Our Chris Andoe, on the death of his dog Sophie

In 2006, we found Sophie limping down the street in Oklahoma City.

I called to her and she came right up and wanted to come inside.

I gave her food and water, then we called the Golden Retriever Rescue to pick her up. She was in horrible shape with a cut paw and hundreds of ticks of all shapes and sizes. This was around nine in the morning.

At about 4:30 in the afternoon, I went out back to find my husband Damon bathing her and picking off ticks as he wept. He said he just couldn’t stand the thought of them being all over her.

Seeing as she was baptized in his tears, I knew she was now ours.

Sophie and our other dog, Brawny the yorkie.

Sophie and our other dog, Brawny the yorkie, who would dutifully clean Sophie’s eyes each and every morning.

We didn’t know what to name her, and toyed with a few names until one evening we went for a walk through the neighborhood with our friend Trish and her dogs. One short street was more like an alley because four backyards faced it, each with at least one barking dog. It was always chaos walking through there with those dogs barking and our dogs barking back. I looked at her, and she was limping along with a big smile and I immediately thought of the dinner scene in the Color Purple when after being so sad, Sophie starts laughing and saying, “Sophia home now! Sophia home!”

Sophie and Brawny have two daddies.

Sophie and Brawny have two daddies.

For seven years Sophie’s been part of our family. Each morning, Brawny (our yorkie) would clean Sophie’s eyes as she lobbied us for walks, rides and treats.

Sophie's last moments, surrounded by her family.

Sophie’s last moments, surrounded by her family.

Sophie enjoyed playing with dogs, but truly loved people. At the park she would approach each and every bench to greet everyone, and this brought a great deal of joy to the homeless and mentally ill. One such woman greeted her daily and when she saw someone shoo Sophie away she hugged her and said “Don’t you worry about them Sophie!”

Sophie had cancer and was wasting away. We said we’d make our end of life decision when she no longer enjoyed the things she loved, and that day was yesterday.

She’s traveled with us through eight states and down countless trails. Last night we went to her favorite sunny spot by the bay where she just rested in the grass.

She was too tired to be nervous as we got to the vet. I spread out my hoodie and she laid down resting her head on my lap. She passed surrounded by her family.

Farewell old friend.


Chris Andoe
Chris Andoe is an author and seasoned activist. After meeting John Aravosis at a Chicago “StopDrLaura.com” protest in 2000, Chris was inspired to organize his own major demonstrations in St. Louis, which drew national attention. Since then, his activism has revolved around LGBT, affordable housing, and mass transit issues. In 2011 Andoe made headlines taking on the amorphous hacker group Anonymous for publishing nude photos of a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesperson, saying “Puritanical shame-based tactics have no place in the capital of sexual liberation”, and he extensively covered San Francisco's jarring gentrification, from mass evictions to the nudity ban. Andoe was on the ground in Ferguson at the height of the unrest, recording events as they unfolded. Always in the fray, Andoe’s been interviewed by NPR, CBS, and has been quoted from CNN to The St. Louis Post Dispatch.

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