Sophia Loren – A guest post
We have a doggie friend who is sooooo cute and fashionable. Her name is Sophia Loren and she is a Pomeranian with so much style, she can’t be contained. We first met Sophia Loren when her mom purchased a Roxy doggie necklace and matching bracelet. Then her mom bought her a beaded RondyDog. I’m telling you, this dog is stylin’. But that’s nothing compared to what Sophia has been up to lately. She has been to New York, and walked in a couple of doggie runway shows. Do you believe it! So cool. We are honored and thrilled to have Sophia as a friend.
Her mom, Anne, had sent me Sophia’s very interesting and wonderful story to share with you guys.
I just came back from Fashion Week in New York City with my little Pomeranian Sophia Loren who walked in 4 different shows. My little girl is a precious little pup who is 2 ½ years old. Honestly, if you had known us when Sophia Loren was adopted, you would never have thought that this little ball of fluff would be walking ANYWHERE!
Sophia is a rescue from New Mexico. I don’t know much about what happened to her before I adopted her at 5 months but I do know that she was so scared and terrified of everything. She was sick on the entire ride home to Los Angeles and for months refused to walk on a leash or come out and play like a normal puppy would. Rather, she would sleep underneath the sofa and only come out to eat if no one was around.
I searched for a trainer that would understand what was going on with Sophia. There was nothing physically wrong with her but she obviously had trust issues and was terrified of everything and every little noise that she heard. I went through about 6 different trainers and various courses before I found the perfect trainer for both Sophia and I. I met a wonderful trainer, Jonathan Klein of ,”I Said Sit!” in Los Angeles. He basically interviewed Sophia and me together. He wanted to see how she acted in a regular situation. He was very patient and kind and this was one of the first times Sophia responded to someone, especially a man in a positive way. Little by little he was able to show Sophia that she could be brave and be safe around us. We went to private classes for a while and then a few months into it, Sophia when into extensive training 5 days a week for a month where the school would pick her up in the morning (yes in a doggie school bus!), take her to class where she learned basic obedience and socialization and then dropped off back at home in the evening. I had a private one on one class with her once a week as well. It was amazing to see the transformation in this little dog and most surprising, myself throughout the training. She would walk on the leash at school until she saw me and then she would stop mid walk and dig her little paws in the ground. Throughout the months Sophia’s confidence grew and we attended more classes like tricks, agility and more recently, acting for dogs!
I also explored organic food and Eastern/techniques to deal with the ‘inner’ dog and try to understand why she still had some fears. I found a technique called, Healing Touch for Animals (HTA), that technician, Annette Ramseyer worked on Sophia. The best way I can describe it is, Reiki on steroids. It works with the energy of the cells helping the animal heal physically and emotionally from the inside out. After the first session, Sophia bloomed. She was really outgoing and confident. So much so that her acting trainer said that she should go to HTA prior to every class. She was more accepting of everyone and acted like a very happy dog. This would provide to be very beneficially just three months later when I was told that Sophia needed an operation on both back legs for medial patellar luxation. Her left leg was so bad that her ligaments were stretched out from the bone riding on it rather than the socket. I went for several consultations with doctors until I settled on a wonderful surgeon, Dr. Stephen Bilbrey at the Animal Speicality Group in Los Angeles. The surgery went beautifully but Sophia would not eat. I called Annette and asked her what we could do. She went with me to see Sophia and did a session of HTA on her in the examination room and Sophia started to eat and continued to do so for the staff after we left. I really believe that Sophia’s success in her surgery was due to an amazing surgeon, her initial obedience training so that she knew her commands and crate training, and the wonderful techniques of HTA and the great food that she gets from The Petstraunt in Sherman Oaks.
That leads us up to Fashion Week 2013. Around November 2012, Sophia Loren won a Halloween Contest at a fundraiser for the Amanda Foundation in Beverly Hills. It was a super hero theme and Sophia was Poison Ivy. She took first place and her picture landed in many newspapers and she was on the news. It was a brilliant costume designed by Roni Penberthy of Hobo Cwab in San Francisco. (see Photo)
Literally, overnight, I began to get calls from NY asking if she was a professional model and invitations to walk the runways in New York. Designers were calling me wanting Sophia Loren to wear their designs. After a few days of tossing the idea in my mind, we decided to go to New York.
Sophia Loren was now a true model. We had to decide what outfits she would wear in each show and work on her training to have the confidence to walk in such a public forum.
Sophia Loren Pre New Fashion Week. Walking the red carpet at the SPCALA Anniversary Fundraiser on the Santa Monica Pier. Dress from the Hobo Cwab Mermaid Collection
Sophia is a trooper. She did beautifully on the long plane trip from Los Angeles to New York. Even in the taxi to the hotel, Sophia looked excited to see all the new sights. We got an amazing welcome at the hotel where people in the lobby recognized Sophia Loren from her Facebook photos. Along with Fashion Week, it was also the start of the Westminster Dog Show so the hotel was full of beautiful dogs.
The first runway show was The New Yorkie Runway at The New Yorker Hotel. It is a celebrity dog fashion show that benefits Angel on a Leash that helps to fund more therapy dogs for the community. Sophia was one of 10 dogs that were chosen as finalists based on votes on a video and audition that we did. David Frei, the voice of Westminster along with Alyssa Campanell, Miss USA 2011, were the emcees.
On the red carpet in the New Yorkie Runway show. Posing with the voice of Westminster, David Frei
Gearing up for her first NYC runway show. Dress and hat by MaxMilian Dog Fashions and tiara by L.Sue Proudfoot Smith
The next runway was, The Formally Pre Westminster Dog Fashion Show at The Pennsylvanian Hotel in Manhattan. The theme of this show was the Roarin’ 20’s and Sophia modeled two Haute Couture designer gowns.
The third runway show was, the Doggies and Tiaras Pageant at the New Yorker Hotel. This was like a human beauty pageant with several categories such as glamour, talent, and sportswear.
Some if the finalists from the New Yorkie Runway Contest
The final runway show was the Celebrity Catwalk Pre Oscar Fashion Show at Spot near Chelsea. All dogs were decked to the 9’s in their Oscar Gear.
Sophia Loren was a big hit in NY! She walked the runways with confidence and made lots of new friends and was even asked to come back again next year. She was the dog who traveled the farthest to participate in the shows and we were asked to be part of the Spanish version of Good Morning America called, Despirita America with a few other dogs from the shows to do a live shot.
It all seems like a wonderful dream but I know it was reality as I watch my little sweet ball of fluff asleep on the couch oblivious to all the attention she gets and the many Haute Couture dresses that now line my closet for her that cost more than anything I have ever bought for myself. She is my little rescue miracle, Sophia Loren. She has taught me patience and acceptance and never giving up. Thanks to all the wonderful angels who have been put on our path to get us to this day. From a terrified little dog hiding under the couch to a confident little diva who walked the New York Runways…she is my little miracle.