Sophie was an extra special dog. She was an older dog; her health wasn’t good; she had terrible breath and could be a bit of a drama queen. I adopted her when she was, according to Dr Stoffman, about 14. I knew I wouldn’t have her for long and I didn’t. We were together for just about 23 months but we lived many lifetimes in that short span of time.

We were rarely apart and when she developed diabetes, she’d get up several times in the night to go for a quick walk. It meant I had another opportunity to hold her and tell her how much I loved her. After she developed diabetes she couldn’t sleep on the bed any more. She needed access to water 24/7 but she was unable to get on or off the bed on her own. I moved one of her beds right next to my bed and she’d wake me up with the sound of her pitter patter as she walked to her water bowl. After she’d had her drink, I’d remake her bed and she’d sigh with contentment as she snuggled down again and would fall instantly asleep. She’d snore; she’d snore like some old geezer after a night on the town.

There’s so much to say about Sophie and what she meant to me that I cannot find the words. I miss her dear little face, her bad breath, her terrible behaviour every morning when she had to have her needle which was instantly followed by her happy dance. I miss the way she’d peer at me (she had cataracts) with one leg raised and ears on alert (she was going deaf) when there was the possibility of a car ride or a piece of imported Brie coming her way. I miss all the cuddles, the way she’d sit upright in my arms with her front paws in a begging position, I miss the way she could disappear under her blankets in the blink of an eye, I miss the smiles that she brought to the faces of all her human friends in the neighbourhood. I miss Sophie.

Sophie weighed 11lbs but she was a universe of love and she left a black hole in me when she died. I will never forget her and I will never stop loving her but I have someone else who is helping to fill that enormous void: Reg, my 12lb spark of energy who lights up a room with his gusto for life.