Let's start off by my telling you that I love animals. I suppose this isn't really a secret since I have SIX pets. I'm a sucker for cuteness. I consider my pets a regular part of the family (even the ones that aren't allowed in the house; a subject I'll touch on later) and I would be a less interesting person without them.
So...without further adieu, let's talk about Sadie.
|Sadie after her first vet visit.|
Sadie is our five year old Great Dane/German Shepherd mix. We really weren't supposed to have her. Two big dogs were already enough. But...as usual...it's my fault. In 2008, Collin was taking a few college courses. While he was taking a test, I was waiting for him down in the lobby. I was looking online at some pet finder site just to pass the time and pulled up Sadie's picture. I don't know what possessed me, but I called the lady who posted the ad and learned that Sadie was being held at a local kill shelter and probably wouldn't make it for the next week. The lady who had posted her ran a smaller shelter nearby, but couldn't house such a large dog. She had found Sadie and wanted to find someone to rescue her. Apparently, it was me to the rescue.
I talked to Collin about it as a side note when he finished class, not really intending to do anything about it, but the fact that she was in a shelter known to routinely put down animals just kept nagging at me. We were headed in the direction of her shelter later that day for me to shop at a local JoAnn (to appease my scrapbook supply needs). While we were over there, I decided that I just couldn't take it anymore and convinced Collin to go to the kennel where she was being held - "just to look". (He wasn't fooled.)
When we got there I was just disgusted. The place was awful . They kept the dogs in an old aluminum farm shed. From the inside they were basically in boxes. You couldn't see the dogs, but each dog run had a three foot by three foot box inside the room. You opened the hatch - like opening a laundry chute - in order to see them. The dog runs outside were very small - especially for a dog of Sadie's size - and the whole place smelled horribly. After seeing her I just couldn't bear to leave her there. She was incredibly skinny and obviously terrified.
|After living with us for about 2 months. Just hanging out in the front yard.|
Collin gave in to me and we adopted her right then and there. We loaded her in the Suburban and took her home. On the way home, I sat in the backseat with her while Collin drove. She snuggled right up to me and barely moved. We spent the time trying to figure out a name for her. When we got her, the shelter had some paperwork on her from her prior family. It seems her name was Lucy. Now, I didn't really like that moniker so much, but as I was rambling off names to Collin, all I could think of was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. I'm a huge Beatles fan, so naturally, my next place to go was more Beatles songs...and thus she became Sadie.
We gave her everything we owned
just to sit at her table
Just a smile would lighten everything
Sexy Sadie she's the latest
and the greatest of them all
- Sexy Sadie, The Beatles
Yup...that's right...our dear Sadie is named after Sexy Sadie - the song by the Beatles. Though the lyrics don't quite match up, now you know the method for the madness.
Though all in all I've enjoyed having her around, Sadie has been a bit of a challenge for us. Piper and Harley have grown up together and love each other dearly. Bringing in Sadie didn't go as smoothly as we had hoped. For about the first month she lived in the north half of the dog run and the other two lived in the southern half. Once they all started getting along we removed the center gate and they started sharing the whole thing. For the most part that's gone well...but Sadie can be a bit obnoxious about territory and Piper doesn't like to let her be the boss. So the girls have been in a few fights that have left us taking them to the vet. As I write, Piper and Harley are in the kennel while Sadie roams in the yard. Since their last run in on our trip to Collin's mom's we haven't put them together in the kennel or in the yard without muzzles. It's getting better as we work with them and we're hoping to have them back as a group in a month or so.
|Sadie's graduation day from Scotch Pines|
Sadie also has a very distinct personality. Though fairly easily trained, she can be stubborn when she wants to be. She loves having toys in her mouth and she loves to play tug of war, but she hates to fetch. She is very protective of the yard and her people. She is a problem barker when someone gets near the fence and has to occasionally be crated.
There is also evidence she was abused and used as a breeder before we adopted her. When we took her to the vet for the first time, he told us that she was about two years old and showed evidence of recently having puppies. She was terribly underweight and when they spayed her they also found a hernia that needed repair. We think that the trauma of her earlier life is probably the explanation for why she is so timid in public and why she is so protective of her food and territory. We have worked on socializing her and she has made absolute leaps and bounds, but she still doesn't really like strangers attempting to pet her. She would rather go to them on her own terms. This is also why she cannot be groomed at the vet. After we went on vacation last year and had her boarded for a few days, she was scheduled to have a bath and a trim. Instead, she growled at the groomer and we had to pick her up early. So embarrassing.
Sadie is also slightly spoiled. She is the only dog allowed in the house on occasion. (Piper has issues with what we'll nicely call "submissive urination" and can't be trusted. Harley is black and oily and would just make a mess. He also has poor control of his tail...it's a hazard.) She loves to be with her people and she'll lay right up against you - she has no idea of how large she is. She has attempted to plop herself on the couch a few times (thus taking up the WHOLE thing) and she can rest her muzzle on the kitchen counter if the mood so strikes her. She freaks out at the tile on occasion and she is terrified of stairs. Collin made the mistake a few years ago of bringing her up to the scrapbook room. She did okay coming up, but going down was a no no. After twenty minutes of attempted coaxing, Collin ended up carrying the 100 lb. weenie down the stairs.
|Lounging on a camping trip.|
Even though she can occasionally be a gigantic pain in the butt (like the fact that she's been barking at nothing for at least half the time I've been writing this post), she's still a good and very loving dog. Even though we already had more than we needed, I'm glad we wound up with Sadie.