Updated: Feb 19
Finding Sadie – The Power of Puppy Love
I never fancied myself as a pocketbook dog lady but here I am, sporting the hot pink carry bag that has my 3.5 pound puppy inside. All I need now is matching rhinestones on her collar and leash and I will be that stereotypical person carrying this puppy-person around wherever I go. I really didn’t think we would go through with getting a puppy, but having her in the house, reality has set in. Her chirp/bark echoed throughout our house the first night, howling for her mother and being left alone with her was terrifying for me. Sadie, this white little nothing of a dog, has disrupted the once quiet nights of slumber I so richly enjoyed. After a relentless first hour of sounds that closely resembled a squawking chicken, I questioned the very decision of getting this puppy. One friend coined it perfectly “Buyers Remorse” and that was what I was feeling. I knew the burden of taking care of this dog and train it would befall on my shoulders. After a restless night for everyone, the dog finally fell asleep at 7:00 AM. All struggled bleary eyed the entire day, including my son, who can sleep through almost anything. I think puppies are for young people. I am not saying I am old, but puppies require a lot of energy and I wasn’t sure I wanted to put that type of energy into this puppy. Unfortunately for me, I discovered this AFTER we adopted this little one into our family. Oh Sadie, this white fur ball of tremendous energy, especially around 9:00 PM, has made me very aware of my need for sleep.
We promised a pup to my son when we dropped the bomb and told him we were moving from Huntington, New York to Raleigh, North Carolina and didn’t know what else to do to calm his hysteria. As an act of desperation, we offered him the proverbial olive branch. Although we don’t break promises, we were hoping that he would have forgotten that particular pledge. He was all too quick to point this out, once the last box was unpacked and the corrugated cardboard was brought to the recycle bin.
I did my research, but not too well apparently. I should have looked for an older dog, one that is house broken, knows how to sleep alone, and wouldn’t destroy every carpet fiber in this house. When my husband walked into the house with the puppy the first night I was beyond scared, after all what did I know about training a dog? I grew up with dogs but never trained one. I had one at every stage of my life and loved them to the fullest, mourned them when they left this world, but I was struggling with letting go of the other things I loved like being orderly, having a clean house, my freedom to be out all day, and most of all my wallet. All the things that I cherished went out the window the minute we brought Sadie home. And, that is not a bad thing.
Both my husband and I are very structured people, to a fault. Moving across state lines, not officially working and relocating to an unfamiliar location are challenging enough but adding a puppy to the mix has brought me to the brink of my own chaos. Chaos for me is slightly different for the average person – as my house is intact but the disruptions the dog presented put me profoundly out of my comfort zone. Yet, by the same token, all this little lady of a dog wants to do is be at my feet and I have embraced it – with the exception of finding those unexpected presents around the house.
The first week home I found Sadie stuck behind my washer and dryer, underneath my couch rolling around in all the dust bunnies I never knew I had, and wrapped around my kitchen chair entwined with her leash and through it all, she looked so sweet. She looked like a slightly discolored cotton ball.
Another unexpected pleasure of having this little lady in our house is that my son has yet to shirk his responsibilities of taking care of her. Not only that, he gets up early with me to walk the dog. We’ll see what happens when the cold weather sets in (still not sure if it gets cold here) but I have to say that my 10 year old has impressed me each day by not cowering from responsibilities of the dog.
I grew up with Labrador Retrievers; we had 4 of them – husky and gentle at the same time. Homer and Ruby were the dogs of my early childhood, to Rufus, the dog that terrorized my friends by humping them when they came over and Humphrey, the chocolate lab with the green eyes that was more loving than you could possibly imagine. Most recently, we shared Sherman with my parents, a Portuguese water dog who is now 5. Sharing the dog was brilliant because it satisfied my need to have a dog and then return Sherman when they got home from vacation or when they needed a break. This also appeased my husband who never really wanted to add another responsibility to his plate and most importantly, it satisfied my son’s need for an additional member of the family. So when we left Huntington, we also left a valuable member of our family and the majority of us needed to fill that huge empty part of our lives that Sherman so joyfully filled. Finding Sadie has calmed the fear, filled the void and brought peace to the constant feeling of loss that I feel for leaving Sherman and Huntington.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would settle for a miniature creature like Sadie, one that I could easily step on, but am sure glad we did. We had a laundry list of specifications that the newest member of our family must have – small enough to travel with as our goal was to take her to New York numerous times a year, non-shedding as I hate to clean, smart because I am not sure I am training her well and last but not least sweet, (self explanatory). I think that we satisfied pretty much all of the criteria, yet I haven’t figured out if she is smart enough to not go in the house!