Welcome to Sophie Darling's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
Sophie Darling's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of Sophie Darling
Oh Sophie, How I Miss:
• You sleeping on my bed
• How you'd get on my bed in the morning and put your head and front paws on my chest and wait for me to say "OK let's get up"
• How you cleaned all my yogurt dishes and have a white nose all day
How you always had this smile on your face!
• You putting your nose under my right hand when I was driving to tell me to pet you-which of course I always did
• You laying and waiting on the bathroom rug whenever I took a shower
• How you always came into the bathroom and you put your nose on my lap
• How you'd come up behind me and push your way with your nose/head through my legs and look up at me as if to say "I'm here!"
• Sitting and waiting until I finished my dinner so you could clean my plate
• How you'd come running into the kitchen when I'd come home-your little butt wiggling as you ran to greet me at the door
• How safe I felt at night-never worrying whether someone would break in-you were my protector
• How people would stop their car on the street, get out and ask all about you, many of them who wanted to take pictures of you because in their words "OMG she is the cutest dog I've ever seen"
• Watching you prance ahead of me as we walked through Stern Grove or Fort Funston
• How I'd hide behind the dunes at Fort Funston and you'd come running to find me
• How your tail wagged ALL the time
• When I'd come home and after you greeted me in your usual fashion how you'd run to your water bowl and drink for a couple of minutes all the time wagging your tail
• How you would "guard" the door when I was sitting in the living room
• How you always had to be in the same room I was in when we were home
• How protective you were should anyone approach the car when I was parked...you had such a ferocious bark
• How you would tell me how much you missed me when I would go downstairs to take the garbage out and return within 2 minutes it was as if I'd been gone for weeks
• Seeing you run in to the ocean at Fort Funston and drink the sea water even though I tried to stop you from doing that
• How you showed how much you hated leaving me with anyone who would take you for a walk (except Sally) whenever I was home
• Your presence in my life. I will never be the same. I am so glad I had these last 11 years with you and especially this last year when I could take you to Stern Grove every day and one of her special places was Redwood Croft Bed & Breakfast where we spent many wonderful days and nights in the cottage or where she was off chasing imaginary wildlife- with Dale & Sitah as our friends and caretakers.
Grieving takes us to the very heart of life itself. Grieving takes us to love and to loss. We only grieve for that which we have loved. I don't recall greving this intensely for any other loss.
They say memories are golden-
well maybe that is true. I never wanted memories, 
I only wanted you.

 A million times I needed you,
 a million times I cried.
 If love alone could have saved you
, you never would have died. 

In life I loved you dearly, 
In death I love you still. 
In my heart you hold a place 
nothing could ever fill.

12/13/12 It has been more than 3 months since I held you in my arms telling you how much I loved you and we said goodbye. I sometimes think I shall never recover from this loss. Soph was the love of my life and truth be told-she WAS my life. I just don't know where to put this pain that never ends-and as someone once said ..."How can a heart suffer so much pain and not die?" i sometimes wish I would. I think part of my difficulty lies in the fact that I just can not seem to accept Sophie's death. Will I ever???
12/15/12 What I wish & what I would like to have done more of/What I'd like to tell her (so she'd understand):
-That I have a permanent Heart Tattoo with a paw print and her name over my heart
-how much I loved her more than I did
-Hugging her more
-playing with her more
-stop working sooner so I'd have more time with her
-take more videos of her
-take more pictures of her with me in them
-slept more with my arms around her
-I wish I had died with her
I loved you the most and the best
"If I had known that on that day
our time was near the end...
I would have done things differently
my forever friend.
I would have stayed right next to you
deep into the night...
but I thought I'd see you in the
early morning light.
And so I said 'Good-night' to you
as I walked in through the door...
never thinking of the time
when I'd see you no more.
But if I had known that on that day
our time was at the end...
I would have done things so differently
my forever friend."
12/18/12 It has been more than three months since I had to say goodbye to my Baby Doll Sophie Darling and I am grieving as much today as I did that day. Sophie Darling, you were my world, my love, my love of my life and I will never e able to put into words how much I will always miss you. You were the sweetest, smartest, most intelligent, cutest doggie ever. There were so many times, people stopped their car on the street, came over and wanted to know all about you, while exclaiming you "were the cutest dog I've ever seen" like a "Teddy bear" and took your picture while you posed. You were my companion, my guardian, my protector, so communicative of what you wanted-you did everything but speak english to me. Your loss is beyond devastating and my heart is forever broken.
12/27/12 My Baby Doll, I would visit here every day but there are days that I just can not make it to speak my heart. As the new year approaches I for one will be very thankful I can leave it behind but I will NEVER be able to leave you behind...
1/20/13 It's been such a dark time for me Sophie Darling-I can not stop thinking of you and all the joy you brought to my life.
"Mourning never really ends. Only as time goes on, it erupts less frequently." (Anonymous). I'm not sure how this person defined "frequently" but the "less" certainly hasn't happened for me. I can not describe the pain I feel at your loss. I see your memorial stone that has "Sophie my Baby Doll" every morning when I open the shade and you are the last thing I see when I close it at night. you never leave my thoughts or heart and know you never will.
1/30/13 "There is sorrow enough in the natural way

From men and women to fill our day;

But when we are certain of sorrow in store

Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters I bid you beware

Of giving your heart to a dog to tear."
Rudyard Kipling

2/9/13 "When one has loved a dog, their soul has awakened. When one has lost that dog, their heart knows grief." Anonymous
3/2/13 It has been 6 months today that I said goodbye to my Baby Doll but it feels like 6 minutes. I think of you and how wonderful you were every single day many times I still break down and cry-your loss is so devastating I often wish I was with you but know that's not possible. You were my life and everything I loved in life-so happy with that smile on your face, practically telling me what you wanted in your way that I understood. I miss you in the morning when I have yogurt and you're not there to clean out the container and end up with a white nose looking at me for more. I have you in a very special place with a candle burning next to your photo-and you are always next to my heart-in the form of a tattoo right over my heart.
3/18/13 Arlene visited today and we talked about you and she misses you alot-she often took care of you when I worked during the day-I'd drop you off and then pick you up in the afternoon-we lost touch with one another for a short while but she said she always kept a photo of you on her desktop so you were part of her day-every day. She also said her mother who has passed on asked on a daily basis "How's Sophie?" I wish I had stayed in touch with her-you were precious to her and she knows and feels how much pain I'm in with your loss. There's not a day goes by you are not on my mind and in my heart.
4/13/13 It's still so very hard to think of you and not break out crying-I was at a dinner last night with a friend who was talking about losing her beloved dog and how having that experience for her was worse than losing a relative. I quietly cried as she spoke and no one knew or saw the tears as they ran down my face. I miss you so because you were my guardian, my love, I could trust you to give you my heart and feel as though I can never do that again. But, as painful as losing you was and still is, I would not trade our time together for anything-absolutely anything. Having you in my life was the best 11 years of my life.
5/17/13 As Shakespeare so eloquently said in Macbeth, "Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o'erfraught heart and bids it break." Though I have given my sorrow words, still I hear the whispers every day and feel my heart break at remembering your loss. Will the whispers ever stop? I miss your presence in my life so much-because you were my life.
6/15/13 OMG, how I miss you so my Baby Doll Soph-even after all this time and I'm sure I will for the rest of my life-you were THAT SPECIAL to me. This past Saturday I rescued Roxie, a three year old Pug/Schnauzer mix from Merced SPCA and she is a sweet, funny, smart, affectionate wonderful personality except when other people come into "our" space. Then she growls, snarls and lunges at them basically telling them to "get out of here and don't come back." She is nothing like you of which I am thankful but her aggressive behavior towards people and other dogs is problematic. I don't know if this is going to work out-I've had no less than 3 experts tell me that this is "not a good fit." Paula Benton, a very gentle woman expert in animal behavior with many years of experience spent almost 2 hours assessing Roxie. The outcome was not good but she encouraged me to seek a 2nd opinion with Trish King-also expert (for over 30 years) and so I did. I just felt like I had to make sure I made the right decision for Roxie. The problem is that she is so strongly bonded to me and me to her that I really don't want to give her back, but this behavior is a deal breaker if it can not be resolved. Trish is coming on Monday to assess her behavior and I can only hope for a positive report. If not, then deep inside I know I will have to make a very hard decision.
6/20/13 It was not a positive assessment. With the history of her lunging/biting towards people and dogs, Trish recommended I not "put her back in the system" and have a vet come to the house to put her to sleep. She said she could tell how bonded we had become and that I had given her so much love and stability in the last ten days than probably she'd ever had and this would be the kindest thing for her. These two experts together had spent over 3 hours and had over 40 years of experience working with dogs. I exhausted all my avenues and had no other choice. And so on Monday night, I held Roxie in my arms and with 3 friends in attendance, she died peacefully while I kissed her goodbye. I miss her wonderful energy and affectionate kisses but know it was the right thing to do for her. So sad, so very sad.
Tribute to a Best Friend
-- Author Unknown
Sunlight streams through window pane unto a spot on the floor....
then I remember,
it's where you used to lie,
but now you are no more.
Our feet walk down a hall of carpet,
and muted echoes sound....
then I remember,
It's where your paws would joyously abound.
A voice is heard along the road, and up beyond the hill,
then I remember it can't be yours.... your golden voice is still.
But I'll take that vacant spot of floor and empty muted hall
and lay them with the absent voice and unused dish along the wall. I'll wrap these treasured memorials in a blanket of my love
and keep them for my best friend until we meet above.
7/12/13 my dearest Sophie how I miss you still and so much it makes me cry just to write this. It's so heartbreaking for me to not have you in my life and wonder if the pain will EVER go away.your presence in my life was huge-and not until you were gone did I realize how huge it was to have you here with me. I told many friends that I hoped I would die before you did because I knew it was painful, but it was not to be. you are missed and will forever be so.
8/12/13 A year ago yesterday I was hit by an SUV while riding my bike at 9am on Page St in SF. During this time, unbeknownst to me, you were suffering from a metastasis of the Mast Cell Tumor identified and surgically removed in March of 2012. Sally, your friend and mine, took you in and cared for you while I was in the hospital at SF General in the Trauma Unit, recovering from a fracture of my T-12 vertebrae.When I got out of the hospital and was recovering at home, pretty much immobilized, I then hopelessly watched as you slowly deteriorated. After many trips to the Vet, X-rays, consults, and my gut telling me this was NOT a "soft tissue injury" as the Vet had diagnosed. I was so angry at the Vet for so long realizing that you must have been in such pain all that time. Angry that I didn't/couldn't do more to insist more tests to get to the bottom of the problem. Would the outcome have been different? Probably not, but you would've have better medication for the pain than you had because of the misdiagnosis. That's what made me the most angry. So much has happened in the time since you died in my arms. Coby (named after Kurt Cobain) died 3 weeks later-his health had been deteriorating for a long time so it was not a surprise, it was just another painful event on top of the most painful event of your death. I am caring for another rescue-a 2-4year old terrier mix-he is so loving and sweet-just what I needed and I hope he needed me as much. It just seemed like the right time-I really got sick of not having any other being in my life besides me. His name is Quincy (came with that) but I think of him as "Quincy Jones" since I've always named my animals after musicians. So I'm leaving that as his name. We spent this past Saturday at the beach with about 40 other small dogs-what fun that was for him-and me. It was great to see him enjoying himself so much. You two would get along well-you were always good with little dogs-teaching them the right way to behave but doing it without scaring them. I miss you Soph-still and always.
9/2/13 My Baby Doll, it's been one year today that you and I said goodbye. My grief is still there albeit under a bit more control. I will always have this lump in my throat when I recall all our good times and not so good times-those times when you were sick and I was helpless to fix the hurt. You were my favorite doggie of all time and will always be so. I so wish I believed we will sometime be together again, but I know it not to be the case. My time with you was some of the best and I will always hold them close to my heart-the one with the tattoo & your name over it. Goodbye again my Sophie Darling.
9/15/13 OMG I miss you so...
TO SOPHIE, My Baby Doll, the light of my life:
There are some who think it's foolish to weep
Over a cherished pet in eternal sleep.
But those poor souls are truly blind
For they not know of the creature kind.
But you who devoted so many years
Deserve the time to shed those tears
Over the loss of your furry friend
Whose life on earth has come to an end.
And may the tears that you now weep,
sow loving memories forever to keep.
2/3/14 It's been awhile since I visited this site-sometimes it's just too painful and other times when I think of it, I know it'll make me break down so I stay away. Doesn't stop me from thinking of you Sophie Darling-every day, every day. my rescue baby Quincy has been just what I needed with your loss-he makes me laugh, gets me out and about, interact with other doggie people-has done wonders for me-really, even though typing this note, the tears are streaming down my face. I saw this poem on FB this morning and wanted to record it here:
"You will lose someone you can't live without,
and your heart will be badly broken,
and the bad news is that you never completely
get over the loss of your beloved.
But this is also the good news.
They live forever in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through.
It's like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly--
that still hurts when the weather gets cold,
but you learn to dance with the limp." ― Anne Lamott
MAY 15,2014
For my Darling Sophie:
"In the rising of the sun and in its going down...
we will remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of the winter...
we will remember them.
In the opening of the buds and the rebirth of spring...
we will remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer...
we will remember them.
In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn...
we will remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends...
we will remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength...
we will remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share...
we will remember them.
So long as we live, so they shall live.
They are part of us, part of our memory, part of our love...as we remember them."
JULY 17, 2014
I read this on FB and it resonated so much with me when I think of my Darling Sophie:
"Some of you, particularly those who think they have recently lost a dog to 'death', don't really understand this. I've had no desire to explain, but won't be around forever and must.
Dogs never die. They don't know how to. They get tired, and very old, and their bones hurt. Of course they don't die. If they did they would not want to always go for a walk, even long after their old bones say: 'No, no, not a good idea. Let's not go for a walk.' Nope, dogs always want to go for a walk. They might get one step before their aging tendons collapse them into a heap on the floor, but that's what dogs are. They walk.
It's not that they dislike your company. On the contrary, a walk with you is all there is. Their boss, and the cacaphonic symphony of odor that the world is. Cat poop, another dog's mark, a rotting chicken bone (exultation), and you. That's what makes their world perfect, and in a perfect world death has no place.
However, dogs get very very sleepy. That's the thing, you see. They don't teach you that at the fancy university where they explain about quarks, gluons, and Keynesian economics. They know so much they forget that dogs never die. It's a shame, really. Dogs have so much to offer and people just talk a lot.
When you think your dog has died, it has just fallen asleep in your heart. And by the way, it is wagging its tail madly, you see, and that's why your chest hurts so much and you cry all the time. Who would not cry with a happy dog wagging its tail in their chest. Ouch! Wap wap wap wap wap, that hurts. But they only wag when they wake up. That's when they say: 'Thanks Boss! Thanks for a warm place to sleep and always next to your heart, the best place.'
When they first fall asleep, they wake up all the time, and that's why, of course, you cry all the time. Wap, wap, wap. After a while they sleep more. (remember, a dog while is not a human while. You take your dog for walk, it's a day full of adventure in an hour. Then you come home and it's a week, well one of your days, but a week, really, before the dog gets another walk. No WONDER they love walks.)
Anyway, like I was saying, they fall asleep in your heart, and when they wake up, they wag their tail. After a few dog years, they sleep for longer naps, and you would too. They were a GOOD DOG all their life, and you both know it. It gets tiring being a good dog all the time, particularly when you get old and your bones hurt and you fall on your face and don't want to go outside to pee when it is raining but do anyway, because you are a good dog. So understand, after they have been sleeping in your heart, they will sleep longer and longer.
But don't get fooled. They are not 'dead.' There's no such thing, really. They are sleeping in your heart, and they will wake up, usually when you're not expecting it. It's just who they are.
I feel sorry for people who don't have dogs sleeping in their heart. You've missed so much. Excuse me, I have to go cry now."
July 19, 2014
"The reality is that you will grieve forever, You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved on; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but, you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to." -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross & John Kessler
SEPT 2, 2014
Two years to the day that I said goodbye to you while I held you in my arms and the memories have the same effect on me-brings me to my knees remembering how much I loved you for 10 short years. Such a loss that left a hole in my heart. I have two small doggies, Quincy Jones & Freddie Mercury-I love them both but not the way I loved my Sophie Darling. Quincy sometimes just slowly turns his face toward me, looks straight into my eyes and holds the gaze for what seems a very long time. I confess I wonder sometimes when he does that if your spirit exists in him. He's such a gentle loving boy-and such a "mama's boy." Having him has helped me this past year & I needed that. Meanwhile, I'll keep you "sleeping in my heart."
SEPTEMBER 29th, 2014
Such a hard time I had around your death anniversary-i thought I would never stop crying. "A dog's life is short, profound, in the moment and full of unconditional love. That's why we love them so much and find it so hard to let them go." I feel I can never let you go...
DECEMBER 20, 2014
"I had given orders which brought death to thousands. Yet here I was stirred, profoundly stirred, stirred to tears. And by what? By the grief of one dog." -- Napoleon Bonaparte Such true heartfelt words, my dear Soph, not many days go by without me thinking about you- often bringing tears to my eyes and a sadness to my heart. Will this pain ever be dulled? god I miss you so...
"There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love [to dogs] while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price. "-Dean Koontz
APRIL 16, 2015
Though my visits to your memorial here on Rainbow Bridge are less frequent, I still have the very emotional response I have had since the first day I composed a few paragraphs. There are not many days that go by that I don't think of you and miss Sophie, my Baby Doll. I sometimes mistakenly call Quincy by Sophie's name-oh what dog you were to me...today I saw an article on Facebook about human/dog bonding & it certainly resonated with me...""Owner-dog bonding is comparable to parent-infant bonding," writes Takefumi Kikusui, from Azabu University in Japan, via email. "And this is surprising to us ... because there is not a reproductive relationship between humans and dogs." There's an actual Oxytocin release between human/dogs when gazing into each others' eyes. No wonder it's been so painful losing you Dear Soph.
MAY 10, 2015 Mothers' Day & I am without my favorite girrrl-I miss you so much.
JULY 18, 2015-went to Ocean Beach this morning and lost Freddie for for several minutes in the caves near the Cliff House. For a moment I relived what it was like when I lost you. Thank goodness he reappeared after about 10 minutes. I never again want to experience the devastation I endured after you died. I can still remember the day my friends carried your lifeless body out after you died & all I could do was scream. I still have moments of it when something happens to trigger it...
John Greene once said: " I don't think you can ever fill the empty space with the thing you lost."
August 15, 2015 As the date of your death approaches, I find myself wanting to tear up when I think of you-which is often. I saw this article "A Grief So Deep It Won't Die" in the NYT and read it with you in mind. god will this grief EVER die for me?
AUGUST 27, 2015-as the anniversary of your death approaches again I find myself crying at the mention or sight of your name, picture. I found a note from Tedi, one she wrote a year ago-she & D were intricate parts of your life-so many times you'd go upstairs & stay with her while I was working.
"ML-it's hard to believe 2 years has passed. Sophie remains a part of our everyday life. The boys talk about her on a regular basis. As if she was their dog. I guess in many ways she was, particularly with D.
I still see her on the back step in the morning waiting to be let in. How she startled me when someone walked to close to the house and I forgot she was even upstairs in the hallway. How she jumped up moments before the garage door opened when you got home from work....so many great memories!
Her personality is so big that we will forever be touched by her. Just seeing her picture brings back all sorts of wonderful memories.
We love her and miss her dearly! tedi"
SEPTEMBER 2, 2015 Three years since you left me-this is such a hard day for me-candles burning all over the house, tears streaming down my face, Quincy in my lap looking so deeply into my eyes. I feel like you're in there somewhere. I'm unable to motivate myself to do anything but mourn your death feeling so helpless, and full of pain. Will it ever end? I think not. god how I miss you here.
June 22, 2016. I have avoided coming to this page because it is STILL so painful but I saw a paragraph that reminded me of how I feel about you so I wanted to come & put it here so at some point I can see it again- "It hurts because it mattered. Our hearts break because they are full of love. Sometimes pain is so great that we wish we never loved at all. Think of their face, their laughter echoing. Think of how much they gave you in life. Death cannot defeat love." How so much I loved you my Baby Doll.
SEPT 2, 2016...4 years ago you died in my arms how very much I grieve for you & miss you still. you were my most favorite girl in all my life. I long for the day that I can remember you & no longer cry or feel the pain of your loss.
SEPTEMBER 2, 2017-Although it's been a year since I last posted, in no way does it indicate that I don't think of you. I do. Almost every day in one way or another, often with tears flowing down my face. I thought that the tears would stop by this time-5 years later, but they haven't. I was considering closing this site out but I find I can not do it. Below is a message from the group that I received in.my email this morning & reading it brought another storm of tears. So I will wait until the time those tears stop before considering closing this site out.

"Dear mary, Prayers are with you on this anniversary of your Sophie Darling's passing onto the Rainbow Bridge ahead of you. May you find comfort in knowing our Creator would never allow the innocence and unconditional love you shared with Sophie Darling to just be taken away from you forever. Each baby's life has meaning and purpose and the love we shared is sacred. A bond of love too strong to ever be broken, even when the physical body leaves us, the spirit remains. Hold onto to your Sophie Darling's love and spirit and use that special love for the good of others. mary, know that grief is not measured in time, but when the heart is dry of tears and your mind comes to acceptance, you will you begin to heal. Meanwhile, it is my hope this note let's you know you are not alone. Sending many prayers that you will continue to find comfort and heal."

DEAREST SOPH, I will spend all my living days remembering you & me together. You were one of a kind and losing you in 2012 was more grief felt than any other time in my life. I hope to never again experience that level of sadness & loss. RIP my BEST GIRL.

October, 2018...Another year & I miss you still. A friend emailed me a few weeks ago & said she was thinking of me because she knew it was the anniversary of your death. She lost her dog Duffy recently & is very cognizant of the pain I'm still experiencing from your loss. you were the love of my life & I suspect always will be. RIP my Sophie Darling

September 1, 2019, As the 7th anniversary of your death approaches, the pain remains although a bit more dull in feeling, but nevertheless still there. I sometimes think of all the times we went to Fort Funston, Stern Grove & the dog parks in The City. I now take my 2 Boyz, Quincy & Freddie to these same places but often think about you looking for me in the Sand Dunes when I'd hide on you-so adorable you were jumping on me when you finally found me. I so wish I could visit this site without tears flowing down my face. I miss you more than I can put in to words.
November 30, 2019, Thinking of you a lot these past few months-can not do it without crying. You are over my heart(tattoo), in my heart and you ARE my heart. I feel like this grief will never end.
March 2020- in the middle of this Covid-19 pandemic & think of you a lot, missing you so much.
Sept 1, 2020-Approaching the 8th year of your death, it's amazing how often I still think of you and still cry when I do. Missing you more than I can measure. Tomorrow will be especially hard. RIP my Baby Doll.
Sept 2, 2021-9 years ago today & missing my Baby Doll. in April, my best Boy Quincy was diagnosed with Lymphoma of the spleen, a very progressive cancer & knowing I'm going to lose him soon has been so difficult-Every day as he lays on the floor, I gently comb him all the while telling him how much I love him. It brings back some of the same grief I felt with your death. He is a very special dog to me-very much like you were & I know I'm going to mired in intense grief when he dies.

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