So, this is my dog Sally. I love her – a lot. She is my favorite dog that I have ever had – bar none… and I have had many dogs and I have loved them all. But Sally has been special.
We got her over 10 years ago, we found her at the animal shelter in Hemet, CA. We were living in Perris and we already had a dog named “Mop” and we decided to get Mop a friend. So we went to the shelter to see what dogs were available. For whatever reason, I have always been partial to small breed dogs, and we did live in a fairly small apartment – so we were really only looking at small dogs. There weren’t actually that many to choose from. We saw Sally sitting in one of the pens, with a larger dog. Sally, at that point, was literally sitting in her own poo. But she was kinda cute, so we asked to spend a few minutes with her (obviously, her name wasn’t “Sally” at this point). The Hemet shelter had a small, grassy “play area” where you could spend time with an animal to try and ensure a better fit between humans and animal. So we took her to the play area and…. well, really nothing. She seemed more interested in sniffing around and exploring the area. My wife wasn’t too impressed, she wasn’t very interested. In all honesty, I didn’t want another dog at the time, but I knew my family did – and that was important to me. But it was kind of hot, and I wanted to go home. So I started pointing out that this was probably a little overwhelming for Sally. She was pretty much living in her little pen, but strange humans show up and she is taken out of her pen and put into an area that she had probably never been in before. My wife agreed, but still seemed hesitant. Sally was showing very little energy, very little personality – kind of nothing. But my wife picked up a tennis ball and threw it over near where Sally was, and Sally kind of came to life. She quickly ran after the ball and grabbed it and started to play a bit. That was enough for my wife, so we decided to take her. We signed the papers, paid the fees and Sally was ours. They were unable to tell us much about her other than she was dropped off because she wasn’t housebroken (which turned out to be VERY untrue). They couldn’t even tell us how old she was. They estimated that she was probably about 1.5 – 2 years old, but admitted that they were pretty much just guessing.
On the drive home, Sally really started to bond with my wife, Natalie. Sally kept resting her head on Natalie’s shoulder, trying to make frequent eye contact with Nat, and giving lots of “doggie kisses.” When we got home, Sally explored her new home – and got to know our other dog, Mop. She also started to bond with my oldest son Zakk (Zakk is STILL one of Sally’s favorite human beings on the planet). But I noticed that Sally was skittish – VERY skittish. She seemed scared of everything. She also seemed terrified of adult males (we suspect she was abused, but we have no way of knowing that for certain). So that was a problem for me – I can’t stand skittish dogs. So I didn’t like Sally very much. I wasn’t mean to her, I helped take care of her, I showed her affection – but we weren’t very close. I was an adult male and she was a skittish dog, so we basically tended to stay away from each other. But she never tried to bite me, she allowed me to pet her – we were “civil” to each other. Oh, and we let our youngest son, Josh, name her – for whatever reason he really liked the name “Sally” – so that became her new name. I do sometimes wonder what name she had before that, but there’s no way of knowing.
Over the years, we eventually had to get rid of Mop (don’t worry, we found him a VERY good home), but for various reasons – mainly that my wife had become very attached to her – we kept Sally. We moved a few times, and at some point, I realized that I had become quite fond of Sally. She was very friendly, she was very affectionate, she liked to play, she is just a great dog! When one of us wasn’t feeling well, Sally just seemed to know, and she would lay down next to whoever wasn’t feeling well and just tried to “be there” for us. Let’s face it, a dog can’t do much for ya when you’re sick, but she did what she could. Also, we are “those” people – we let our dogs sleep in the bed with us. We had a Samsung TV that would make a short melodic beep when we turned it off to go to bed. Sally quickly started associating that sound with bed-time, and (for some reason) would get VERY excited when it was time to go to bed. We eventually got a better tv and put the old tv in our bedroom, and the first time we turned the tv off in our room it was kind of funny. Sally heard the “go to bed” noise….but we were ALREADY in bed. She was very confused, and it was cute. But anyway, I had become quite fond of Sally, and somehow, we had become quite close. At one point she seemed like she was starting to get “old” to me. I was worried that she didn’t have much longer – we never knew exactly how old she was, and we had already had her for quite some time, so I thought she was on her way out. So I wanted her remaining days to be as nice as possible. So I started deliberately and consciously “spoiling” her. We all did. We started giving her more affection; we started buying her toys and treats, and just trying to “be there” for her – like she had done for us countless times. It turns out that she was just not feeling well, she did eventually get better….but we kept spoiling her (lol we STILL spoil her!) I think, as a result of all of this, Sally and I have become VERY close. I spoil her as much as I possibly can.
Well, in addition to being quite old (for a dog), she has now pretty much gone blind, and has diabetes. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort – she still seems happy. She can’t jump up on our bed anymore – it’s too high – so, at bed time, I pick her up and put her on the bed. But from our room, it is possible for her to get into the back yard. At night, when a squirrel or something is in the back yard, Sally feels it is her duty to chase it off… so she jumps off the bed and goes to work. But then she can’t get back on the bed. So I set up two pillows on the ground next to our bed. One has a pillow case, and I put a heating pad inside. The other is just a bare pillow. So if she is cold, she can lay down on the warm pillow, if she’s not cold she just lays down on the other pillow. I do things like that for her. She’s a member of our family and I care for her very much. Time seems to be catching up with her, and I am fairly certain she doesn’t have much longer (I kind of hope I am wrong again). But her remaining days will be filled with love and as much happiness as we can possibly give her!
Anyway, I just wanted to post this as kind of a tribute to the best dog I have ever had!
Thanks for readin!