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Rory Cellan-Jones – Sophie From Romania

October 12 @ 12:00 13:00

How do you welcome someone new into your home and heart? A week before Christmas 2022, former BBC journalist and award-nominated podcaster Rory Cellan-Jones received a special delivery that changed the course of his life. This is the story of #SophieFromRomania, told in full for the first time.

In January 2022, the Cellan-Jones-Coyle family said goodbye to their beloved elderly Collie Cross, Cabbage. Newly retired, Rory had become inseparable from her during daily pandemic walks which alleviated his Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. After a grief-stricken year, Rory and his wife Diane contemplated opening up their hearts again and came across a dog listing for ‘a kind girl who loves everybody and is just looking for her forever home’.

Bright-eyed, big-eared and trembling, Sophie arrives in London in a van from Central Europe on 17th December. Rory holds the Romanian rescue in his arms, excited for their first walk together – unaware it is more than a year ahead. Sophie from Romania follows the journey of her adoption – from her battles with anxiety, to the joys of play and her first foray outside – as Rory and Diane work with expert dog trainer Si to win Sophie’s trust, and navigate Rory’s Parkinson’s diagnosis.

This is a moving story of growing together through love, kindness and a lot of patience, revealing how adopting pets can be challenging but also full of rewarding moments. It’s also a celebration of rescue dogs, and community as Rory uplifts fellow Romanian dog owners and his new friends from the #SophieFromRomania hashtag.

Rory Cellan-Jones is a journalist and former BBC News technology correspondent and has appeared on  many programmes including Breakfast Time, Money Programme, Newsnight, and BBC News. He is the author of Dot Bomb, The Secret History of Social Networking and Ruskin Park: Syliva, Me and the BBC. He is also a member of Movers and Shakers a podcast discussion about life with Parkinson’s.

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