Sophie the Daredevil Cockapoo Who Escaped Puppy Pen Wins Pet of the Week

It’s been another memorable week for pet stories at Newsweek. Highlights include a special father-and-“dog-ter” wedding dance and the miraculous recovery of a street dog who was attacked with an ax.

A few cats got in on the act, too, with one pet owner revealing the astonishing things her felines get up to the minute her back is turned. There’s also been a glut of great entries for the Newsweek Pet of the Week award, and this week’s quintet do not disappoint.

Don’t forget, if you would like to be part of our weekly Pet of the Week line-up, scroll down to the bottom of the article to find out more.


Sophie the Cockapoo. Sophie’s escape antics helped her land the Pet of the Week award.
Sophie and Ellie

This week’s winner is Sophie, a cockapoo from Maryland. Her owners, retirees Sherman and Elle, knew she was the puppy for them from the minute they laid eyes on her. “It was love at first sight,” Sherman told Newsweek. “We bought her from a Mennonite home breeder. All the puppies were cute, but she just stole our hearts.”

Sophie was just 8 weeks old when she became part of the family. She quickly set about proving she was more than just a pretty face after staging what Sherman later dubbed the “great escape” from her exercise pen.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Sherman said. “I was at my desk when I looked up, and there was Sophie climbing out of her pen.” Impressed at the young pup’s precocious nature, Sherman put her back in the pen to see if she could pull off the escape again. She did exactly that, only this time Sherman was ready to record her daring feat on camera.

Sophie has been an outgoing and adventurous presence ever since. “She loves people more than other dogs,” Sherman said. “At the dog park, she makes a point of visiting every person there for a belly scratch. She acts hurt if someone comes by on our walks and doesn’t stop to pet her.”

Sophie’s interests extend beyond belly rubs, though. “She loves playing soccer in our backyard,” Sherman said. “She butts the ball with her head, and we chase after it. As for stuffed dog toys, we haven’t found one yet that she hasn’t destroyed.”

Sherman said Sophie also has an impressive vocabulary and “amazing memory” that allows her to recall toys and other items around the house. When she’s not playing sports or chewing up her toys she likes to watch TV, with some exceptions. “She doesn’t care for Tucker Carlson,” Sherman said, “which is understandable.” Sherman and Elle wouldn’t change a thing about her.


Gracie the cat is part-Bengal and part-Ocicat. She loves jumping and climbing.
Dorothy Stuit

Our first runner-up is Gracie, a cat who is a cross between a Bengal and an Ocicat, but, as owner Dorothy Stuit puts it, “pretty much acts like a Bengal.”

“She loves to figure out how to jump onto the tiniest little area after checking it out for several weeks at times,” Stuit said. “She also knows what she wants and can be very vocal about it.”

A keen talker who often interrupts her owner’s phone calls with a few loud meows, Gracie loves to help Stuit with her sewing and loves to paw at fabrics. Her favorite game involves her owner swinging a piece of rope around. “She will jump all four feet off the floor to catch it while I swing it,” Stuit said.

Often joining Stuit for cuddles on her bed, Gracie is an important fixture in her owner’s life. “She’s just plain cute,” Stuit added.

Photos of Metric the silky terrier. The 13-year-old dog’s interests include stealing tissues for treats and chewing plastic bottles.
Shirley Murphy

Next up is Metric the silky terrier from Texas. Owner Shirley Murphy purchased the pint-sized hound from a lady who was selling her as a puppy some 13 years ago. They have been extremely close ever since, with Metric proving a pillar of support to Murphy during the toughest of times.

“She has my heart and she is my life right now,” Murphy told Newsweek. “I lost my husband, and Metric keeps me company and she knows when I’m sad. She is a great girl and loves to make me laugh. She is so silly at times.”

A pup who enjoys the simple things in life, Metric’s interests include stealing her owner’s tissues in exchange for treats and playing with empty water bottles.

Simba and Charlie. Simba is a short-haired tabby while Charlie is a short haired calico.
Tiffany Dorantes

Last but definitely not least are rescue-cat siblings Simba and Charlie. Simba is a 4-year-old short-haired tabby, while Charlie is a short-haired calico. Owner Tiffany Dorantes Gregory adopted the pair from her local animal shelter.

In truth, the two cats couldn’t be more different. “Charlie likes to wrestle and put Simba in a headlock,” Dorantes Gregory said. “Simba just likes to sunbathe.” Despite these differences, the two felines regularly play and enjoy naps together. “They are playful and loving and bring our family so much joy,” Dorantes Gregory added.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to with some details about your best friend, and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.

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