Dear Sadie –
Technically, you’ve been a Greenwood for exactly two full weeks today. I say technically because we adopted you on November 16, 2014. But on that day, I was pretty sure you might have been the biggest mistake I’d ever made. On our drive home from Last Chance Ranch, you quickly figured out how to get out of the back seat and come up front with me. You spent that drive alternating between standing in the passenger seat and looking out the window or sitting half on the passenger seat and half in my lap, licking my hands. At one point, you decided you were car sick and very nicely jumped in the backseat to puke. Once we arrived home, you peed twice in the kitchen and then pooped in the living room. But the whole while, you were happy as a proverbial pig in shit with your corkscrew tail wiggling a mile a minute. Lucy decided she wanted some love, and that’s when you decided to let her know that I was off-limits. And that, my little piggie poo, did not bode well for you. I nearly called the shelter to see when I could bring you back since being possessive of me would not do for our family. But I took you and Lucy for a walk instead, and you started to work your magic. Later that night, I cried on several times on the phone with Jordan, and she put it into perspective: you had been through a lot and probably needed some time.
So we waited. The next day, you didn’t really like going into your crate, but you did. That afternoon, you were like a dog possessed, but again, we walked and walked and walked. Friends out walking their dogs also echoed Jordan’s sentiments: give it some time. Lucy didn’t really like you in the house because you growled at her when she came near us, but eventually, you both sacked out on the couch. The true test came in the middle of the night when Dave came home from a trip to Las Vegas. Meeting him at 1:45 AM was like meeting a long-lost friend . . . you were overjoyed by your new friend but happily went back to sleep in a few minutes.
That first weekend, we left for a trip to Philadelphia (a half marathon waits for no one), and you stayed home with Lucy and Aunt Dar. She met you the first night and couldn’t get over how well you were doing with our family. When we got home on Sunday, you and Lucy couldn’t stop wagging your tails and giving kisses . . . plus you were ready for a walk around the neighborhood. Apparently the whole “I just ran 13.1 miles” thing was lost in translation, but you were pretty darn insistent on the walk. Slowly but surely, you and Lucy started coming to an agreement: playing would consist of tag, keep away, and wrestling. Growling optional.
Since that first night, I’ve learned this:
- you love your tummy rubs: that’s how I found out you still had your staples in from your spaying;
- the vet and the techs thought you were adorable and the perfect patient;
- you are a horrible water drinker . . . most farm animals have better manners;
- when you are happy, you snort like a pig; in fact, you kinda look like a fox/pig hybrid;
- you learned ‘sit’ in a matter of minutes, so I’m pretty sure that when we get you in training classes, you’ll catch on relatively quickly;
- you don’t like the backseat of the car (but you will throw up in it);
- I have no idea what kind of dog you are other than Sadie, but once the DNA results are in, I’m pretty sure we’ll have an answer (and I’m truly hoping it says that you’re a dog);
- any toy that Lucy has is the one that you want; she’s much better at turning corners than you are, but you make up for that in muscle;
- you willingly go into your crate for bedtime and during the day, but I’m hoping that you won’t need either of those of much longer;
- you are about 75% house trained (which is why you’re in the crate during the day);
- you take treats much more gently than Lucy does;
- your tongue is polka-dotted . . . I know this because after you run around the house or the backyard, you spend a great percentage of the time panting with it hanging out of your mouth;
- you greet everyone as if you’ve known them your entire life and will charm the pants off of them within minutes;
- you can be a little mouthy if you don’t feel that you have received enough attention, but we are working on this;
- even with all the running and barking and growling, you’ve helped Lucy with her anxiety a lot; she enjoys trying to get you to lie down next to her;
- you’re a work in progress but one that is completely worth it.
Next year, on November 16, we’ll make you a pupcake and throw you a party to celebrate your one your anniversary. Because you will have been a Greenwood for one whole year. But today? Today, you have been a Greenwood for two weeks.
PS – If you are thinking about getting a pet for Christmas, please consider adopting a pet from a shelter. Chances are, you’ll find the perfect pet for your family and make the difference in the life of an animal looking for a home. Most pets in shelters are there through no fault of theirs. Sadie was brought into Philadelphia’s ACCT and then to Last Chance Ranch. Other than when she was brought in, we know nothing about her. But I can tell you this much: she is our dog and gets all the love she can handle. Shelters are currently bursting at the seams with pets looking for their homes . . . maybe one or two are looking for you.
“Santa, Baby” by Marilyn Monroe . . . or anyone but Madonna (that version is too, too campy)