Sophia, Shar Pei Mix

Sophia, a 2 year old Shar Pei mixMeet MAIN’s newest rescue, sweet 2 year old Sophia. Sophia was found abandoned, staggering down a molten sidewalk in Phoenix’s infamous summer. Infested with more than 1,000 blood-sucking ticks, she has been denied (presumably since day one) any basic right to health or happiness – and as we gaze upon her emaciated and tick-ridden body, we can’t fathom who or what could allow this to continue day in and day out for however long she’s endured this level of neglect.

As of now, on 9-11, she can no longer stand. She can barely muster the energy needed to pick her head up from the floor. She is, by all rights, a shell of what any dog of her breed and her age should be. Yet, she keeps functioning and she keeps hoping that someone, somewhere will stop to help her.

As Don carries her to his car, her head hanging to the side in exhaustion, he reluctantly walks her past a room filled with dog owners that repeatedly ask “Is she dead?” “Not yet” was his reply over and over again. Not yet Sophia.. Just hold on, because we’re here for you now, and in the two minutes we’ve known you, 100 volunteers already love you and in the morning, 10,000 will feel the same way, as you will come to know the unstoppable and limitless love of the MAIN Family.

He spoke softly to her on the way to the hospital, and from the way that she stared at him, he believes she knew what he was saying. That his kindness that he showed her today would pale in comparison to what she would come to know when the world met her. When they watched her begin to heal. When they saw her run and play for the first time in a long time.. “This” he whispered, “is nothing, sweet girl..”

Sophia, a 2 year old Shar Pei mixShe is carried thought the door of the hospital, past other dogs waiting to be seen. Straight past all of them, because here – it’s the worst cases that are seen first. The others can wait.. Sophia has waited long enough – and now, she is literally out of time. Kind nurses and doctors usher her through the crowded waiting room and into the back, where tests begin immediately and gentle hands reassure her that she can finally –FINALLY – relax and let them help her.

It’s nothing that she’s ever had the privilege of knowing before, but she knows it all the same – these doctors, nurses, people, souls are all here just for her now. Nothing – NOTHING – is more important than Sophia… She breathes a sigh of relief and she collapses – having given everything that she could possibly give of herself. The rest, now, is up to everyone else – and she closes her eyes.

Tonight, the 100 volunteers that already know of Sophia all pray that we’ve found her in time. When you meet her through these photos and through her video, we know that you’ll join us – and in no time, 10,000 or more will pray for her peace and health. For Sophia, this is all new. The caring compassion and healing energy that fill her kennel and fill her neglected and riddled body is something she’s never known before tonight. For all of us at MAIN, well – we know all of you pretty well already. We expect the unexpected and we anticipate the miracles.

If you can contribute to Sophia’s medical bills, thank you SO much…

You Can Be Sophia's Hero!

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Sophia’s Updates:

We are so sorry to report that Sophia has crossed the Rainbow Bridge…run free and happy, beautiful girl.
Sophia says hi to her new foster momSept. 26th: It’s another very sad day for MAIN. We lost Sophia yesterday. It was very sudden and unexpected. Our hearts are broken once again. Our vets think it was possibly a spider bite, a scorpion bite or a small snake bite. All of a sudden her head swelled up on one side and she had a huge ulceration inside of her mouth. We sent some stat blood work off to the lab, tried to reduce the swelling, everything we could…. but she died in the meantime. A huge thank you to the Bethany Animal Hospital crew for working so hard to try and figure out what was wrong and to her foster mom Lisa for taking immediate action when she knew something was wrong. Run free Sophia. xoxo
Update from Sophia’s foster mom, Sept. 18th: Sophia is better in some ways, the same in others. Absolutely no more ticks – the skin on the inside of her ears has some areas that are still rough, but now normal skin color – and the vet cleaned out her ears today – no infections, just lots of dead ticks and ear wax down in there. Her vision is a different story. For now, she appears to be blind in her right eye (maybe a retinal hemorrhage from the clot problems associated with tick fever?) – might come back, might not. At least SOME vision on the left (she doesn’t walk into things, but she has trouble with depth perception). Some pain/stiffness in her left hind leg – she favors it but xrays showed nothing – and she WILL use it when I take her out to walk. Her red blood cell indicators are better – even since the transfusion. But her protein counts are up – likely from the massive immune response to all of this, but that makes her blood thick and hard to pump. She IS eating – probably not enough, but we’re working on that. Thus far, a few tail wags and she gets a little more animated (ie, she WAKES UP) when one of us walks into the room, but no licking/barking as yet. SWEET SWEET dog!
Sophia Sept. 23rdFrom Sophia’s foster mom, Sept. 14th: Sohia is doing ok but she still has no reserves. I had to carry her up the stairs to give her a bath. She makes it outside to pee/poop, but then she has to sleep for five hours to make up for all the effort. Only two of my dogs have met her “face to face” without the crate in between – she’s just so fragile, and she’s so weak, I don’t want the other dogs to overwhelm her with “play time.” She IS eating….every time she’s awake, she’s chowing down on something. So THAT’s working….it’s just going to take time. I have gotten a couple of tail thumps and a “lean in” to be petted. She doesn’t bark at ALL. I’m wondering if that’s permanent or if she’s just too tired to give it a shot. She certainly has patience. We spent over an hour in the bathtub, scrubbing off blood clots and dead ticks. She sure LOVES my husband!
Update Sept. 13th: Sophia has tested positive for Tick Fever (which should come as no surprise given the photos of her ears) and has begun the first blood transfusion. She hanging in there – so thank you EVERYONE for keeping her in your thoughts today! Normal hematocrit (blood count) for a dog is around 45- Sophia’s was only 15!! It’s also apparent that she has had multiple litters of pups- probably bred from her first heat. 🙁