My sweet girl, Sadie

Leslie Silverman

I realize my faithful readers have not yet had a chance to “meet” my beloved Sadiedog. And since she’s doing “rollies” on the carpet right now I think it’s about time I devoted a column to my four-egged bestie!

I have always been a dog person. And Sadie is the first non German Shepherd (GSD) I have ever owned.

When I adopted her she was labeled an Austrailain Shepherd and I figured a shepherd was a shepherd...right?

Um no. First she was mislabeled and is a Border Collie. Second, both Aussies and Border Collies have high energy levels and are energetic. Sadie “replaced” an 11-year-old GSD who was pretty much like a living room rug, so needless to say I was in way over my head when I decided to bring her home.

I rescued her on Black Friday nearly 11 years ago. At the time she was called “sassy,” and that pretty much describes her attitude. I thought it was a foo-foo name and called her Sadie.

Usually I refer to her as “baby girl, “Sadiekins” or “Sadiegirl.” I wonder if other dog owners give their dogs pet names?

Sadie was “difficult to place” and the humane society I got her from was going to put her down had she been there past Thanksgiving. Thus, she was not returnable; even though my vet told me a week later  “there was no shame in returning her.”

This after she had chewed my custom made mouth guard, eaten 25 freshly-baked chocolate chip  cookies and hadn’t even so much as sat next to me in the same room. Nope, I was stuck with her.

She got me enrolled in obedience school so I could learn how she needs me to behave...I think, over a decade later I have failed at being her “master.”

What she has succeeded in teaching me, however, is the meaning of unconditional love. No matter how late I come home or how long she’s been alone my greeting is always the same; a waggy-waggy tail and an uncontrollable shaking of her butt. This along with what I call “birdcalling,” a high-pitched whiny kind of tone than can sometimes leaves her almost half sneezing. 

When I’m rappelling down a route, Sadie dog is usually whimpering. Yes, that whimpering usually includes her chewing my socks up but again...she’s teaching me how to meet her needs. And I guess chewed socks are one of those needs! Sadie would rather go with me than be left alone no matter where I’m going!

Even if I’m just moving the car, Sadie wants to jump right in. She jumps up on the sofa and gives me a “look” if I do leave her behind. If she comes with, she is the best passenger ever.

She pretty much has the entire back area of my SUV and she chooses to put her head right on my center console, still giving me the “look” as if to say, “why am I not up front with you.” On the rare occasion she sits up front she sits upright to the point that she could fool any high occupancy vehicle lane into believing she was a passenger. 

Aside from Sadie’s extreme loyalty, she is an extreme adventure dog. She has been to the Grand Canyon five times. There’s likely video of the last time, when it was snowing and kids were tossing snowballs to her and she was “catching” them.

She has overnighted at Devils Tower, while mom was stuck at the top. She has crossed the border into Canada and almost killed some voles she thought were fun to “paw” at.

Sadie has gone swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, has walked down the Vegas Strip and has even been to the highest points in both South Dakota and New Mexico. She has also climbed to the summit of Cloud Peak in Wyoming. 

I think the coolest thing about Sadie is that she’s been to the Poet’s Table, which, mind you, I have never been to. And she’s hiked Turtlehead in Nev., something else I have never done. Yes, even when “mom” isn’t home, Sadie goes on all sorts of adventures.

Sadie’s favorite activity in the universe is “bally.” She will miss meals to catch tennis balls. She will run past deer to catch tennis balls.

She was on vacation a few weeks ago in North Dakota. My friend Steve was watching her. When I went to pick her up I noticed she had a tennis ball.

I told Steve it was nice of him to buy her one. He laughed and said, “Sadie found this ball in my spare bedroom. I didn’t even know I had one.”

Yep, that’s my girl!

I had created several songs for my little one. Again, I wonder if other dog owners do this. Most are unoriginal. There’s “Sweet Sadie Dog” sung to the tune of “Sweet Caroline.”

I have a few Tom Petty songs I’ve made up lyrics to: “Here Comes My Girl” and “Free Fallin’” (she’s a good girl, loves her mama…).

Then there’s an original song I made up. It’s our special song. If I’ve been gone extra long or if we “talk” on the phone she gets that song. 

As I finish this introduction to Sadie, she is nestled right beside me, her head hitting me, her paws all curled up.

I’m touching “her spot”, the inside of her ears (yes, she is a weird one!) and she makes a funny noise of contentment when I do that.

To those of you who have a “Sadie” dog in your life I know you can relate to how unique, loyal and loving that four-legged friend of yours is. How being their person is so simple yet also unites you in a way that is almost impossible to understand. 

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