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 Sophie

Attached for your website is a picture of Sophie, who my husband and I adopted in April when she was 5 months old. We certainly had our ups and downs with Sophie in the beginning. First, she was so shy and afraid of people-men in particular-that we could hardly get her to come out of her crate and began to put her food and water in it just to make sure she ate. We weren't sure she would ever want to be part of our family and wondered if she would be happier elsewhere, but she gradually began to come around and we figured all was well. Then, she developed a limp and was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia. We were now faced with a dilemma: We did not want to put her through a painful surgery, especially at such a young age, and risk losing her hard-won trust completely, and we certainly did not want to give her up. I began to do some research on alternative treatments and found a wonderful vet who has had great success using homeopathic remedies to treat both emotional and health problems. Sophie has been on these for a couple of months. Her limp is completely gone, she loves to run and play with our 3-year-old golden, she is gaining confidence and now goes to doggy daycare twice a week. She loves hanging out with the other dogs and is often a topic of conversation with the other dog owners.

My advice to anyone who finds they adopted a dog that is not quite what they expected is, don't give up! The challenges might be great, but the rewards are far greater. Don't be afraid to ask questions of anyone who might be able to help you, even if you think you're making a pest of yourself. Your dog is depending on you to find the answers. I would like to acknowledge two people who have been infinitely patient with me in my quest for answers. They are Carol Stewart, who adopted Sophie's mother Ellie, and Jean Dargie, owner of Pedigree Playland in Westboro . The advice and support of these two women has been invaluable.

And, of course, thank you Shirley for your understanding and for bringing Sophie into our lives. She is truly a wonderful addition to our family.

Sincerely,

Janis Bilodeau

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