An Introduction to Sadiedog

I suppose I should introduce the puppy of spiffiness.

She is, after all, the coolest dog evar.*

Coolest dog evar ... if you measure coolness by length of nose.

Back in 2008, I had been living without a dog for just about two years.  For me, that was almost living without breathing.  Dogs had been a part of my life for so long, that without one I felt pretty empty -- like my life was missing something.  So after checking with my significant other at the time, I submitted an application to Sheltie Rescue of Georgia.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Two months later, I made the assumption that they didn't have a desire to adopt to me.  I had been honest, at least.  I mentioned that at the time, I was living in an apartment.  But I also mentioned that having owned Aussies in the past, I was greatly aware of the exercise requirement that a Sheltie would have.  However, I also knew that that was a story rescues hear all the time ... and most of those stories turn out to be not true.  It was true in my case, but they had no way of knowing that.

The first place I looked (after deciding that Sheltie rescue was uninterested) was at the local animal control facility.  There just weren't any dogs there that I felt would have been a good fit, although I wanted to save them all.

On a trip out to see the boyfriend's mother, she suggested we go to the closest animal shelter out there, just to look.  So we loaded up in my car and took a trip out to the Randolph County Animal Shelter.

The place was tucked away down a dirt road, in a town that consisted of a fast-food joint, three gas stations, and a high school.  When we pulled up, I was seriously doubtful I was going to find my dog there.  I thought for sure the only things that we would see were going to be Red-tick Coon Hounds and Pit Bulls.

But as we entered, there were quite a variety of dogs.  In fact, the first dog I had a one-on-one with was a little Jack Russell mix.  He didn't seem to have any interest in me, though, and I thought I was going to be disappointed again.

Then the shelter worker suggested I take out this short, funny-looking thing with Sheltie coloring.  They brought her over to me, and this dog was CLEARLY unimpressed by me.  In fact, she seemed eager to go back in the pen with the other dogs.  She was absolutely nervous to be out of her element.  She was also completely sweet, if not horribly shy, and although she was nervous she seemed to be trying to figure out what to do to ... interact with us correctly.

"That's Sandy," said the lady, looking down at the shaky, funny-looking mutt in front of me.  "We had to put her brother down a few days ago.  I think she's scheduled for a few days from now."

Well, then.

About 45 minutes later, we were in the car with "Sandy" in the back seat.  She was shaking like an epileptic and looking around with huge, brown eyes as the world zipped by us.  I had no idea what I'd gotten myself into.

Sadie, about a month after she was brought home, with her sheep man toy.

The first few months were a whole new experience for me.  All of the dogs I'd had in the past were dogs that I'd either had to calm down and train them to be not so excited, or dogs that were fear aggressive who I had to gain their trust and teach them greeting manners.

Sadie in a 'relaxed state' on the couch, three months after coming home.

"Sandy", who was now renamed Sadie, had no desire at all to interact with people.

She wasn't aggressive.  She wasn't destructive.  She wasn't excitable or ... much of anything.  In fact, for the first three days, she didn't eat anything at all.

After four months of having to bar the hallway with a suitcase so she wouldn't sit in the dark corridor and not move for hours and hours at a time, I said to my boyfriend at the time, "Maybe I should bring her back to the shelter...?"

"What?"  He looked at me as if I'd had two heads.

"She's clearly unhappy here.  Nothing that I'm doing is working.  She's miserable."

He looked at the dog, who at the time was snoozing beside me on the couch.  "First of all, she's doing great.  She's not exactly perfectly happy, but  ... look at her.  She loves you.  She wasn't doing that a few months ago..."

I peeked down at her, and she did seem relaxed, if not overjoyed to be alive.  Then again, she was asleep.  "Yeah, I guess so..."

"And if you bring her back, what do you think will happen?  Who do you think is going to adopt a dog who doesn't want anything to do with them and runs away?  If you bring her back, she's going to be put to sleep.  And that's better than trying to work with her here some more?"

"I didn't think about that."

"Well, you're not bringing her back.  She'll come out of her shell, you'll be able to help her.  You'll see."

Sadie in a 'more relaxed state' on the couch 4 months after she got home.

It's taken three years, multiple moves, a lot of stuff happening in our lives, and I've finally realized that (as a wise person once said) I didn't get the dog I wanted ... I got the dog I needed.

She's still not an 'outgoing' dog when it comes to new people.  But she's come miles and miles.  She plays!  She runs!  She chases squirrels and cats and sometimes bears!  She's funny and one of the most snuggly dogs you will ever meet.  She's smart and probably one of the best behaved dogs I've ever owned.

And she is ALWAYS interesting.  I don't know what I would do without her.

So there you go.  A very short version of the story of Sadie.  No doubt there will be more in the future.  Life with her is always exciting.  :)


* "coolest dog evar" may be a biased opinion of the author