Herald Sun; Kelly Ryan, July 28 2011
THE sometimes snappy Sophie is a rare breed. She’s a live-in, permanent “pound hound” who detests the vet staff working around her all day, but who refuses to be adopted out.
The last time her kindly carers found her a good home she took off just four hours later and remained on the run for four long years.
Muzzled by day because she menaces any vet or vet nurse who crosses her path, the aged blue heeler loves nothing more than to curl up with the office cat at the Australian Animal Protection Society where she lives.
“She’s anything but aggressive – she’s actually a bit of a softie,” said Society treasurer Christine Giles.
“It’s just anyone who works in the vet clinic, she just can’t stand the smell of them and lunges and lashes out.”
Attempts to find the 11-year-old a family have so far failed.
Last time she was adopted out, Sophie was taken from the Keysborough shelter to a large property at Launching Place, 60km to the north.
With dogged determination, she quickly vanished. When they discovered she had disappeared the same day she left them, distressed staff scoured many suburbs for weeks on end.
“She was a really lovely dog and we were all terribly upset,” Ms Giles said.
There’s no doubt the staff hold the old girl close to their hearts. Ms Giles arrived at work yesterday with a plate of freshly cooked silverside for her.
“Everyone takes a turn once a week to make her a roast treat to make her feel special,” she said.
There is little fear that Sophie will leave again.
“Look, it’s probably too hard to adopt her now because she was on the run for so long she’s now 11 and she’s a bit scruffy to look at,” said Ms Giles.
“And the muzzle probably puts them off too, even though she’d never bite anyone, well, no one who isn’t a vet.”