Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SADIE: A Very Selfish Dog

Sadie Cinammon Price (official AKC name) was a beautiful copper-colored Golden Retriever. Notice the "was." Her life stopped today.

Let me tell you about Sadie. She was very selfish. For some strange reason, she had the notion that all humans were created to pet her constantly. She HAD to be touched. Everyone was expected to pat, rub, scratch or whatever the need of the moment was. And once one started to pet her, stopping was a non-option. If you stopped, she would put her paw up on your arm as if to say, "Get your hand back down here and TOUCH ME!!

She was also selfish about walks. Anytime we appeared to be dressing for what might turn out to be a walk she was under foot, in the way, with this look of excited expectancy that communicated, "Would you hurry up! There are places to go and people to see and dogs to greet and grass to be marked!"

She was selfish about our being gone. When all or some of the family would leave the house she would lie for hours by the front door just to let us know that we had deserted her, the queen of the castle. Yet even in her displeasure of desertion she would greet us warmly with breathless wimpers of "pet me, pet me, pet me" when we returned.

She was selfish about treats. Every single time she was given an extra treat other than her regular dog food, no matter how large or small, she would take it outside, out of sight, to luxuriate in it all alone apart from the bother of lesser beings known as humans.

She was selfish about the bedroom floor at night. There are some things that we humans have to attend to in the middle of the night. I'm just sayin'........... Well, her position was in the middle of the path to the target area. I knew that, should she last long enough, the time would come when I would die from tripping over her in the nighttime trek.

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not suggesting the order of creation was reversed. Most certainly did I exercise dominion over Sadie. I'm just not sure anyone ever told her. Reality is probably that she knew she had us wrapped around her little paw and could get just about whatever she desired.

With such a selfish dog, one wonders why I have such a pain in my chest and tears that keep coming. As I held her in her last moments, involuntarily, images of her as an 8-week-old puppy came to mind as we picked her name. We had narrowed it down to two choices and the vote kept coming up tied. Don't ask how that's possible in a family of seven. It just is. So we wrote each name on a piece of paper and put them on the floor about six feet apart. We set her down in the middle and waited to see which one she would go to first. She picked Sadie.

Now, twelve and a half years and 87 pounds later she was old and fat and largely deaf and tired and had developed a fast growing tumor on her breast. Good stewardship and compassion said stop now before it got much worse.

DO NOT EVER invite me to see "Marley and Me!" And NO, I won't see Sadie in heaven. Though she is a part of that creation that was corrupted by sin, she won't experience the resurrection from the dead. That's really a good thing. I'd rather not spend eternity scratching Sadie.