Sophie the Beagle Mix

Dogs I Meet Sophie

Meet Sophie, the oldest dog in Norwood, Greater Boston who lived to almost 18 years old.

Sophie was Debbie Spingarn’s beagle mix and with her black, brown and white fur, short ears and long furry tail, she made it to almost 18 years old. The joke in her family was that she was going for the world record, to match the world’s oldest dog who lived to 30 years of age.


Debbie rescued Sophie when she approximately 5 years old and she was in poor medical condition when she came to live with her new family. She was 30 pounds overweight, with a thyroid condition but exercise, a good diet and good veterinary care had a huge impact on her conditions.


Until about a week before she died she was going on vigorous walks, eating well and smiling her wide Sophie smile along with wagging her well-fluffed tail. She became a neighbourhood celebrity when Debbie informally confirmed her as the oldest resident dog through the town clerk’s office.


Debbie believes the secret to Sophie’s long life was properly prescribed medication, a good diet and daily walking which prevents arthritis and boredom and helps with brain function. She would walk Sophie in different places every day so she could pick up new scents and keep her mind active.


Sophie loved the snow and the smell of the outdoors and one of her favourite things to do was run around in newly fallen snow flakes. Towards the end she struggled with her hearing but Debbie came up with a genius idea of ringing a cow bell when it was time for her to come inside!


Even as she got older and her health declined the one thing that was affected was her wagging tail. But when that didn’t wag so much and started to go limp as a result of failing kidney’s Debbie knew it was time to say goodbye to her best friend and Norwood’s oldest canine resident.

Dogs I Meet Sophie

Dogs I Meet photographer, Mindy Dutka, was honored to photograph Sophie last May and received this note from Debbie:

“…the photos really “make” the article!! Thank you so much for your amazing photos and your friendship. I’m so glad I did our photoshoot. The beautiful photos you took are truly priceless.”

To learn Sophie and Debbie’s full story read the article that Debbie recently wrote for the Boston Globe here.


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