Dog days: Sophie


text and photo by Juli Leonard

I don’t know if it is because my Oakwood neighbor Sophie is a grinner – yes, really, she does what is called “submissive grinning” in dog terms – or because of her tender rescue story that I like her so.

Regardless, the short-haired border collie has won me over.

Sophie came to her owners, Don and Terri Becom, in May 2012 as an adolescent. Her owner, a friend of the couple, had unexpectedly passed away. Sophie was one of three dogs that needed a home, and the Becoms took her on. Just months earlier, they’d lost their own dog to cancer.

Sophie joined their four cats, gracefully becoming a part of the family. Quietly, she eased the Becoms’ grief over their beloved McTavish.

She might have started off as a rather shy girl who met new people timidly, but today Sophie is a grinning, wiggling extrovert.

She’s a regular with her owners at church events for homeless families in need, often bounding up to children who once had pets and inviting them to play. Don Becom has a phone full of photos of these kids beaming with their arms around Sophie’s neck. “They love her so much,”  Terri Becom says, “and she loves visiting them.”

Sophie is a good neighbor in all kinds of ways. From her porch, she wiggles for the Monday evening joggers who go to and from Tir Na Nog pub, clearly hoping to meet just a few. She has a warm welcome for just about any creature who will give her the time.