Sophie’s Story

Sophie at Saks event for ASPCA

A little jetsetter from a very tender age, Sophie began life at Plushcourt Kennels, in Oxfordshire,England. As a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, hers is a primitive breed over 2,000 years old, although only recently added to the American Kennel Club breed listings in 2010.

It is believed Podengos came to Portugal with the Phoenicians as ratters on their ships and becamerabbit hunters on land. They are fiercely courageous little dogs and were used to ferret the rabbits out of holes, brush and high places, going where no other dogs would dare go. And doing it with gusto!

Sophie came to us as one of the last two in the litter, with the very British given name of Midge. Her dad (my husband) Stanley Young, drove up from London during a business trip, picked our new little girl up and the journey began, a very long journey, indeed.

With it being illegal to transport a dog in or out of the UK in the cabin of a plane and unwilling to put our new little 3.5 pound pup in cargo, we got creative. Can anyone say car adventure?

Stanley can and did, beginning a night-long drive from Oxfordshire to Folkstone,
onto the chunnel, under the English Channel to Calais, France and down to Paris, one hand on the wheel and the other stroking Sophie in her crate. Some ten hours later, he and a very wilted little dog were parked in the British Airways lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport. She flew on her daddy’s chest across the ocean, and arrived that afternoon at her new home in the fashion capital of New York City.

And it’s been a family adventure ever since. A feisty, fun-loving, social and very sweet little dog,Sophie, like many families with pets can attest, has made our lives infinitely richer.We are Delta Society Pet Partners, visiting an adult day care center and a school for severely disabled children each week. She thrives during those visits, calmly letting people pet her, brush her and kiss her. And yes, throw fun toys and give her lots of treats!

Sophie has trained at agility, a strong sport for Podengos. She goes to physical therapy for her little knees, which tend to come out of their sockets. She has play dates and loves her people and dog friends alike, those very large ears tilting back adoringly and her little tush rocking like crazy when she sees them coming. And like most young girls, she has a Facebook and Twitter account (obviously!).

So when I retired from my PR career and the journey took me to designing collections for dogs, Sophie very quickly became my muse. And she’s a fashion maven herself! She parades around in hercoats like she knows she’s got it going on! Couture by Sophie is in her honor. This happy little dog, who helped me start it all, brings a smile to so many faces, from so many walks of life.What better business partner can a girl have!

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