Sophie was adopted from the Talbot county Humane Society when she was 2 years old in July of 2013. I adopted her because I wanted a dog that would help me with my P.T.S.D. I found that a lot of places that provide service dogs to people like me usually take more then a year because of the waiting lists. Sophie was given up by her owners. She was used as a dog for breeding. At the age of 8 months she gave birth to a litter of puppies. She was kept in a crate all her life and wasn’t let out to potty at all. She ate slept, peed and pooped in her crate. She’s a smart dog and she figured out how to escape from her crate so she could run free and release some of her built up energy.
Her owners would abuse her when she would escape and it showed in her behavior when I got her. The last straw for her owners was when she escaped from her crate and jumped in the Choptank river. She returned home muddy and her owners didn’t want to clean her off. They brought her to the Humane Society.
I adopted her after she had been there for a couple of months. When I first saw her she was laying in her kennel very calm. I took her outside and instead of running she flopped down on her back showing her tummy. That showed me she gave me some trust not to hurt her. That’s when I knew she was the dog I wanted so I filled out the paperwork and took her home a few days afterwards. The Humane Society had her spayed and gave her the shots she needed.
When I got her home I realized she had no training. So I house broke her and trained her on basic verbal commands and hand signals. She was trained in one month. She’s an extremely intelligent and very loving dog. She had separation anxiety issues at first but through positive reinforcement she quickly overcame that. Sophie has also been trained to recognize the signs of P.T.S.D. and help me cope with my daily struggle of dealing with the problems it brings. She’s changed my life to the point where I’m able to do things I wasn’t able to do before because she grounds me and helps me with stress. When I’m having a bad day she comes and puts her head on my leg and looks up at me with her beautiful eyes. When I have a nightmare she snuggles up behind me and keeps watch on the door while I sleep. She’s stayed up all night at times keeping watch over me when I have bad nights because she knows it helps me to relax and fall back asleep. Its almost like she’s saying “stand down, I’ve got your 6”. She is a perfect companion dog. Sophie also loves to welcome and play with the homeless veterans at Camp Royal Oak. She’s been a life changer for me and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. -Jason S.