Surprises can come in odd shaped packages. That was the case with SADIE. Apart from being deaf and agoraphobic with a pot belly, a back bowed by countless litters. A tail that looked glued on and only wagged in the down position. With paws bigger than a bears, that still didn’t help her walk that well on her front. “Queen Anne” bowed legs. A partial mammary strip that left her tum hairless and lopsided, hips that clicked when you picked her up Sadie was a normal every day springer, well maybe she was a bit slower on the uptake than most to be honest.
That’s who we picked up along with her mother LUCY from the CAESSR kennels one warm June day in 2010. CAESSR had just got off the ground we had just lost our 17 year old rescue Springer. John Powell needed foster and rescue homes for springer’s that had come from a puppy farm in Shropshire. All were in a horrendous condition. One didn’t survive long enough to get a chance at a decent life. David Thomson the vet along with Gina the nurse explained to us that Lucy had an enormous tumour removed, unfortunately they could not be sure that they had got it all so doubted she would live more than a month, maybe two. John Powell wanted Lucy to be fostered with her daughter Sadie as they had a very close bond and indeed they did. Sadie’s mammary strip seemed a trifle then compared to her mums condition, frankly she was second priority at the time.
Sadie was pretty bouncy then but always had an eye out for mum (Lucy). Neither was house trained but that got sorted within a couple of weeks. All went well for a month or so then Lucy had a “stroke”. Her head went to one side and stayed there. Balance went, she would not eat or drink we thought her time had come but the two girls had other thoughts. When Sadie had a drink she would go to Lucy and moisten her mouth with great long wet licks and push her behind when she fell over. For a while I spent some time down stairs with Lucy, Sadie watched and waited for me to sleep. I would often wake with Sadie fussing over her mum.
Lucy gradually got a bit better and I had to have some treatment Foster carers Pat and David kindly looked after them for a week with their pack of springer’s When we went to pick them up we knew we were going to keep them. The girls somehow knew, they settled back into the car curled up together asleep with big grins on their faces a permanent fixture from then on.
Soon we were in Ireland Right in the middle of the country. A Springer’s dream -fields, streams, lochs and furry things to chase. Not for the girls, it seemed no one had actually told them they were Springer’s. Neither was inclined to go outside on their own. In fact for Sadie it was sheer hell! All walks had to be on a lead or she would run (well waddle) for home. One day she just fell to the floor. Hip dysplasia the vet said. Out came the metacam a regular dose from them on. One day Sadie surprised us by going swimming in the loch and the Atlantic. This became her regular exercise except when she got a stick or a ball in the water it was the old story straight back to the car. Things plodded along days out mucking about until a few months ago when she started to go off her food. Never a great eater she would chew thoughtfully savouring every bite unlike her mum the “hoover”. A few trips to the vet indicated nothing then suddenly she stopped eating and drinking. We fed her via a syringe but she went downhill rapidly. The decision was made and we said goodbye the day after Valentine’s Day.
You wouldn’t think there could be much interaction with a dog that had had such a hard life with all her disabilities but it was exactly the opposite. We will sorely miss her gentle graceful ways and so will her mum Lucy. The best things in life come from where and when you least expect them. Sadie was one of them.
John and Mary Parker