Sadie: starting over with a “senior” shelter dog

We sat in the parking lot of the shelter and very nearly went home without her, for a second time. Then we twisted each other’s arm and, just like that, it was done.

A new dog!

Some very basic and important part of me is made happier by having a dog. I’d been trying to deny that the past couple years since splitting with the ex-DH, but all the practicalities in the world couldn’t change that part of myself.

So… meet Sadie!

She’s 10 years old and a mix of perfectly polite and adorably unsure of herself. She’s cowering under the desk as I write this during a thunderstorm. Her first inclination when feeling anxious is to climb on top of something. She wanders around, following behind us like a houseguest that’s run out of tourist attractions to visit. She’s scared of cars and utterly oblivious to the cat who’s in a state of permanent hiss.

Nobody slept the first night. Last night we slept shifts on the floor beside her. For tonight I’m stil hopeful. Little by little her head and tail are coming up and she’s making tentative eye contact.

Who knows what her life before was.

Her eyes are sad, sad, sad.

We mean to change that.

17 thoughts on “Sadie: starting over with a “senior” shelter dog”

  1. Oh, Laura, I am so happy to read this. I have wondered about you not having a dog in your life…and I always loved your dog stories.
    And, to make a happy life for a sweet dog–that’s the best part of all. You are wise and know that time together will heal Sadie’s bad memories of her former life. Bit by bit she will unstick from her clinginess to you.
    Oh, and I so remember the sleeping with the dog through the first several nights. I had to do that with Ziva–who whined pitifully when she wasn’t with us. And my sleeping next to her just made our bond stronger.
    Looking forward to more Sadie stories.

  2. this warms my heart so much- bless you for opening your home to a senior. Sadie, you’re a beautiful girl, welcome home!

  3. This is such a kindness. She is a lucky dog to have found herself with you. Her life begins anew, and I can’t wait to see her eyes shine with happiness.

  4. She looks like a very kind natured dog. I am sure you will bring each other great happiness. One of my old collies, Maggie, was a few years old when she came to us. She was such a wonderful dog. I think she really appreciated a good home and was never slow to let us know how she felt about that.

  5. Congrats, Laura. The best dog I’ve ever had was a rescue Labrador. She didn’t know that when people talked, it meant anything. She didn’t make eye contact and I named her Hopper when I found her on the dining room table. She was far and away the best dog I’ve ever owned and I miss her terribly still (she’s been gone 12 years).

    Be gentle and patient with Sadie. Take her out of your house in a few days — maybe in the car — and then bring her back. Coming HOME is somehow important to rescue dogs.

    Oh, and watch The Dog Whisperer — it really helps us stay in the moment with the dogs so that we don’t make their lives worse by not leading them and giving them a peaceful life. I love that show!


  6. So glad you got an older dog, they are the saddest of all to me. They deserve love. I cannot fathom having to give up an older dog. Breaks my heart, but I know in time, this will be a happy face. Transition is sometimes tough.

  7. Laura: She looks like such a gentle girl who has been through too much trouble in her life. I hope she soon knows that the troubled part of her life is over.

  8. She’s a pretty girl Laura. I’m glad you got a shelter dog — they’re the best! It took Holly a couple weeks to get used to our house & routine, but she’s doing so good now. Your patience will be rewarded with her love.

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