Thursday, September 3, 2009

Success Story - Spur & Sadie

We hadn’t planned on adopting a dog (let alone two) so soon after our 15 yr. old Marty had passed away. But there they were on the PNW Border Collie Rescue site: Spur and Sadie - sitting shoulder to shoulder with their heads cocked to one side.

View Spur & Sadies original adoption bio here

Four days later on a November afternoon, we returned home with the 9 yr. old brother and sister in the back seat of our car.

We never considered their age (we don’t think of ourselves as older either) - it was just them - they were the ones that we had to have. Spur was taller, more athletic, and a real clown. Sadie was timid, utterly attached to Spur, with a quiet charm.

The first days were busy with getting new beds, checkups with the vet, and exploring the neighborhood. They each had some minor medical procedures and came home with cone collars. In case they wondered why their new parents would do this to them, we showed solidarity by piling dog beds together and sleeping with them on the floor that night.

Then we settled in as a family - trips to the dog park, rides in the car, waiting for “daddy” to come home from work. Our routine was so natural, we couldn’t remember life without them. Spur loved running up and down the stairs - Sadie loved to play in the snow. They would sit side by side smelling dinner simmering on the stove.

In February, we stayed at Iron Springs in Copalis Beach - Spur and Sadie ran in the sand until they dropped. But each night - Spur would sit in the car confused about why we were staying in “that cabin”. He was very relieved at the end of the week to see that we were going “home.”

One day in June, after their usual run through the woods and morning nap, Spur could not stand. An hour later in the emergency room, we were told he had a splenic tumor that had burst. As Bob held him in his arms and told him we loved him - Spur passed away.

Time doesn’t count in matters of the heart - in just 7 months, Spur had an impact on our lives. He taught us that if you loved again - you could move on past life’s difficulties. He also taught us that by giving a dog love (easy for us) along with discipline (hard for us) - a dog would be happy and feel protected.

And he left us Sadie. We worried for her without Spur. But she stepped up to the plate and grew into her bigger self.

Now on our daily walks through the woods - we take our daughter’s dog - Otto - a 2 year old rat terrier rescued from a puppy farm in Texas. My daughter says he never had a “mom” - so Sadie has been teaching him how to be a “dog in the woods” - she is very proud of herself - and we are too.

We are driving to the Oregon Coast in September, with a list of “dog friendly” motels. Now it is the three of us: like most families - happy to be together and armed with memories of loved ones passed.

Thank you Heather, Mike, Marian - and all the other members from PNW BC Rescue - for your support - and the part you played in bringing Spur and Sadie into our lives.

-Bob & Judy Shaw