In Loving Memory

Celebrating Sophia 2011 – 2018

We first saw Sophia on a cold winter night, as the volunteers of the shelter in Treviso had finally freed the Italian Jewels after a long hard struggle. There seemed an endless flood of photos of these beautiful but terribly thin and distressed Spinoni.

Sophia was immediately recognisable with her white coat, sweet expression and lovely long ears, but so scared from her dreadful years of confinement and abuse.

Once in the safe hands of the shelter, she began to improve, and realise that not all humans were bad. Her fur began to grow back, she put on weight and the beautiful Spinone that she always was began to emerge.

She began to play with her fellow Jewels, and enjoy the world outside the dark shed that she’d suffered for so long.

..and made many friends with her loving carers at the shelter.

We began to look for homes for all the Italian Jewels.

Sophia had a wonderful offer to live in Cumbria with Shelagh and her pack. Her new family was waiting for her…

And the shelter prepared the Jewels to travel. It was an emotional day for everyone, especially all the volunteers that worked so hard to save these dogs, and start them on the road to rehabilitation.

Volunteers with some more of the Italian Jewels, as they say goodbye and wish them a happy new life

All dogs were safely boarded.

And so brave Sophia made the long journey to the UK


In Holland, the first dogs (Fer, Imo and Piera)  were met by their new owners. Thank you Astrid and Rien for taking pictures of every dog so that the new owners could see them on their way. This was a long night for all of us…but Sophia travelled well and was calm.


Home at last, in a house full of music, creativity, animals and love, she began to recuperate and let her sweet character blossom.

Growing in confidence, she explored the garden and settled into her her life.

She learned that people were kind.


She slept peacefully on a soft warm bed

and loved to cuddle, whether a kitten…

…or a friend

A sweet, loving and cheeky Spinone character emerged – she loved to ‘sing’, and to look out of the window with a friend.

Her world grew slowly bigger…walking in beautiful Cumbria, where she chased butterflies happily, regaining her fitness.

…napping under her favourite pear tree…


and going on the caravan holidays that she adored.

Tragically, Sophia became ill whilst on one of the caravan holidays that she loved so much. It was though to be a perforated ulcer and she passed on the way to the vet, with Shelagh. She had just passed her seventh birthday.

She was laid  to rest under the pear tree that she loved so much in life.

Sophia had wonderful years with Shelagh and Dan, we all wish that they could have been longer but no-one could have loved her more or cared for her better. We all miss hearing about her exploits and seeing her sweet face.

Her half-siblings Massimo and Piera, her aunt Isotta and uncle Ino, and her niece Veva all continue to thrive in their new lives. All our thoughts are with Shelagh, Dan, and their pack who must all miss her terribly. Sweet dreams, darling Sophia. <3