by Gena’s side, so the family was rather surprised by Sophie’s reaction when left to her own devices. “The first time we left her alone she tore the house apart,” remembers Gena. “She’d bonded with us so quickly in the first few days that our leaving apparently was very frightening to her.”
Six months and several obedience classes later, Sophie’s “house breaking” has been replaced by a bona fide career. “In class, she was so eager to please that she trained very quickly and won most of the prizes,” recalls Gena. Sophie is now certified as a therapy dog and she and her mom have become Pet Partners through the Delta Society. “We’ve been volunteers at hospice for over a year,” Gena tells us.
Now very secure with her new calling, Sophie only gets anxious once in awhile at being left alone. Her preferred method of acting out her feelings is picking up a shoe and dropping it in another room. “I leave her home in the summer when it’s too hot outside. That’s usually when I find a shoe has been relocated,” says Gena. “If Sophie’s really stressed out, she’ll relocate two shoes. We refer to this as a two-shoe day!”