Revelations: A good little girl
Oct. 28, 2011 at 5:28 a.m.
BY JENNIFER PREYSS
For the past four years, the love of my life has been a 10-pound, black and tan miniature pinscher named Sadie.
I wasn't really looking for a dog when she arrived in my life the fall of 2007. But my then-neighbor asked me if I was interested in adopting a very sweet, very cute, very trained little min-pin that was recently rescued from an abusive home.
"What kind of abuse," I asked.
"She was beaten and left to starve to death in an apartment," my neighbor said.
"You mean they just moved out of the apartment and left her to die?"
"Yes. And she needs a good home. Maybe you want her?"
That's all I needed to hear. Sadie moved in with me a few days later - scared, slightly ill, and rib-cage-exposing skinny.
The first few days of living with Sadie, I remember thinking how timid and careful she was with me. She didn't know what to think of her new house, or new owner. And I guess I understood why she hesitated and ran away when I went to stroke her head.
I assumed she needed a few weeks to find her bearings, and then we'd be best friends. But that didn't happen, exactly.
Within a few weeks, Sadie's true colors shined. Her timidity turned to boldness, her wincing to biting.
I realized quickly she wasn't sweet or well-trained, even though her face and eyes screamed "Look how cute I am!"
I endured many months of Sadie's poor behavior: biting me and my friends, barking and howling all day and all night, chewing everything I owned (especially my most beloved and expensive possessions).
When I'd come home from work, the first 45 minutes of my evenings were usually spent scanning the house for casualties, cleaning up messes (especially in the kitchen where she made a game of tipping over the trash can and littering the house with disgusting, smelling garbage).
But the most annoying thing about Sadie was how expensive she was. We were always at the vet because she'd eat every little nail, stick, pin, toy, she could fit down her throat, including the insides of a beautiful chocolate and cream suede dog bed. Sadie's ingestion of that dog bed clogged her intestines so badly, it eventually resulted in a 2 a.m. visit to the emergency pet hospital.
I honestly considered giving her away at first. And some nights, under extreme duress, I wondered if her former owners had the right idea by jumping ship, leaving the devil dog to her own devices.
But then I went through a devastating breakup with a man I'd been seeing for three years. It broke my heart to exit that relationship, and I was surprisingly out-of-sorts for months, even though I initiated the dissolution.
After the breakup, I spent many nights with Sadie, avoiding the world and figuring out my future. Somehow Sadie knew I was going through a tough time, and we somehow came to an understanding in our relationship: She would be my constant, and I would be hers. So I took out my end-of-relationship anxiety on long walks with my dog. I took her to bed with me at night and held her while I slept.
And when I felt like crying, she'd curl up next to me and force me to stroke her head. In time, she came to be my closest friend, and I looked forward to coming home to her.
I've lived in three states and four cities with Sadie. She's seen me through many life and career changes, and comforted me through homesickness, family-less holidays, and more recently, another hard breakup.
The other night I came home after a tough day at work and let Sadie out her run space. She ran up to me and rolled over on her back. I rubbed her belly and kissed her nose, and thanked God for providing me a little friend that would always be there to make me smile. And it hit me. Besides God, Sadie really has been the only other daily constant in my life. After all we've been through together, I've come to love and trust her and depend on her to comfort me. No matter what, she's always there. She always wants me near, always wants to play and never judges me when I'm at my worst. I can ignore her, and she comes back. I can leave on vacation for several weeks, and she treats me like a rock star when I get home. She knows that I belong with her, and that she belongs with me.
That night, as we played together on the floor, Sadie reminded me how far we've come in our journey and likewise, how far I've come with my relationship with God. I, too, was once a little devil, always making messes and acting out, when I should have just listened to my master.
But just like God has always done with me, I've always believed in Sadie and her potential to be a wonder dog. We both still have a long journey ahead of us, and a lot of personality changes to work through. But as long as she's breathing, she'll always be my favorite little girl. And somehow, I know God feels the same about me.
Jennifer Preyss is a re porter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.