I write this in loving memory of Sophie.

Sophie was my angel I fell in love with her at first sight at the

local animal shelter when she was 6-8 weeks old.

It was one of the most perfect moments of clarity that I had ever

experienced; knowing I would not leave there without Sophie in my arms.

She was a reddish golden color,leading me to believe she was a

golden/setter mix. That was Jan. 1989.

In the years that would follow Sophie became my best friend and constant

companion. We shared many hikes and trips and she became an integral part of our

family. She made me feel safe and her unconditional love and wonderful

character was an example from which I myself learned.

Right after her 8th birthday I noticed she seemed sluggish so

I took her in to the veterinarian for a blood test. The results revealed

that something was going on with her liver. We hoped maybe worms or

giardia but that Saturday night just before Thanksgiving Sophie went

into shock. I had my husband rush her to an Emergency 24 hr. clinic

while I remained at home with our daughter. It was there that they

discovered that her spleen was swollen and suggested that surgery might

give her some time. She amazingly lived through the surgery but the

diagnosis was that she had hemangiosarcoma – a type of cancer that

travels through the blood vessels.

At best she had 6 to 12 months to live. I felt like someone was putting

a dagger in my heart. Only a year before I had watched and cared for my

mother as she went through surgery chemotherapy and radiation for

cancer. This time it was my precious Sophie. Sophie went on to receive

the chemo and she lived many a good day. She came with us on vacation and

at times it was hard to believe this awful disease had invaded her

beautiful being. She finished her chemo and I also had learned about

alternative treatments so I nourished her with home cooked meals. When

the 6 month came I was scared I knew I did not want to do any more

invasive treatments to Sophie yet she started to become weaker. I knew

I needed to tell her it was OK to let go.

I will never forget how she looked at me into my very soul as I told her

how much I loved her how much she had taught me

and that I knew she needed to rest.

By early morning Sophie passed on with my husband and me at her side.

That was May 4th,1998 She was 8 1/2 years old…far too soon.

I miss Sophie and found it is hard to hike the mountains she so loved

without seeing her and longing for her. Her paradise was here.

Sofie was happiest with her family running and playing and being loved.

Bless you my dear Sophie for all you gave to us… And thank-you John

Mingo for the chance to tell my story.

Helene Steinberg. Boulder Col.