Valentine’s Day means different things to different people. But, for Dumb Friends League staff member Jennifer and her pup, Sadie, the day will always have a special place in their hearts. On February 14, 2007, Jennifer became what’s affectionally known as a “foster flunkie” when she adopted Sadie. Their story is full of sweetness … and not the saccharine-like kind that makes you cringe.
Sadie, a Shepherd mix, arrived at the League in January 2007 as a transfer from another state. Staff thought Sadie (then known as Tulip) was 9 months old, and she was pregnant and severely underweight, which was, in part, due to a tapeworm infection.
Jennifer’s dog Abby passed away in the spring of 2006, and while she wasn’t ready to adopt just yet, she knew Sadie would benefit from living with her temporarily to regain her health and prepare the furry canine for adoption. Jennifer laughed when she recalled the day she brought Sadie home and met her friend, who took one look at the two and said, “She’s not going back.” And she was right.
As Sadie recovered, her personality came out. The pup who started out on the calmer side ended up being full of energy and a bit more puppy-like than Jennifer anticipated initially. To help expel some of Sadie’s energy, Jennifer took her to the dog park and on long walks to the point of Jennifer developing shin splints. What we do for our pets, right? Sadie loved running around her yard and being an ambassadog, which is one of the League’s highly trained pets used in some of our humane education programs.
As the years progressed, Sadie developed arthritis, and as she slowed down, she put on a few pounds. It happens to the best of us. Jennifer noticed that Sadie wasn’t as happy as she had been, and while medication helped Sadie’s arthritis a bit, Jennifer decided to change her diet to Hill’s® Science Diet® Youthful Vitality after trying a few samples that were given out at the League’s Furry Scurry event. Sadie, who previously had no real love of any food for any length of time, immediately liked the switch, and one and a half years later, Sadie still dances for her meals.
After a few weeks of her changed diet, Jennifer noticed Sadie had more pep and zip in her steps. “It’s like Sadie was aging backward,” joked Jennifer. The two returned to morning strolls and afternoon and evening walks. “Now, Sadie is walking one to two miles instead of a few blocks as she had been,” said Jennifer. Best of all, Sadie is healthier and happier. Some might even call her spry.
Sadie is happy to spend her days doing her favorite things, which include playing with squeaky toys (and if those toys have some sort of crunch/crinkle factor, all the better), snuggling with her mom, sniffing out adventures on their walks and taking in smells in her backyard.
“Sadie has more energy now, and she has a higher enjoyment of life,” said Jennifer. “She’s the best girl ever, and I’m totally aware at 13 years old, I don’t have much longer with her, so we cherish every day together.”
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