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Sophie & Cleo

The wisest people I have ever met have been little children. Innocent wisdom seems to be light that they miraculously shine on the rest of us.

Many years ago, shortly after my daughter and her now husband were newly married, they got a tiny dog and a big dog. Sophie and Cleo were their first pre-children family. As the years passed by, my daughter and her husband had a son and then a couple years later there came a daughter and then finally, another son. And as the human babies grew into active children their dog babies slowly became old and gray and they were loved more and more as each year went by. After a many years of being a beloved family member, Sophie became old and frail and sickly and she passed away. A lot of tears flowed from the entire family and the little dog that was there since before the children were born was suddenly gone. One day not long after Sophie died, their seven-year-old daughter made a comment about Sophie, as if she were still alive. When her mother questioned her about it, she replied, “Sophie is still with us, Mom. She’ll always be with us.” And when she said it, she was not sad and not moping. It was a straight forward comment and there was no doubt in her mind that Sophie was still living with the family.

Fast forward a few more months and Cleo, who was old and gray and struggling, followed Sophie. Once again there were tears and now for the first time since they had become a family, my daughter and her husband and their children had no dogs in the house. A day or two after Cleo passed away, their daughter came down stairs with a piece of paper in her hand. She went to the office and got some tape and came back out and taped it to a small stool. When her mother asked what she was doing, her wonderful little girl had an amazing answer.

“I drew a picture of Sophie and Cleo. I’m going outside to play and I’m taking them with me.” And out the door they all went. The little girl and her two dogs. All alive and well and playing in the yard. That night, she asked her father if the dogs should sleep in her room, or would he like them in his room. Sophie and Cleo slept with Mom and Dad that night.

Those who leave us behind remain alive in those of us who knew and loved them. If you have any doubt about it, ask a child.


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