Every time my husband brings up the fact that I haven’t written Little Sophia’s story yet… even after 4 years, it still stirs a whirlwind of emotions that make me not want to write it. To tell you the truth, I wish I had as much courage, strength, tenacity and toughness all wrapped up in 3lbs of absolute cuteness, as Sophia does. She has taught me more than you could ever know about why being a Pommy Mommy is the greatest endeavor I have sought for myself.
So, I have decided to let it all out… so if some of it sounds like a rant… it is. If you see tears on your monitor, know that’s where I was crying. If you find yourself laughing know that Sophia’s got a little grumpy face on. I think I’ve stalled enough already… so here it is.
Our little Shieka died very suddenly from complications with seizures and heart problems on March 24, 2010. I was devastated. I never had a dog that passed away. My family pet, Angel was still alive when Shieka died… it was a little surreal. We only had Shieka 2 years. Maggie, her sister, was all alone and I felt she needed a friend. Well, 2 months later and I see a 5 lb ball of cuteness on Petfinder.com named Twitter… I still think it is the dumbest name ever, but I saw her and called the number on the post. I was literally on a flight that weekend to Cincinnati, OH and drove to Kokomo, IN to pick up little Twitter, whom within seconds was renamed Yoki. I actually was thinking of new names on the 4 hour flight… and when I landed, I knew that her new name would be Yoki.
I drive back to the airport… get back on the plane and come back home to Albuquerque, NM with a new friend for Maggie. During the Summer Maggie and Yoki bonded and were two little peas in a pod. Come October, just before Halloween, my husband saw a blind Pomeranian on Petfinder that someone forwarded to him and he called about her.
The rescue said that we could come get her… and he researched as much as he could about blind dogs, how to care for them and what to expect. We were literally pulling out of the driveway when the woman from the rescue called and told us that she decided to adopt the Blind Pomeranian to someone more local… we were driving 10 hours to get her. We were left a little dismayed. So after that, we decided no more dogs for a while… I wasn’t even looking for anything remotely, resembling another dog, let alone another Pomeranian… but I accidentally clicked on a “bookmarked” page in my website browser and came upon the cutest picture of a PomChi named Princess.
I showed her to my husband and the words, “When are you leaving?” came flowing out of his mouth. I called up the number on the post and come to find out… Princess is in Kokomo, IN. So another flight was booked to Cincinnati and this time my sister drove up with me to meet a woman at a gas station… because she had to go run over to the “Tractor Supply” to pick up “Princess” from the pet adoption event. Did I just step off the plane into OZ? Is the Tin Man, Dorothy, Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion gonna pop out and grab me? Or will I wake up with drool on my pillow. It was crazy. Who has an adoption event at a “Tractor Supply” for a Pomeranian… and then wants to meet me at a gas station? Like we’re smuggling contraband.
The woman handed me this tiny, shaved dog with a puffy mane. When I held her I couldn’t believe how small and fragile she was. Maggie and Shieka weighed 11 lbs and Yoki was now 6 lbs… Sophia was 3.8 lbs with no fur. I could feel her ribs and spine when I held her. On the way back to Cincinnati I couldn’t stop saying, “how little she was” her picture made her look much bigger than what I was holding. The next day I got on a plane with a trunk full of clothes, crate, and toys the foster parents gave us… and was back in Albuquerque, NM with the smallest dog I had ever seen. I started calling her Sophia from the second I held her.
When I got her home, I noticed a bunch of things I hadn’t noticed because of all the excitement of getting a new little tiny PomChi. She ran around like her tail was on fire all the time… but had a hunched back. Every time I touched her feet she squirmed… obviously that wasn’t good. She had a little head tilt, a crooked back and didn’t like to be held except for a certain way. My husband and I brought her to the Vet and it was determined that she had Luxating Patellas on both her back legs, she already had arthritis in her hips and looked and felt like she sustained other injuries to her back, legs and neck… which seemed odd to the Vet for a dog this small.
She had horrible teeth, very bad breath and from the fragility of her bones was definitely malnourished at some time in her life. We had inquired about getting surgery for her legs to fix her Patellas but were told that she was too old and the rehab would be insane for such a little dog. She was walking, getting around and wasn’t in any pain so we opted for no surgery. Little Sophia thrived… we started feeding her a Raw Diet, coconut oil… gave her homemade bone broth and Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements which made her feel like a little superstar.
Two months passed and my husband and I where not happy living in Albuquerque… everything seemed to close up at 9pm and we like to do things past 9. My husband used to travel 3 weekends out of every month. While he was away I got to thinking about actually moving… when he came home from his trip, I asked him if he would ever think about moving to Las Vegas. He said, “It’s pretty f**king hot there… but let me think about it.”
A couple of weeks went by and Rocco got a call from one of his clients… on Christmas Day, needing help. He flew out to the West Coast the day after Christmas and was scheduled to be gone for 12 weeks. 3 Months? What? He wound up coming back every weekend, so it wasn’t that bad. On his second weekend back, we revisited the question about moving to Las Vegas… I didn’t realize he did a bunch of research while he was gone and figured it would be a great place to live since the economy tanked, his business was booming and we could have a pick of anywhere to live. The next weekend we drove to Las Vegas with all the Pomeranians and started looking for houses. This trip wound up being a total bust. We couldn’t find anything. We waited a couple of weeks after January 1st and went back, this time with a better understanding of the area. We found the perfect place… and moved in three weeks later.
So what does all this have to do with Little Sophia? Basically, Vegas is where Little Sophia was able to spread her wings. We had a very big yard for her to play in with Maggie and Yoki. The weather was awesome for her ailments… very dry. My husband built everything you could imagine to make Sophia’s life better. Maggie loved grass, so Rocco planted a lawn, and Sophia played in it and walked around like she owned it. Sophia needed a ramp to get up and down from the kitchen to the backyard, she got it. Everything seemed to be perfect. That’s when the bottom just fell out.
We had taken Sophia to get her check up, shots and to clear up an ear infection (which resulted from a groomer who forgot to put cotton in her ears as she was instructed) to a Vet that was recommended to us. When we came home, Sophia seemed very anxious and stressed. She wasn’t herself and the more she was freaking out, the more I started to freak out because this was “not” anything near normal for Sophia… she was either chill or running around… not panting, running around in circles, barking, crying… and on top of all that falling down.
We rushed her to another Vet that was right down the street who informed us that Sophia was having a neurological incident but couldn’t tell us what was going on until an MRI was done. My husband didn’t buy it… we had them take some X-rays first and see if it could be her ears that could cause what was happening. We looked at the X-rays and said we would get another opinion. We brought her to supposedly the best Vet in Las Vegas and were told a couple of conflicting things which were actually good… and horrifying.
The rabies shot and other shots that were given to her never should have been given to her all at once and was more than her little body could take. Because that was stressful her ear infection was causing her balance issues and compounded the stress. When the new Vet looked at the X-rays she said that this little 3 lb ball of fur had sustained injuries to her vertebrae, ribs, legs and neck from being kicked repeatedly… I almost vomitted.
Someone actually caused these injuries to my Little Sophia? This wasn’t genetic? An Accident? Nope… some idiot intentionally kicked a 3 lb PomChi, most likely across the room. The woman who I adopted her from, didn’t tell me anything about her… now armed with this information, I called her and interrogated her for about an hour. I come to find out that not only was she abused… she was left in a crate, on top of a garbage heap, in an abandoned apartment due to eviction with no food or water for a week and a half. The manager of the apartment complex said they couldn’t get to the apartment to clear it out but didn’t think anything of it. When they found her she was dehydrated, starved… totally malnourished with pee, poop, bugs and matts all over her. She was barely alive. Why didn’t this woman tell me this before?
My husband and I stayed up for three nights straight to monitor Sophia’s breathing, give her ear drops, water and just keep her company. Our “Little” baby was out of the woods but ever since that incident she walks with a more pronounced head tilt. Over the past year Sophia’s little body has aged fairly quickly even though we have done everything humanly possible to keep her healthy. She eats very well, as we now feed her small amounts of her food on a 6 hour schedule. We try to exercise her as much as she will exercise… still give her supplements, coconut oil and just love on her all day.
Sophia spends most of her time either in my arms, laying in her 6 beds, walking her little catwalk or resting, eating and drinking in her 2 pools. My little baby has been through more than any Pomeranian should ever have to go through and is 13 plus years old. I’m not sure how much longer we will have the privilege and honor of this Little Pomeranian Princess Warrior to be in our presence. I wish it could be forever because she has shown me so much about what it means to just keep moving forward and not let the past define your future. I thank God everyday for allowing me to have this most precious gift in 3 lbs, wrapped in red fur and a bark of a baby seal. Visit her on Facebook and on Instagram.