I always look forward to Facebook reminding me what I was up to on this day a year ago, two years ago, a decade ago. Yesterday afternoon I was reminded that two years ago today my (then) girlfriend and I went to Griffith Park for lunch, and then to The Alcove in Los Feliz for coffee.
It was only a few days ago that Facebook reminded me that Gingit passed away on that date – June 5, 2019. Liza and I went to Griffith Park for the first time that day and I had a great opportunity to see a lot of dogs. So as we sat there sharing a sandwich, she gave me a list of maybe a dozen criteria that a dog would have to meet before she would consider adopting one. I was still mourning Gingit and I was not thinking about another dog.
Three hours later, as we sat on the patio at The Alcove, a scruffy little girl named Sophie walked in. She was with her foster family. I love all dogs, but Liza was truly smitten by this girl. We spoke with the foster dad (Zeeshan) at length; he told us that he and his wife were fostering her for an organization called Dogs Without Borders, and that they were looking for a forever family for her.
Liza suggested we adopt her.
Let me put the summer of 2019 into perspective so that you can appreciate how crazy that idea must have sounded:
- Two weeks later, Liza was taking her daughter to Europe and Israel for six weeks.
- A week after that, I was flying to Canada and Cuba for 11 days.
- Liza and her daughter would return at the beginning of August, and the next few weeks would be a whirlwind of getting the daughter prepped to go away to university on the east coast.
- It was only after Liza returned from the east coast (taking the daughter to school and then a stop in New York) that she and I would actually be living together… maybe September 10.
I suggested to Liza that I applauded her enthusiasm, and that we should go about our summer, and then start looking for a dog when she got home… mid-September.
No. She wanted Sophie.
While things between Liza and I did not work out, I want to say this about that: Thank G-d I did not fight her on this topic.
I exchanged e-mails with the agency starting that evening; Monday evening I had my phone interview with the CEO. Wednesday Sophie was having ‘her surgery.’ Friday after work I met Liza at Zeeshan’s apartment. We left with Sophie, and were now on a trial foster-to-adopt plan. We went to PetSmart and picked up whatever accessories we might need… and to Trader Joe’s for food. Sophie took her first steps to joining my family that night.
A couple of weeks later, Liza and her daughter were in Georgia. I took Sophie to the PetSmart in Beverly Hills to the adoption clinic. When the papers were all signed, we picked out a new collar, a leash (both purple – her favourite colour), and we engraved a tag with her name on it. Sophie was officially a Garvis.
The next day Sophie had her first trip to the spa to have her hair and nails done, and she looked absolutely gorgeous. Later that evening I was speaking with a friend in Canada, a fellow dog lover. She saw how sweet and precious Sophie was and said that she had to be a Princess. It did not take long for that to become her official title, and a few days later her ID card (yes, she has an ID card) was printed with her name, Princess Sophie Garvis.
Things happen for a reason. The scruffy girl we met at Los Feliz checked all of Liza’s boxes… and none of mine. I have never been so happy to say how wrong I would have been to judge a book by its cover. Princess Sophie truly is the greatest dog… everyone agrees. We are nearly sixteen months into the Coronapocalypse, and I have been single and living alone for nearly fourteen months. I cannot imagine how much worse it would have been without my Princess.