Following the unexpected death of her husband, Kathleen Moore Howard's two dogs, Pie and Sofie, have served as her comforting companions.
Pie, a 10-year-old Cockapoo, has been blind for the past few years, but that doesn't stop her from keeping up with Sofie or Howard. Pie was adopted by Howard at a fundraiser in 2013 at Garvan Woodland Gardens.
Full of energy, 8-year-old Sofie is a Labrador retriever that Howard and her late husband got after their previous Labrador died of cancer.
Howard has relied on her dogs to get her through the loss of her husband.
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"They've just been wonderful companions," she said. "I lost my husband unexpectedly. Oh my God, I just leaned on them. They both were here when my husband was here, so it's still part of our family, if that makes sense. I live for these guys, and they live for me, so we have a good relationship."
Pie and Sofie are quite the combo and keep Howard company. This year, she said she splurged and bought a golf cart for Christmas which she and the dogs pile into and take rides around the neighborhood.
Sofie spends her days swimming in Lake Hamilton on Howard's waterside property. Howard said she has a duck toy she throws in the lake for Sofie to fetch.
"She's happy to go to stores, she's happy to do anything -- every day is like a big deal," she said about Sofie.
Howard said Pie is just "happy to be with her mama."
"You know, like if I was that person that slept in in the morning, she'd be right there, you know, sleeping," she said. "She's just happy to be in the moment. She doesn't care. But Sofie loves that adventure."
Sofie's adventurous side and retriever blood have led to some interesting things showing up on Howard's doorstep, like a cellphone or two. More commonly, though, it is a copy of The Sentinel-Record, which Sofie diligently fetches every Sunday.
"I think everybody should have a dog," Howard said. "Everybody should have a dog."
Tail Tales is a weekly feature of The Sentinel-Record showcasing the pets of Garland County residents. To share a unique story about your pet, email [email protected].