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Best Friends: The Diehls
Get to know the Diehls and their furry friends
BF Diehl Family
The Diehls & Marley, Sophia & Bodhi - photo by Marissa Weiher

Tracie and Jeff Diehl and their daughters Lauren, 12, and Lexi, 16, talk about their best friends Marley, an 18-year-old dachshund/terrier mix, Sophia, a 7-year-old Chihuahua and Bodhi, a 6-month-old dachshund/Chihuahua mix. 

The family got Marley from a family who had to give her up when she was a puppy. Jeff and Lexi got Sophia on impulse while they were in Janesville for a hockey tournament. They brought Sophia home to Tracie after her mother passed away and Tracie and Lauren both burst into happy tears.

“She’s such a sweet thing,” Tracie said. “Everywhere I go, she goes.”

Bohdi is the most recent addition and was found online by Lauren at Lola’s Lucky Day, an organization that rescues homeless dogs. 

Best Friends is a weekly feature designed to highlight a local resident and his or her pets. To suggest someone for the series, contact Marissa Weiher, photographer, at

Describe Marley, Sophia and Bodhi’s personalities.

Marley can’t see now and she relies on Sophia quite a bit to get around. She has been one of the most laid-back dogs we’ve had. She’s very sweet and smart. 

Sophia is very sweet, laid back and she likes to snuggle. She’s a scaredy cat. She’s so happy when we come back home. She’s very much a lap dog. Whatever room we’re in she’ll jump up and hang out. 

Bodhi is all puppy. He’s wild and crazy. He’s always running around. He’s either playing 100 miles an hour or he’s sound asleep. Some night he doesn’t fall asleep until late. 

What do you like to do together?

Marley and Sophia both love car rides. I’m excited for the summer when Bodhi can experience riding in the Jeep without the top on. 

Jeff: One of my favorite things is taking the dogs to the Concerts on the Square. It’s great to live in an area where there are a lot of other dog lovers who walk their dogs on the square. 

Lauren: I like taking naps with them and throwing toys for Bodhi. 

What has it been like having Marley, Sophia and Bodhi in your lives?

I can’t imagine life without them. I don’t think we’ll ever not have dogs. Every time we come home they run to the door to greet you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people greeted you like dogs do? They’re hardly ever alone with our schedules. We also enjoy taking them over to the middle school during recess to see the kids. Sophia is so tiny the kids just can’t wait to hold her. They’re definitely our family.