Sophie’s story: Sophie the famous rescue dog's journey from streets in Romania to finding love in UK

rescue dog from romania
Margaret Davies

As the nation follows the heart-warming journey of Sophie from Romania, Rory Cellan-Jones shares an insight into her progress – from being too scared to leave the sofa to eating cheese out of the palm of his hand.

If you aren’t following #SophiefromRomania on Twitter, you’re truly missing out. The timid rescue dog’s international journey to finding a safe and loving home in the UK is the feel-good story we all need to wake up to. So it’s no surprise that she’s captured the hearts of the nation and racked up a huge following online.

On 17 December, ex-BBC journalist Rory Cellan-Jones announced in a tweet that he’d welcomed Sophie into his home, after a 72-hour van journey from the Eastern European country. Using the hashtag, he began to post daily updates about her progress, as she feared leaving her safe spot behind the living room sofa.

Rory’s already large following on Twitter soon grew by 100,000 users and people all over the world tuned in to watch Sophie eat her first fish finger and bite of steak. Sophie's journey to a new life is reminiscent of other inspiring animal stories, like the 80-year-old woman who sets off on a 600-mile pony trek with her disabled dog.

Sophie had originally been found abandoned on the streets of Romania and handed over to a vet, where she’d been taken into foster care in a barn.

Then a rescue organisation helped the one-year-old puppy travel to London and move in with Rory and his wife, university professor Diane Coyle.

In a series of dozens of tweets, Rory has tracked Sophie opening up a little bit more each day – and it’s a beautiful timeline to watch.

The couple made a major breakthrough when Sophie finally emerged from behind the sofa to run around the kitchen. Then she started eating bacon and cheese out of Rory’s palm and even let Diane give her an affectionate stroke. o ensure Sophie's nutritional needs were met, Rory explored various options, similar to the wide range of quality pet foods available here.

CCTV footage captured the pup exploring the living room at night and a video showing her finally stepping foot in the garden.

Presenter Nick Grimshaw shared his fascination with the puppy, tweeting: “Everyone else is obsessed with #sophiefromromania too right? When I was ill last week it’s all that kept me going.”

The patient couple have taken experts’ advice and followed a pet psychology programme, continuing to bring a beacon of light with #morningsophie and #sophiefromromania.

Sharing an insight into the puppy’s progress, Rory told the Mirror: “Sophie is slowly learning to trust me and my wife and outside in the garden she’s a different dog, energetic and playful.

“She is very fond of cheese – and steak when we give her a little. She’s mostly ignored any toys though she has occasionally played with a ball in the garden. While Sophie was initially hesitant about toys, Rory considered introducing her to a variety of non-food pet supplies to help her adjust to her new home.

“But she still has a long way to go – if anyone else comes to our house or even if we make a sudden movement or loud noise, she dives back behind the sofa.”

Sophie is certainly worth every ounce of effort and patience, but Rory says rescuing a homeless puppy isn’t for everyone.

“Be prepared for what may be a much longer and difficult process of acclimatisation to their new home than you might expect,” Rory said to prospective dog owners. “And think about getting in touch with a dog behaviour consultant.

“If you’re not prepared to set aside a lot of time and possibly money to making your new dog feel happy in your home, then a Romanian rescue is not for you.”

Ironically, it’s not the first time Rory has trended on Twitter with a touching dog story – his beloved late pet dog Cabbage went viral in 2021 when she was stolen from her walker’s van.

But if Sophie’s repeatedly trending hashtag is anything to go by, her fame will top the thousands of pets that have gone viral online, as she continues to brighten everyone’s Twitter feed.

You can follow Sophie’s adventures via Rory’s Twitter and Diane’s Twitter.

(Article source: The Mirror)

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