Pet Profile: Sophie and Sydney

    While speaking with PGN on the phone, Joe Golden pointed out the biggest difference between his two Bichon Shih Tzus, Sophie and Sydney.

    “I’m sitting at my kitchen table on my laptop and [Sophie] is on the chair next to me and Sydney is on the couch, watching TV,” Golden said.

    Golden said that Sydney, 6, tends to “do her own thing” while Sophie, 7, loves being be by a person’s side.

    “Even in the bed, she has to be right in the middle and Sydney will be on the floor by herself.”

    Golden first became acquainted with Sophie when he and some friends were in Asbury Park, N.J., and entered a pet store called Bark Avenue.

    “It was a snowy, crappy day out and I went to this pet store to get out of my mood and as soon as I looked, Sophie caught my attention and tracked me down, started scratching the glass,” Golden said. “I was like, Oh my God, this is the cutest dog I have ever seen in my life.”

    Golden ended up playing with the small puppy for an hour and then he had to break the news to his partner, Joe Turturro, that he wanted to buy her. Luckily, Turturro also loved her just as much.

    Months later, Turturro went to the store with Golden’s mother to purchase Sydney, only to find out she had already been taken.

    “A family bought her and they brought her home to a little girl and they took the tail off Sydney when she was a baby to make her look even more like a teddy bear,” Golden said.

    The little girl freaked out about Sydney’s lack of a tail, claiming the puppy was “not normal.” A friend of Golden and Turturro ended up noticing Sydney was available for purchase again on the website and the couple scooped her up.

    Golden noted that Sophie and Sydney’s character traits are much like his and Turturro’s.

    “Sophie has a personality just like mine — a little bit type-A,” Golden said. “Things have to have a place and have to be super-organized and neat. As a puppy, if you come home and put a shopping bag down on a table, she’d literally bark until it was picked up. Everything needs to have a place, and then the other one is really laidback, sort of like [Turturro].”

    Golden said the dogs got along with each other right away, with Sophie often serving as a mother figure to Sydney. He noted a recent incident in which they accidentally locked Sydney in the garage.

    “When [we got her out of the garage], [Sophie] thought [Sydney] was beaten up. Sophie would not let her out of her sight. She’s only nine months older than her but she’s a super mother figure to her.”

    When asked what he loves most about his dogs, Golden pointed to their unique personalities, and the constant companship they offer.

    “They are so loyal. They’re lapdogs. They’re always by you. That’s why you get a pet.”