My Beloved Sadie

I am fortunate enough to still have her. She is a 10 1/2 year old black lab. If she lives until March, she will be 11. Back in 1996, my wife and I moved to Greenville, NC so my wife could finish College. As poor college students, we could not afford to get a dog that we wanted at the time. A coworker of mine offered me one of the litter of black labs. My wife, who had a childhood black lab (also named Sadie) said that she was open to getting this lab. This pup was the last of the litter (the runt). Well my friend brought 3 puppies to the house (the other two with “our pup” were already spoken for.

Our pup was very very sickly and tiny. My friends poured puppy chow into an aluminum pan and poured water over it. As I watched the pups feed, I saw that our pup was too weak to hold her head up and eat. The other two healthy pups mowed through the chow in just a few moments and poor Sadie had only had some broth off of this and was too weak to eat any of this solid food. I could fit her in my hands. She was 1/3 the size of the other two. I could only get 10 minutes of activity out of her before she would “flop out of commission… like she was lethargic”. I was thinking “this pup is not going to make it unless I get some real food into her and soon. As soon as my friend left with the other two pups, I ran to the nearest Grocery Store, bought 3 cans of the most expensive canned dog food on the shelf and grabbed a quart of heavy cream. I mixed a broth out of this and gave it to Sadie and she sprang to life! She grew by leaps and bounds! After a couple of weeks of healthy pup, another ominous problem sprang up.

She started losing hair on her tail and body. It was obvious that she was miserable as she would chew on her irritated skin. Our vet diagnosed her with demodectic mange. It broke my heart because Sadie’s spirit was so strong and my wife and I were in love with this miracle dog! Or vet at the time told us that he had an “experimental treatment’ that could kill her or cure her. After trying numerous skin treatments to no avail, we opted to give Sadie this high concentration of Ivomectin by mouth (a worm medicine) to kill off the mange. It was also expensive… money that my wife and I really didn’t have but we found a way because we knew that Sadie was so miserable that we did not have no other alternatives. We paid the vet for this experimental treatment. We would fill this syringe with the turpentine smelling mixture and squirt it down Sadie’s throat. I would lead the treatment with 1/2 slice of american cheese, and follow it with the other half. I called Sadie and she would obediently come sit at my feet while I gave her her “good, bad, good” treatment. After two months of that she was cured of the mange!

Sadie has always been the sweetest and most obedient dog. I cannot help but know she knew that she was truly “rescued” and she reciprocated by being the best dog that I have ever had. I have truly been blessed by this miracle dog. I know that we are in the “twilight” now, and it breaks my heart to know that we will dearly miss her when she is gone… but I am so happy to report that she is still doing well after such an uncertain start. I caught her yawning here.. If you look to the right of the picture of her, you will see another black mass of Labrador. That is Sammy, and he is her best buddy. Perhaps I will send you his story later. I am truly blessed by these animal companions. I will be buying your book… and I am sorry for your loss. God bless you and thank you Mark.

Michael From NC