Sadie’s Doggie Nervous Breakdown

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People ask how I ended up with so many dogs, especially since for many years we were a one dog/one cat household. We had our beagle named Trooper (adopted from a shelter in Louisiana) and a tabby cat Cooper (adopted from a shelter in Ohio.
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Once Trooper was around 13, we adopted a shelter pup – Sadie. Trooper wasn’t much of a fan of Sadie, but as long as she kept her distance,, he tolerated. her. Sorta.
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When our older dog Trooper died at 15 years old, needless to say we were devastated. There are some days we still are. However, we weren’t prepared for how deeply Sadie would grieve the loss. After all, they weren’t close. Trooper was pretty much an anti-social dog who wouldn’t have anything to do with Sadie. Yet still, Sadie compulsively checked the spot where we’d kept Trooper’s bed. She stopped eating for a few days and even when she finally started eating again, her appetite was off.
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We tried more walks, more love, more toys, rides in the car. Still, Sadie grieved. She dropped weight. The vet started talking about anti-depressants. Trooper had only been gone for two months, but Sadie had dropped from 23 pounds to 19 pounds. We had planned to get a second dog again someday… but so soon? It seemed Sadie was making the decision for us.

I called the awesome folks at the PAWS and we discussed some of their dogs that might be a good match for Sadie’s high strung temperament. I knew I wanted an adult dog because I see how many of them are overlooked. Sadie went with me so we could find a dog with a good temperament match – and so they could meet on neutral ground. When we got to the shelter, Sadie started sniffing and immediately perked up. Puppies! Dogs! She was a social butterfly zipping around to visit with all the canines in the lobby.

Then we went to the adoption room to introduce her to a possible permanent pal. To make a long story short, she found her friend in a yellow Lab mix. All my fears about being able to love a new dog as much as I’d loved Trooper – as much as I love Sadie – vanished as I looked into the mellow eyes of this sweet fellow … our dog Sam!
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PS Update: Six years later, we still adore him and Sadie eats just fine, other than being a diva and wanting to hog up all the best treats. She also wants to know when I’ll be naming a dog in a book after her, since I named the dog in Shelter Me after Trooper. 😉

Question: Do you have an overly emotional or high strung pet like Sadie? (I could write a whole other blog on her and thunderstorms…. hmmm…. that’s an idea….)

About Author: cathymann
USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, and Sourcebooks, with her work reprinted in more than twenty countries. She lives on the Florida coast where she and her military flyboy husband have brought up four children. An active volunteer with her local Humane Society, Catherine enjoys writing while foster puppies nap on her feet.

3 thoughts on “Sadie’s Doggie Nervous Breakdown

  • First, I have to say, I love your posts. It is so wonderful to see your dedication as well as the volunteers that work with animal rescue. It takes the same kind of huge heart to work with animals as it does to work with children in need of tender loving care. All of you are angels that God has called to a special ministry. Thank you for your service.
    “Shelter Me”, is a spot on book that describes the grieving process a family goes through after the loss of a loved one so well it could be used for therapy. Catherine Mann has also shown the sad lonely aspect of Alzheimers and how it affects a family. By putting Trooper in the midst of this story, she brought everything together to provide us, her readers, with a look at our own families, our love affair with our pets, our relationships with other family members, and the love that grows between a man and woman. A love that overcomes all the obstacles that are in the way-with the help of one rescued, service dog. Trooper is, of course, the hero. Can’t wait to see him again in the next installment, “Rescue Me”.

  • Thank you so very much, Sandra!! Your sweet note really touched my heart – I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and comment. So glad you enjoyed Shelter Me!!

  • I have a cat named Max. He has been terrified by anyone knocking on the door almost as long as I’ve had him. I was home late one Friday (it was just past midnight) about six months after I brought him home from the shelter. A man kicked in my front door and – so lucky for me – grabbed my purse from beside the door and took off! Max hasn’t liked anyone even coming to the door ever since. He runs straight to the bedroom!

    It took a few years before I was comfortable with someone knocking on my door, to be honest. So I can definitely understand his fear – there were days I wished I could fit under that bed with him. 😉

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