Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sadie's Story

As you all know, I'm in love. I am utterly and absolutely head over heels for my 11 month old cocker spaniel, Sadie May Jr. III. "But how did the love story begin?" you may be asking yourself. Let me begin...

Throughout college I knew that upon graduation and settling into my career I wanted a puppy. I want something tiny and fluffy, and I was leaning toward a "designer breed" like a maltipoo.
When I graduated, I settled into an apartment Uptown (yes, in Charlotte we call it Uptown not Downtown. Why? I don't know). My psycho-crazy-roommate from hell (PCRFH) opted to buy a yorkie-chon (a Yorkie-Bichon Frise mix... or, a really expensive mutt, as my dad likes to point out) from our area Petland. Having Cooper was my first experience living with a puppy, and since my PCRFH traveled constantly, I pretty much raised him. I loved it, and I was sure that I needed my own.

Cooper: PCRFH's Yorkiechon

Somewhere along the way, I became obsessed with all of the Animal Cop shows on Animal Planet (Detroit is by far the best), and I realized that I absolutely could not justify buying a dog from a breeder or pet store when so many strays need homes. I was determined to find the perfect dog for me.

I became a foster mom for the Humane Society, and I was given Kodo (a "box
er/terrier mix" - read: pit bull puppy) to take care of for 2 weeks. I adored Kodo. I loved being this little puppy's mom and getting him socialized before he could be adopted. But something unfortunate happened. I became attached. They tell you not to. I did. I couldn't bear to send him back to the shelter to sit in a cage until he was adopted. Luckily, a friend of a friend of a friend offered to adopt Kodo, and it was the perfect situation, but letting him go even after only two weeks was heartbreaking. I became serious about find my own Polka Dot Pup.

Kodo, my first foster.

I love the Humane Society and completely support their cause, but at the Humane Society, I knew that all of their furries were safe. They are a no-kill shelter and give homes to animals for as long as needed, so I went a different route. I began to patrol the Char-Meck Animal Control Shelter Web Site (they do put animals down if necessary). It is updated every hour with pictures of pups who are strays (strays are not available for 72 hours to ensure no owners come to claim them) or abandoned.

I went a visited with 2 dogs - a 1 1/2 year old cockapoo and a 4 year old maltipoo (yes, they do have breeds like that at the shelter), but neither of those felt totally right. Then I saw Sadie's picture. The photo they used of this precious girl on the Web site was pitiful. She had huge sad eyes and just looked miserable. Since she was technically a stray, I couldn't go visit her for 3 days. I was on the phone constantly with the shelter asking when she would be available (they weren't really allowed to tell me, but they strongly encouraged me to come when the shelter opened on a Saturday morning).

Little and I arrived a few minutes before they opened and made a beeline f
or the desk inquiring about our girl. We were told that she would need to pass a vet check before she could be officially placed up for adoption. We waited almost an hour before we called again. The wonderful lady at the desk informed us that Sadiekins (at that time known as A641782) was a 4 month old cocker spaniel who was found apparently abandoned in a field in a town north of ours, and she was covered with fleas and lice and was underweight. We had to wait several more minutes while the medicine killed the lice, and then they brought her out to us.

Before I even touched her, I knew she was the pooch I'd been looking for. One look at her sad face, and my heart completely melted. When they gave her to us for our "interaction time" right there on the office floor, she just slumped down and laid there. I finally rolled her on her side and started scratching her belly. Very slowly, her huge paw (she has feet that look like stuffed animal feet) began twitching just a little bit. I stopped rubbing long enough to sign the adoption forms, and when I knelt back down on the floor with her, she rolled over on her back again, asking for another belly rub.

We weren't able to take her home that day because she needed to be spayed. Taking her back to the kennels after she had finally shown signs of life was so hard. When we picked her up on Monday after her surgery, she was a wreck. Several days later we discovered that she also had pneumonia/kennel cough. It took almost three weeks, before her certified Sadie Personality began to shine through, and shine it did. She is the funniest animal I have ever seen - definitely not the smartest, but she sure is fun and pretty to look at.

In fact, Sadie was asked to be one of the spokesdogs for the Animal Control Shelter. To find out more about Sadie, and to read her letter to the shelter, simply click on Sadie's Story.

Feeling miserable right after surgery.


Jenn said...

I already have 2, but those pictures make me want another puppy! :)

Sweet Simplicity said...

She is adorable! What a great story!

Jaded Jill said...

Ohh thats so nice! I volunteered at an animal shelter in college and should really start again!

kels said...

what a sweet story! I could NEVER be a foster parent to an animal... I would definitely be too attached. Shoot, I can hardly look at their pictures online.

Anonymous said...

AWWW!!! She is soo sweet! I love dogs!! :)

P.S. I'm also loving your lime green polka dot background & new header!!

QueenBeeSwain said...

love your dad's comment about the yorkie-chon, sounds like something my dad would say :)


Jules said...

Sadie is so adorable and that is such a sweet story. I have a special place in my heart for dogs and I hate hearing stories of abandonment or abuse.
I give you a lot of credit for taking her in and helping save other dogs.

Emily said...

I love your new header and design:)
Also.. our daisy sleeps on her back.. how sadie was laying for a belly rub:)

The Blonde Duck said...

What a wonderful story! You're such a great person!

Candice said...

Hi! I just came across your blog and I have to say Sadie is ADORABLE! She's just as lucky to have you as you are her :)

Candice said...

What a precious story...and your dog is just adorable! I think it's awesome that you help save stray dogs.

Thanks so much for following my blog. I'm super excited to read more of yours!

KK said...

Aww! What a great story. I love dogs and it kills me to see them stuck in a crate at the pet store. I told my hubby we need to adopt our next one. :)

The Pink Owl said...

she is one of the cutest pups I've ever seen! Cockers hold a special place in my heart--when I was 8 my brother and I got our first family pet. A Cocker named Bandit who lived 19 years!! Little Brother now has his own family and a Cocker named Penelope ;)

Love your blog!

Kate said...

You are so great for fostering and adopting! I can't wait to get my own pup :)

CarolinaGirl said...

What a sweet, make me smile story! I needed that this am. She is adorable! I have always loved Cockers because they look like they have beautiful long pigtails :)