To All the Dogs I’ve Loved Before

Dogs have been a fundamental part of my life since I was seven and I can honestly say that the days I got them and the days they died have been among the most significant of my life.

I was thinking about all this today as it is the second anniversary of Sophie’s death.

Sophie and Me
Sophie and Me

There have been four new beginnings with dogs spanning five decades and each has been shared with precious people; Mother and Beauty; Father and Tiffany; Sophie and our son, Harry; and Harry again with Puppy Stan almost two years ago.

Similarly, I was fortunate to have been surrounded by love and intense empathy when Beauty, Tiffany and Sophie died. Such empathy matters hugely.

I know that some people have never taken to dogs and don’t quite ‘get’ the human-dog bond. It’s a bond that’s a precious gift and all the dogs that have punctuated my life have given far more love, loyalty and treasured memories than I could ever describe.

Today has been tinged with sadness but son, Harry, has understood completely and Puppy Stan has been all warm and cuddly and his tender eyes have never left me.

I’m glad that Sophie can rest peacefully knowing that all is well in this little part of my world.

Sophie (2000-2013)
Sophie (2000-2013)




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

41 thoughts on “To All the Dogs I’ve Loved Before”

  1. Sophie looked like a gentle soul. I find pets it doesn’t matter if it is a mouse or an elephant they have an effect on you as their personality and characters are different from one another. Some go straight to the heart like an old soul you know and others make you laugh. Just different. They become your children.

  2. She has such a knowing look about her 😊
    What a precious girl.
    Thank you for sharing your memories … It reminds me of the special pups in my life… Hugh…Henry…Roger…Harry…Charlie…Mark…
    With my second marriage came Salsa…Nutmeg…Meghan…Dilys and Teddy. One has never been enough for me 😊

  3. We have had one dog in our lives and it was my son Toms’ dog which he bought with birthday money when he was around six years old..We had him until Tom was a teenager and he got into something and came home to die. He was at the end of our driveway and our neighbor came over and told us..We have spent many a happy year with Ralph..part German Shepherd and pard Doberman Pincer. He was very protective of our children and a wonderful companion to all of us. Other dogs that we embraced were Wally, a Highland Terrier who belonged to our other son and his wife…We loved to see him and he loved to see us… Our son Tom had a Black Labrador Retriever named “Buster” who use to like to play games but didn’t want to share his toys but he was a life=saver to me as he detected that I had something wrong which led to a surgery (female problems)..if it wasn’t for him I would have never gone to the doctor..he had a sense of smell and that was what saved me…Yes I’m a lover of animals but dogs hold a special place in my I understand where you’re coming from….

  4. Sophie was a beauty and was blessed to be a part of such a loving family. The bond is such a blessing despite having to say good-bye, such like all relationships that are worth having. Peace to you as you remember.

  5. What a lovely picture of Sophie. I know how hard it is when a beloved dog dies. It definitely helps to make art about her/him, as you’ve done with your blog post and photo. Dogs are wonderful.

  6. It is sad when we lose something so precious and Sophie looks intelligent and knowing in her photos…I bet she knew you very well and it is lovely that thee was such a strong bond between you. Now me and Dougal, ah well you know by now I imagine, that Dougal very kindly shares his kennel with us:):) aren’t we the lucky ones!!!

    1. I suspect Sophie knew more about the inner me for those thirteen years than even I did. She was with me all the time and was quietly perceptive.
      Dougal sounds like a great character. He must be very generous to be so open to sharing!!!

  7. Hi Jean
    Just by looking at Sophie you can see in her eyes that she is loyal and wise. I know exactly what you mean when you talk about the unbreakable bond between you and your dog, it’s always been the same way with me and my dog, Sam, until he died last year at the age of 14. He was always there for me. When I was a baby – and he was around 1 or 2 – I stuck my fingers in his eyes and he made sure not to bite me! We were best friends from the first day I met him until the day he died β™₯ Adorable post of yours, by the way! β™₯

  8. To me dogs have always been another family member, and far nicer than the best of us at that. I know some people think that makes eejits out of us but it’s their loss. My parent’s pooch died in February this year and it was gutting. She was a fabulous dog but also a dog who knew my mother was sick before anyone else did, as we realised later. When we lost my Mum in 2012 it was an indescribable comfort to be able to have her around, and our lives have been all the poorer since we lost her too.

    1. Tara, I agree wholeheartedly about the place of dogs in doggie families.
      Certainly not easy losing the dog one associates with late parents. In fact, it’s pretty unbearable.

  9. Beautiful Jean. I’ve had some wonderful relationships with dogs, though only one of my own, our three year old terrier Winston. I do know a lovely boy called Bobby who looks just like Sophie. He’s so gentle and loving.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: