Dogs are known as man's best friend for a reason; they are simply adorable and lovable companions. Soft and friendly, dogs will always be there to brighten our days. As someone who has owned several dogs and currently has two, I know from personal experience how great dogs can truly be. However, though I do love my toy poodle and dachshund, they are not who I am talking about throughout this article. They are amazing dogs, but today I wanted to talk about a very specific dog that holds a large spot in my heart.
Her name was Sarah and she was probably the sweetest dog that I have ever known.
The funny thing about Sarah is the fact we actually got her as a dog for our other dog, a golden retriever named Shelby. You see, we have a fairly large backyard and though we did love to go out and play with Shelby, all of us had our responsibilities that kept us busy throughout the day. Mom and Dad had work and I, being the age of seven, had to go to school. That left Shelby in our big yard by herself a majority of the time. We knew that could be lonely and honestly pretty boring so we thought that getting another dog would mean getting Shelby a friend to keep her company.
Thus entered Sarah into our lives.
Sarah definitely looked like a sweet dog. I don't know what it was about the appearance that drew us to her, but she seemed to emanate a soft and friendly aura. She was border collie mutt dog speckled in black spots, but that is not what comes to mind when I think about Sarah. I remember her soft nature, the way she was always so happy to see you when you walked towards the back door, and especially the way she would frantically try to give you as many kisses as possible when your face was within range.
Sarah was a family dog. She loved every member of our family fiercely, always content to lay down and be cuddled or pet for hours on end. In fact, if you stopped before she had received what she considered the ultimate amount of pets and cuddles, she would let you know by placing a gentle paw on your hand in an attempt to drag you back. Those paws were always so gentle. We always joked that Sarah was a princess or a member of royalty in her past life because she would lay down with her front paws crossed like a proper gentlewoman. She was a funny and proper little lady.
Despite the gentleness she showed with our family, there was definitely a wild streak in Sarah. It was always funny to watch her play fetch with our golden retriever, Shelby. We swear that the border collie in Sarah reared its head every time we threw that tennis ball because Sarah would bound after as Shelby went after that ball, lightly nipping at Shelby's ankles and bumping her in the direction of the ball. Sarah was a herding dog and she reminded us with every game of fetch played in our backyard.
Sarah was quite the fun and amazing dog, but the most amazing thing about Sarah was her ability to be gentle and loving. We got Sarah as a companion for Shelby, that much was stated up front. However, we didn't just go to any place or breeder to pick her up. Sarah was a pound dog. I remember vividly walking into the back room of that animal shelter, the barks and yelps of dogs seemed almost overwhelming as they bounced off of the concrete walls. The shelter was a nice one with friendly faces and workers who obviously loved animals, but anyone could tell that it wasn't a forever home for animals of all different backgrounds.
The background is something that plays a major factor when it comes to shelter dogs. We had discovered that Sarah had been living on the streets before coming to the shelter. She lived day to day, getting her meals from whatever scraps were leftover from fast food meals and garbage cans. We have no hard evidence to support this, but we believe that Sarah had been abused by some man because she was always skittish around my dad and other new male friends. To imagine some person treating the dog that would play hide and seek with me like she isn't deserving of love makes me absolutely sick to my stomach.
That is precisely why in the future I fully intend to adopt all of my dogs. Going to a breeder can be a nice experience and it allows you to get the dog you always dreamed about. However, there are so many dogs that can use loving homes. There are so many Sarahs out in the world that could use a friend and it is because of her that I will open my door and heart to shelter dogs in the future.