Starved, worried and confused Sadie slipped cautiously through the trees near our barn. Kessy spied her first, then the chickens and cats scattered. The dangerously, skinny black dog looked at me and I saw fear in her eyes, but also saw want of, and offer to, love. At first she made a move to run away, but I think she was just too tired. She offered a feeble tail wag. I knelt by Kessy and talked to the frightened pup and suddenly she bounced to me. She fell on her back begging for a tummy rub, which I offered for as long as she needed.
She and Saturday followed me to the tack room where she gobbled down two servings of Saturday’s dog food. I sat with her as she gulped her first meal in who knew how long. She was heavily laden with flies, ticks and scabs. So next stop, our bath tub and two successive baths. Boy howdy did I lather her up! She listened pretty darn well, only struggled a little. It was during the baths that I realized how sharp was this little gal. A slight exaggeration, but it seemed, if I thought it, she tried to do it.
Ravishin’ Robbie came home a few hours later and was in total agreement that little Sadie, as she named her, needed to be part of our critter clan. Worn and tired, standing a frail 20 inches tall, and weighing only 28 pounds young Sadie had been running on her own for some time, and the wear showed in her body, and eyes. I’ll never understand how folks can drive to the woods and just discard a bundle of love like so much unwanted trash. But they do. Every cat, and every dog we’ve ever had have been strays who have found us ... Unrecognized by others as gifts from God.
Sadie arrived last Thursday and in addition to several baths (Saturday got one too) we fed her every few hours and gave her tons of lovin’—and she reciprocated. We allowed her in the house much of the day, but she slept on the porch glider Thursday night. Friday morning the changes in Sadie were not only noticeable, but downright unbelievable! She joined Saturday, Kessy and me for Coffee Clutch ... The kitties though did not. Our chickens have taken Sadie under their wings and treat her like part of their flock.
After breakfast on Friday I planned on a ride, but what about Sadie? I didn’t want her to use all the energy, but Saturday always goes along. Before I rode out I checked on Sadie and found her sleeping on the glider. Saturday was with her, so I snuck out alone.
We were about 10 minutes out when I noticed Kessy turning her ears back. I’m not able to look back over my shoulder anymore so when I want to look behind I ask Kessy to turn around and when we did, there on the trail behind us was Saturday ... and Sadie! I kept the ride on Friday short, for Sadie. She loved the adventure!
Sadie enjoyed numerous evenly spaced good meals, and lounged on her porch glider most of the rest of the day Friday, then joined us for TV time in the evening. We were gone a bit during the day and we risked leaving her in the house with Saturday. All went well! She is quite the well mannered young lady, we guess her age at about 5 months. We did leave her out on the porch overnight though, not sure of the night time potty habits.
Saturday Robbie and I were gone the best part of the day, I had a book signing, so Sadie and Saturday were on their own. In the evening we had them join us for TV time—and even had Sadie spend the night inside. Remarkably at 6AM she woke us asking to go out! Seems the potty details are as natural to her as they were with Saturday when he found us 6 years ago.
Sunday as I took Kessy through her pre-ride exercises and saddled up, Sadie sat with Saturday and watched every move. When I rode out they both fell in line and jogged along. Sadie performed as if she’d been a trial riding pal for years already, always keeping a safe distance, not straying, and stopping whenever Kessy did. Of course I understand Saturday is a most perfect example of a trail riding dog, and a fine mentor on all things dog, horse and human. We rode an hour on Sunday. Sadie again slept indoors Sunday night; she has been awarded her certificate of excellence in house manners.
|Sadie & Saturday on the trail with Kessy & me ... Yesterday Sadie decided she also likes to run alongside Kessy, sometimes under my stirrup!|
Yesterday, Monday, we rode out again, into a light rain. Sadie has mastered the pre-ride activities and now along with Saturday, monitors Kessy’s and my preparation with eager anticipation. Yesterday we rode an hour and a half—and that bouncing, skinny black bundle of fun, silliness and sweetness simply amazed me. She has in three ride become a trail riding buddy, perfect in every way.
A bit different from Saturday though, who almost always trots just at Kessy’s heels, Sadie does that but adds buckets of energy to her adventures on the trail. She’ll trot behind with Saturday, then on a whim break away and run lightning fast loops around us, sometimes disappearing from sight only to explode from the brush next to us, in front of us, or behind us. Kessy never shows any sign of being startled, her only reaction is an ear turned to Sadie. I came to two realizations on yesterday’s ride, my bird watching from the saddle will most certainly be affected ... and I doubt I’ll ever ride up on a bear again!
I noticed Sadie, like Kessy and Saturday are so in tune to me I pretty much need only think what I wanted and she’ll do it as we ride. It’s as if we’d been partners for years. I wondered yesterday was there perhaps a bit of Sweetness and Jigs’ spirits (my two long gone trail riding pals) in Sadie, running with her, offering advice. She reminds me so of them. We had a most perfect ride yesterday and none of us minded the rain!
The kitties have just begun to accept Sadie, some more than others. Coffee Clutch today was wonderful, Sadie moseys about a bit, but also lays content with Saturday, Kessy and me. The kitties watch from a safe distance, Bullet even joined us today briefly.
I weighed Sadie this morning, she’s up to 31 pounds. In a few weeks when she has really bounced back we’ll have her spayed, get her rabies shot etc. She is a sweet, sweet girl and I’m sorry for the bad she had to experience, but she’s home now.
We thank you God for this gift of abundant love!
|Sadie and me grabbin' a winks ...|
Gitty Up, Dutch Henry