June 19, 2016

Sadie Is 8 Years Old Today

Sadie turns 8 years old today and still acts like a puppy in someways. You can read here a lot about her first 7 years, so today I'll just write about this past year. She is living proof not to give up on hounds when they are puppies and destructive, no matter what you try.

She also had separation anxiety up until the age of 5 years old. At that time I was working and gone around ten hours per day from the time I drove to work and returned home. She would spend those times in the biggest indoor heavy wire kennel you could buy. It wasn't much taller than she was but it was long enough for her to turn around. The teeth that she has lost or are damaged today is from her attempts of chewing her way out of that steel rod kennel.

When I would relay the stories of her destruction as she was growing up (many were funny) to co-workers, ALL of them suggested I get rid of her. ALL of them suggested she was a nut case ... she wasn't, she was just a bloodhound, a breed that is somewhat obnoxious when they are young.

So I turned down those opinions, and even the one person that wanted her, because I never give my hounds away no matter what. As she grew older she turned into a great house dog that has the run of the house.

She still loves to roam the field, taught as a 12 week old puppy by Winston. He showed her where all the good spots were in the field and could tell she had tracking tendencies.

Even with fewer teeth, she still likes to chew on an occasional stick. Where she use to use just her small front teeth, now she will try to get the stick further back in her jaw.

Last August I decided to get a 2nd bloodhound, more to help Stella have a permanent home and not really realizing just how much she would change Sadie's life for the better. That first night Sadie wasn't real excited about her new companion ... she had always been the "leader of the pack" ... still is.

After spending all of her 7 years with short legged basset hounds while following The Bloodhound Property Laws, she now had a hound almost as big as she was, just as strong and also followed those same Bloodhound Property Laws.

Her life was about to change ... as it turns out it was for the better.

Stella had Sadie running more and playing like she was a puppy again. It reminded me of the time Sadie was a puppy and was tormenting Winston with her abundance of puppy energy.

Sadie shared her water, gave Stella the chance to choose what bones and balls she wanted but still kept her bed and daily meals off limits. I bought this dog bed the day I picked up Heidi and for Heidi ... but Sadie took over the bed and Heidi decided my bed was a better place to sleep anyway.

She still likes a game of fetch, inside on bad weather days or outside. Once she is playing that game it is all she focuses on, even when Stella tries to get her to play.

Stella has also taught Sadie how to lay down and relax, enjoy the sunshine, and the yard without having to explore and track stuff all the time.

Of course after the week camping trip to Colorado and Utah last June, Sadie has liked riding in the FJ. She and Stella make all the local trips around town as long as I am not going for groceries and the temps are below 80° if I am stopping somewhere. If we are just out driving with no stops, then she rides with the air conditioning on.

Last December the morning that Winston hurt his back and couldn't walk, it was the first time I could ever remember that Sadie got up on my bed. Being the "leader of the pack" she knew something was wrong with him ... She showed concern for him the next few weeks.

The morning I came back without Winston ... Sadie knew her good friend was gone. Winston was the basset hound she chased as a puppy, played with him as a puppy and would sleep with him when it was cold outside.

She could tell what happened to Winston.

She continues to roam the field, run in the backyard just like Winston taught her as a puppy. She still gets so excited for her daily walks and her meals that she hops up and down on her back legs when the word food is mentioned. She always grabs my hand with her mouth as we start the daily walk ... every time.

She is still 'the leader of the pack'

Deep in thought about what she will be doing in year 9 ... never a dull moment in her life in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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