Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lady Sophia has left us

b 25 July 1998 Beauvoir-en-Royans
d 29 May 2012 St-Jean-en-Royans

During the final weeks and days, I appreciated greatly the wise and kind words of many friends.

Christine, Emmanuelle and François have learned, through the bitter death of Gamone (Sophia's daughter), that the loss of a dog is the disappearance of a precious piece of the Cosmos.

— I thank my Provençal friends Natacha and Alain, who knew Sophia so well, particularly when she accompanied their aging Geoffroy.

Annie, in Australia, has comforted me constantly in the domain of dog drama, just as she has applauded regularly in the domains of dog marvels. I don't know Annie personally, but she sounds like the sort of intelligent and sensitive Australian lady whom I would love to meet.

— My Swedish friends Eric and Marita have sent me marvelous Scandinavian blessings, full of canine understanding and sympathy.

— My Choranche neighbors Madeleine, Tineke and Serge were special friends of Sophia, and they often commented upon her sleek elegance over the last few months. (A few years ago, Sophia tended to put on weight, and I put her on a special diet.)

— My veterinarian (who euthanized Sophia this afternoon at 3 pm) is as cold as ice... but that's fine, indeed necessary. Behind his cool calm, he has a tender heart of gold, and he knows how to console a grief-stricken dog-owner such as me.

— Conversations with my childhood mates Bruce Hudson and Ron Willard have eased my grief.

On the final trip from Gamone to St-Jean-en-Royans, I talked non-stop to Sophia... who may or may not have heard me. (I like to believe that she was lapping up every word.) My declarations were totally unplanned and spontaneous. I even found myself apologizing to Sophia for having suppressed some of her progeny back at the time of the birth of Christine's dog Gamone.

For Sophia, there have always been two magic phrases: "Tu veux manger ?" (Want to eat?) and "Tu veux te promener ?" (Want to go for a walk?). This afternoon, on our journey to the end of the road at the veterinarian's clinic, I repeated ceaselessly to Sophia:

"This evening, Sophia, you're going to walk with the stars."

That's where she is now.


  1. And each night you can look up and smile at her.

  2. what a perfect memorial photo of Sophia as she gazes out over Gamone. I shall capture this image of her as I look to the stars and know she is looking out for you and Fitzroy forever - Dawn

  3. William, I am so very sad to hear that Sophia has shuffled off.... along onto her immortal coil. You will be reminded of her in everything you do "Gamone". She is certainly a part of them there hills. Sophia lived almost a (dog) century, a very good life.

    I've experienced the passing of two beloved puppies of my son Ben and his family (Vivian, Claire and Patrick) over the last five years - Hector and Cody, both toy poodles, too small and too cute for this harsh world full of rushing taxis - that ran over each one. I know how much we come to love these wonderful fragile friends

  4. I didn't look at your blog for quite a long time because I was afraid to read an article like this one.

    Perfect photo you put up. She looks like a sphynx. Now it's she who will look after you.

  5. Just came across your blog again, and your sweet sad words about Sophia. Tears in my eyes and a song in our heart. What a beautiful way to say goodbye. Gracias, Amigo, for all of us who have experienced loss of one kind or another. I hope we will all "walk with the stars."