A New Arrival
I’m very happy to announce that we have a new addition to our family. She is overweight, snores at night and has some pungent gas problems but we love her and she’s here to stay. Sadie the chocolate Labrador came into our lives at the beginning of February. She is five years old with the most appealing eyes you have ever seen and the kindest nature. Sadie belonged to an elderly lady who was no longer able to keep her due to illness and members of the family decided that it would be best to re-home her. She had spent the best part of three years with virtually no exercise and has become very overweight. Their neighbour, who happens to be a good trainer friend of mine, took her in and knowing that we were looking to adopt a dog, called us with what she thought was the ideal candidate. As soon as Sadie stepped through the front door we knew she was the dog for us. My daughter Alexandra is scared of dogs, possibly from the fact that she has watched mummy training the naughty puppies on TV and in her mind, every dog is a ‘naughty puppy.’ I was a little concerned what Alex’s reaction would be to a very large brown dog but I needn’t have worried. Sadie walked up to my daughter, sat down in front of her and raised her paw as if to shake hands and say hello. To this day the pair are inseparable.
I have providing counselling to many families about the process of getting a new dog, particularly important when there are small children involved. It seems strange that after being dogless for so long because of work commitments, I am now in the same position. I can’t take any chances with a four year old running around and need to have a dog that is particularly good with children. Sadie has to be one of the most gentle dogs I’ve ever seen with a child, but I still believe that there has to be effective management so that Alex and Sadie are never left alone together. It is also important that I talk to Alex about what she is and what she is not allowed to do around the dog. Fortunately she’s a trainer’s daughter and at the age of two and a half was already training her toy Dalmatians to ‘leave it’ and ‘sit’ with pretend treats and a training pouch I had given her. The amazing thing was, I had never taught her to do these things – she was copying what she had seen me do on the television, with dare I say it exactly the same tone of voice! Always be aware parents that even if you don’t think they are, your children are watching and listening to everything you say and do. Alex understands how she should behave around Sadie but needs a gentle reminder from time to time.
As I write this Sadie is lying beside me wondering when this new woman is going to take her for a walk. The sun is shining through the window onto her beautiful chocolate coat and I am transfixed. I have never had a dog of my own even when I was a child. I have fostered countless here in the USA but have never been able to bond with them because I knew they were going to go to new homes. Now, after so long, this beautiful animal lying next to me is truly mine. Welcome Sadie to our home and our family – we are so blessed that you are now part of our lives.
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