Sadie lost two friends in 18 days, Max and Rover, her only two friends. Those of you who follow this blog have read about our losses in Passing of the Ball and Sad Times at Cross Creek Ranch. Sugar and I have been in mourning. Sadie has taken it just as hard, probably harder because she spent all her time with them so her world changed drastically.
It was sad to watch Sadie stare out the window, waiting for their return. She also slept much more, as if to escape her pain. She was needy, following us from room to room, never wanting to be alone.
After Max died, for a few days, she perked up when she heard one or the other of us drive up the lane. She watched the vehicle as if expecting Max to return. Of course, she was disappointed every time because Max did not return.
After Rover died, she did not seem to expect his return. She seemed to know that he was dead. She had sniffed the bed of the pickup truck before I washed out his blood from transporting Rover from the road to his grave. Also, even though Sadie was not allowed outside as I dug the hole and placed Rover in it, then covering him up, she nevertheless sniffed his grave. She knew. She was obviously overwhelmed with sadness. Her friends were gone and she was lost in her own home.
When a friend sent us a link to the Humane Society website, she pointed out a dog named Max who was up for adoption. She wrote, “Another Max needs you.” We really did not take well to her suggestion. We did not want another Max. We missed our Max, who could not be replaced. Our friend did not intend to offend, but we were not in the mood to appreciate the suggestion. It seemed disrespectful to our beloved Max.
So on Wednesday, we went to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter and adopted Beau, another male Yellow Lab. What changed our minds, if not our feelings?
Why? We did it for Sadie. When Sugar was young(er), she had two dogs who grew up together. When one had to be euthanized due to an incurable condition, the surviving dog was depressed, stopped eating, and had to then be euthanized as well. Sugar saw Sadie’s inconsolable depression and worried about history repeating itself.
We decided that getting a new puppy was not the solution. Sugar looked for a mature Labrador to befriend Sadie, who is a Lab, specifically, and more importantly to her, a Yellow Lab We had noticed at dog parks and doggy day care that Sadie is a racist. She is prejudiced against non-Labradors, preferring the company of other Labs. Also, if given a choice, she is biased in favor of Yellow Labs more so than Black or Chocolate versions of the breed. Of course, Rover won her over by his obliviousness to her Yellow Supremacist attitude and by pure joyousness. She decided Rover was okay to play with, maybe overcome by his gift of enthusiasm. She even lowered herself to sleeping with him. They clearly made friends. That friendship probably helped each of them cope together with the loss of Max. They still had each other … for a mere eighteen days.
Beau is a two-year-old Yellow Lab. Last Saturday, we took Sadie up to Cheyenne with us so that they could meet under supervision at the animal shelter. He was very glad to meet her but was rather clumsy about it, totally lacking in the cool reserve that females find alluring. Nevertheless, Sadie tolerated the nerdy approach and the powers that be called it a good match since neither displayed aggressive behavior.
Why then, did we not take Beau home with us that day? The sad answer is that he was not available for adoption until he was neutered. So he suffered castration on Tuesday and we picked him up on Wednesday.
He has been very sweet, shy actually, seemingly eager to please. He is having a difficult recuperation from his surgery. Out of concern, Sugar took him to a vet to check on his condition.
He had to wear a plastic cone to keep him from messing with, well, you know the site of his surgery. Sugar felt sorry for him bumping into everything with the wide cone, so she went to town again to buy a more forgiving inflatable one.
However, he could still reach his, you know, private area by bending around the inflated tube, so Sugar went back to town to get a second, larger one. That did not work either so now he wears both. (Those three trips involved 120 miles of driving, one vet bill, and two purchases for any of you keeping track of such things).
I introduced him to the horses. They were completely unimpressed. They let him sniff them without kicking him and ignored his barks. I am under the impression that was Beau’s first encounter with equine creatures. It was not the horses’ first encounter with dogs. They were interested in their hay and not at all interested in the new member of the family.
Sugar took a picture of Sadie and Beau together. Beau is the one with the fashionable neck ware. Look, they made friends!
We don’t know what Beau’s life was like before we brought him into ours, but now we have two dogs from rescue shelters. (See Sadie’s Tale in the archives for June 29, 2012, under Animal Stories.) Now they can help each other. Ain’t that something!