She Lost Everything And Her World Crumbled–Her Dog Was The Only Thing That Brought Hope

A year ago, nearly to the day, the woman you are about to meet lost everything. Her husband of 22 years came home four months after their last child moved out of the house and said, “I’m done.”

At the time, she had no job, no car, and nowhere to go. She moved into her son’s old room in an attic with the only things she had left in the world: her Pitt Bull and her laptop.

That woman is me. That Pitt Bull’s name is Sophie, and she helped me save my own life last year.

Let me tell you our story.


I am the woman that your mother warned you never to become. The woman that stayed with the man for 22 years, only to get dumped as soon as the kids move on. It happened out of the blue. One day I knew exactly what was going on in my life and the next I had no husband, no home, no car, and no way to get any of it.

When I say I had nothing, I really mean I had nothing. I had to sell a treasured pin I had just to eat in the early days. My mother had to bring me food because I didn’t have a car to get it for myself. I was trapped. I wanted to go to a shelter but knew that if I did, I would have to give up my dog. Obviously, that was out of the question.

I had no choice but to remain in the same house with a man who wanted nothing more than rid of me.

The early days are mostly a blur. In that time, I remember spending most of my time in the fetal position, utterly broken. I spent hours that way. I was so angry, at first, that I spent days with clenched fists, screaming and crying.

To say I was broken would be an understatement. I was utterly broken with no idea what would happen to me, visions of myself on the street. I was lost and alone, except for one very vital four-legged friend, and my laptop.


In all that time, the only thing I remember clearly is the look in her eyes. Sophie girl would lay beside me and just stare at me. Never, at any moment, did I suffer alone. I took this photo in those early days. You can see her concern for me.

When I felt like giving up and ending it all, and I did… often, she would nudge my hand with her snout as if she could read my mind. She helped me to hold on even when I didn’t want to.


Because Sophie never gave up on me, I never gave up on myself. There were many days that I was only okay because she needed me to be, but that was enough to get me through it. Before long, I was getting stronger.

Within a few months, I had the beginnings of a plan. I started to knock the cobwebs off my fingers, and I realized that maybe I could write for a living. I got really lucky, and I found someone willing to give me a chance to do precisely that.

Sophie had helped me hold on long enough; it was time for me to rescue both of us. (please forgive the mess in this photo, I was not in a good place)

It was time to leave the attic forever. Together.

He came home and said he was done in March. By September of that year, I was getting in the $1000 car that was part of my divorce agreement, and Sophie and I were on our way to New York and our new life.


Thanks to the people that run this site and others like it, I can work from anywhere.

Sophie and I got to New York, and we have been here the whole winter. I didn’t think she liked the snow, and I was delighted to find out I was wrong. Sophie not only loves the snow, but she also loves New York, and so do I.

We moved around a lot when we first got here, but we were never separated. Sophie spent the worst year of my entire life right by my side. She never left me, not for a second. I am not afraid to admit that she saved my life hundreds of times. Alone, in the dark, with nothing left to live for… except her.

That brings us to today. Today, Sophie and I have a wonderful forever home. She has a pack, and so do I. Getting to write about the things I love all day long is a wonderful perk. I sit here writing this, Sophie is tucked up underneath my legs, like always.

I spend my days fighting not only for animals, but I write about politics, and I fight for people too. She gives me the strength daily to fight for her and doggos like her around the globe who only want to provide us with their unconditional love.

Thanks for letting me share our story.

Below is a video of Sophie with her new best friend, Charlie.

Do you have a story like mine about a pet saving your life in one way or another? Tell us about it in the comments.

Posted by Heather McTygue on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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