|Ms. Sadie, Princess of Mercy|
It started, I think, when the daughter of one of my patients got a new little puppy. A Havanese named 'Thelma' (her 'sister' was named 'Louise'). 'Thelma' looked so much like our Ms. CoCo Chanel when she was a pup that it broke my heart.
Ms. CoCo died February 22 of this year. She was feisty and opinionated and so damn smart it was scary. She was definitely the "Alpha Dog" in our pack. Mr. Lenny and Mr. Theo knew her as "She Who Must Be Obeyed". She was known in the neighborhood as "The Harbor Mistress" because she would bark at all the boats that went by.
|Ms. CoCo Chanel|
And then, the Obamas got 'Sunny', their new Portuguese Water Dog, so "Bo" would not be alone. This, after Mr. Obama 'promised' that his reelection did not mean another dog in the White House.
I smirked. Ha! Don't ever make promises you don't know you can keep. Especially about dogs!
I think things began to crystallize when I met Thelma and began to hear of her breeders, two men who live not far from us. The whole town knows about them. They are the "go to guys" for Havanese puppies.
Everyone still talks about the day Condoleza Rice came to town to pick up her pup. The secret service guys in the black limos that lined the streets made it even more exciting than the day Barbara Walters came to pick up her pups.
|Mr. Theo, the Great|
Within seconds, she had the web page up and was "Ooo-ing" and "Ahh-ing" so loudly, Lenny and Theo came over to see if she was alright.
The next thing I know, I'm being shown pictures of dogs that have been "retired". These breeders only allow their dogs to have three litters of puppies and then they are "retired from duty". With full honors. But, at a mere fraction of the cost.
|Mr. Lenny Bruce Brisco|
Well, there was nothing to be done but to go see her. Which we did. The very next night. It was decided. Especially since Ms. CoCo would have been eight years old on August 30th. The proximity of the birthdays was too serendipitous for us not to be intrigued.
Oh Lord, but is she sweet! A little timid but that's pretty normal for a first meet. Even so, I was a bit concerned how she'd fare with Lenny and Theo - both of whom are rough and tumble kinda guys.
And, after all, they had been without Ms. CoCo's influence for six months. I thought they'd be a bit intimidating to Ms. Sadie, such a pretty, gentile lady.
The guys suggested we bring her home for the weekend and see how she - and they, and we - adjust.
And that, as they say, was that.
She does fine with the boys and they with her. We are having some 'bathroom issues'. No, it's not what you think. It's that she won't go. Anywhere. She went 12 hours without peeing the first day.
We finally figured out that there are three problems (1) She's only ever peed on concrete (2) She's never peed while being out on a leash and (3) Nothing here or outside smells like her.
So, when she did finally pee, we blotted some up on a paper towel and put some on the grass and on the deck. She's peeing just fine now, but she prefers the deck. Without a leash. Thank you very much.
We gave her her very first 'Denta bone' chewie last night. Oh, my, my, my, but didn't she enjoy that!
I knew she was fine when she had a bout of "puppy crazies" with Theo this morning. Back and forth and forth and back they ran, from one bedroom across the house to the other bedroom. She took the lead but Theo followed close behind, while Lenny..... well..... Lenny just watched in his usual bewilderment. Poor baby. He takes the short bus to school, don't you know.
Sadie is eating well. Sleeps all night, glued to my side. Bonding well with us both. And, she hasn't barked. Not once. Oh, she's whined a bit when either of us leaves, but not a bark out of her.
I suspect that's because Theo does enough barking for all three. Poodle! Such a mouth on that one!
Sadie - as those of us who once lived in the Northeast Corridor know - is a Yiddish baby name meaning "Princess". It's also a nickname in Mexico for Mercedes, meaning 'Mercy'.
|Ms. Sadie, Princess of Mercy, on her throne|
She rules with quiet authority from her throne, which she picked out about 12 hours after her arrival at Castle Llangollen.
We suspect there's an iron paw hidden in that soft, furry glove, which she has yet to reveal. All it will take is one time for Mr. Theo to cross the line with her and he will be put in his place.
Of this, we are quite certain.
We will have to have her spayed and she needs one last inoculation, but we didn't pay any more for her that we did to rescue any of our other pups.
We have started to take her for long walks on her leash around the neighborhood. She's very curious - about everything but especially about the water and boats - and she's very friendly and gets along well with others - human as well as other creatures.
Her fur was sheered after her puppies were whelped and then given to another dog to nurse (see also: didn't do well with motherhood), so she doesn't look much like a Havanese right now. But, she will. She will. Her coat is shiny and healthy. And, we've got this 'black and white' thing going here, in case you hadn't noticed.
We are just thrilled with the newest member of our family. She's wonderful and we love her so much already. How did we ever live without her?
I'm not sure how, exactly, that this all came to be.
Then again, that's the way of the miracle of relationships, isn't it?