In my previous post, I told the story of how our Samson died. Losing a pet is horribly painful and it takes a lot of time to heal. I would think of him at random times – driving by a dog park, seeing someone walk a dog by the house, coming home from work and not having him greet at the door. Those moments stung a lot at first but got less and less over time.
As I mentioned before, I wanted another dog and was ready after a few months. I wanted a medium to big dog, preferably a rescue, though the specific breed didn’t matter as much. CJ however needed more time. He felt like we would be replacing Samson, which didn’t feel right.
So, I took cues from him and patiently waited.
After about a year, CJ started to feel more open and ready for another dog. We weren’t actively looking. We knew the Universe would bring us the right dog at the right time. CJ actually sat one night and talked to the Universe, asking for a dog.
A short time later, CJ went in to the dentist for a cleaning and saw a picture on the wall of 3 Labrador dogs. He commented to the receptionist that we used to have a yellow Lab and what a great dog he was. She asked if we were looking for another one and mentioned that one of the hygienists had a rescue dog that she was trying to find a home for.
A female Yellow Lab/Whippet mix named September.
CJ came home and told me. I was all for at least pursuing it but I also knew it needed to come from him. I could not force him in to this. After thinking it over for a few days, he said he wanted to find out more. We learned she was a rescue. She had been found as a puppy abandoned in a barn and was taken in by a young couple. They named her September because that’s when she was found.
Turned out she was a rascal with a lot of energy and chewed up their stuff – including the walls of the house. My guess is that they didn’t play with her or give her a constructive outlet for her energy so she took care of it herself by finding stuff to chew on. It’s what puppies do! So they handed her off to someone else. We don’t know the full history but we know she was passed from house to house several times. We also know she was kept chained outside at a couple of them.
At the last place she was kept in a barn. She tried to escape through a window at one point and tore her shoulder up on the glass. The “man” of the house wanted to take her out back and shoot her but instead they dropped her off at the Humane Society anonymously. The Humane Society was going to put her down because of her injury until this hygienist found out about her and offered to take her home. She is the one that nursed her through the injury. However, she was single, living with her mom and had 2 dogs of her own so she couldn’t keep September long term.
That’s where we come in.
We agreed to meet them at a nearby park so we could see what her personality was like and more importantly, how she was around kids. Samson was amazing with the girls but not all dogs will stand for the way kids show their “love” to dogs…
I fell in love with her as soon as I saw her.
She seemed small to me then but only because we were used to a dog Samson’s size. She was sweet and came right up to us. She let all of us pet her, and didn’t seem bothered by the girls at all. She even licked me!
We decided that night to take her and arranged for me to pick her up after work on Friday November 11th, 2016. When I got there, she jumped right in the car and though she seemed a little nervous she didn’t try to leave.
I had a few errands to run so I took her with me to get gas and pick something up from a friend. She was great the whole time. As we would drive she just laid there. I made sure to talk to her and pet her and she really liked that. She would lick my hand or lay her head on it. Dogs have a good sense about people and I think she knew immediately that we were different from the others and this would be a good home.
When we got home she was hesitant to go inside and seemed skittish once we got her in there. She sniffed around some and then I let her outside – and she refused to come back in. I tried to call her and offered her treats but she wouldn’t budge. I tried leaving her alone thinking maybe she’d eventually get chilly and ask to come in. Nope. Finally as a last resort, I grabbed a toy they sent with her and squeaked it. She came running in and that seemed to be the magic bullet needed to open her up.
She does lover her squeaky toys!!
She ran around the house exploring and getting familiar. She let the girls pet her and she made her self comfortable on the furniture.
Sandy has been our angel and I truly believe Samson sent her to us. She is the opposite of him in a lot of ways which is just what we needed so that it didn’t feel like a replacement of Samson but rather a new addition. Where he was a bull in a China shop, she is graceful. Where he was a rascal, she is sweet. Samson was full of energy and always had to be kept busy. Sandy is content just to just be around us, though occasionally she gets a big burst of energy and will tear off around the house! When she does that we yell “Sandy’s on the run! Take cover!!”
Samson was a rescue that was passed around a lot too and he dealt with it by being distant and not getting too close. Sandy however compensated for the years of abuse by being extra loving to us – she loves to snuggle, give kisses, and wants to be constantly near us. As I write this out on the patio, she is right at my feet, close by.
There are some ways in which she is like Samson. She has a strong mouth and can destroy a “regular” toy in under 30 seconds so we have to get her the super strong ones made for tough chewers. She’s also super smart. We trained her to ring bells on the door when she needs to go outside and she is never fooled by our games when we try to trick her during catch. She’s also incredibly fast and athletic.
We do see some adverse affects of the abuse. She doesn’t like a lot of men. She’s never had any issues with CJ or my dad but does with most other men. They make her nervous and she’s been known to bite so we have to put her upstairs when we have guests over. She also doesn’t get along well with other dogs. We found out early on that she hates to be confined in any type of space. She will not go in a kennel nor is she comfortable in a room with the door closed – even if one of us is with her. Clearly that’s from the years of being chained up and locked in the shed.
But other than that, she’s perfect.
That’s the story of our Sandy. She is the most loving and well behaved dog. We’ve never had problems with her chewing our things, having accidents, being aggressive or anything like that. She’s been wonderful and we couldn’t have asked for a better follow-up to Samson.
She is also a good example, showing that despite being bullied, abused and treated as less than, she still has an amazing capacity to love. That’s a lesson we could all learn.
I hope we have many more years with this sweet girl. Samson knew we needed a fur kid that would give our hearts the love and care that they needed and he found us the right dog for the job.