Our Canine Family
by Angela Todd
Angela Todd Designs
Two weeks ago I lost my little girl, Sadie Sue.
Sadie Sue was a blue merle Sheltie who I adored over the past 13 years. I don’t have words to type in a blog that convey my deep love for her. She was my daughter in a way perhaps only someone without children at home would understand.
Like most Sheltie’s, her mind was sharp and she worked hard to please me. She was the most intelligent I ever met. She had dog commands mastered within the 24 hours of bringing her home. She didn’t have one accident in the house while potty training her. She didn’t need a leash and naturally healed when we walked. I distinctly remember her galloping like a proud pony beside me looking up with a doggie smile. She went on hikes with me in areas off the beaten path, she loved fetching sticks and balls, and she gave kisses to only me. When she was excited she would circle, always counterclockwise, a trait common with Shetland Sheepdogs because of their herding instinct. Sadie’s natural state was making me happy.
People talk about their pets after they are gone as if they were always so well-behaved. Sadie however had a mind of her own. She could understand a command and be completely unwilling to comply. As a pup, she put together the concept that going potty in the morning, meant I would shortly leave for work. So, she would refuse to do her business. I remember walking her regularly and finally (out of desperation) bending down to rub her tummy, while saying, “Go Potty Sadie” over and over.
When she finally acquesed, I would take her inside while I left for work. She would inevitably find a single shoe of mine and chew it. When I got home it was as if to say, “I know you need these things to go wherever you are going. If you don’t have them will you stay?” When I started making sure all my shoes were out of reach each morning, she turned on the scatter pillows on the sofa.
You probably can’t imagine how eating an interior designer’s sofa can wage a war in a household. How dare she? Still, I can’t recall getting too upset. She was a pain in the butt in those early months, but she was MY pain in the butt. Besides, I was tired of the sofa fabric anyway. And most of all, I understood that stubbornness. My folks could fill you in with more details.
As the years passed, Sadie and I got very close. When my Grandma Margaret died, my namesake “Angela Margaret”, I remember crying alone. Sadie would come find me, laying beside me. When my worries were large, I would find she had left her comfortable doggie bed, and instead was right beside my bed throughout the night. She never asked for attention during those times, she was just my rock. Her support was beautiful and unconditional. Her example that taught me so much about being a better human being to those in need.
When I worked in my design studio, Sadie would spend the day lying beside me while I worked. She had a charm and grace that I will always remember. As she got older, she slowed down, but her beautiful features still graced strangers when I would take her to the park or out for a walk. Everyone wanted to pet Sadie Sue.
Many of my interior design clientele have a Sadie Sue at their house too. When I visit clients I am anxious to know the names of everyone that lives there, including their pets. We have created built in beds, incorporated food and water bowls in cabinetry, and thought of where their canine family members will sit in the family room and master bedroom more times than I can count. I have even helped clients display precious boxes of their pet’s ashes in special places in their homes. These precious lives enrich our time here on earth, and it is my pleasure to serve and honor the little inhabitants of our client’s home.
I miss you little girl.