"A better choice is this dog over here. She's already housebroken," the shelter lady insisted, pointing at an older dog cowering under the table. Hmmm...
As if to affirm the lady's argument, the puppy stopped licking the children, ran to the middle of the room and peed on the floor.
"We'll take her," I found myself saying. Ignoring the shelter lady's frown, we signed the paperwork and took our newest family member home.
We tried to call her Sadie, after a puppy I had as a child, but somehow the name just wouldn't stick. Every time we tried to say her name it came out "Sassy". After a couple of days, we gave in. Sassy it was. And despite what the shelter lady thought of her, she turned out to be one of the most gentle and well-mannered of dogs.
Annie and Sassy were instant friends. Annie would squish mud pies onto Sassy's head and Sassy would sit very still, only her tail softly swishing back and forth.
|Annie and Sassy|
Sassy held a soft spot for Brendan, too. Once when little Brendan was being scolded by his daddy, Sassy seated herself between them to shield her boy from his daddy's disapproval. Daddy couldn't help but smile at the sight.
Each new baby in our family was one more little one for Sassy to adore. She followed the twins and Mary everywhere they went, dancing with excitement when one of them would grab the leash. Sassy often walked over to baby Joseph to give him a little kiss on the top of his tiny head.
She traveled with us from Texas to New York, from Wisconsin to California and back. For 14 years she was at our sides giving the kind of love only dogs can, and we loved her back.
It's a sad day when a beloved pet dies. We miss her. Our home, full to overflowing, is now a little less full. We keep looking for her as we move about the house. I was looking for something under my bed and glanced at the spot she used to sleep, expecting to see her there. I teared up as I washed and put away her bowl. I stumbled over my words this morning. "Brendan, please feed the dogs...uh...dog... Please feed Hurley."
Dogs were such a good idea, God. We are grateful for the ways our dogs have enriched our lives. Thank You for 14 years with our sweet Sassy-dog.