Dorothy Harris

Celebrating a gal’s best friend

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since a nut-job, orange dingo joined the family. Our Florida brown dog is like no other dog we’ve ever owned and we are so thankful she found us.

We had just lost our beloved Sheltie following several months of illness. Still a depressed, weepy mess, we headed into Petco for cat food while running errands. The Humane Society of Highlands County was doing a pet adoption event and it was almost more than we could bear. People were picking out puppies and while we tried to be happy, the tears just kept slipping out.

I was becoming concerned our sadness over losing our beloved pet had not yet lifted, though several weeks had passed. Seeing people enjoying the dogs was really just too much for me, so I walked on past. I just wanted to get cat food and get out of there. A lady had this somewhat funny looking, smaller orange dog sitting next to her, and it was squeaking a stuffed dog toy with all its might. The lady suggested my daughter play with her a bit and then it happened. I heard something I hadn’t heard in weeks. My daughter was laughing and the dog was licking her face and enjoying every moment with her.

Watching them, I couldn’t help but smile. As Ms. Judy shared Sadie Girl’s story with us, we felt our hearts melting. This little dingo had spent her entire life at the Humane Society. A favorite of the staff, she just never seemed to get adopted. Though she had never had a home to speak of, she didn’t let it get her down.

Sadie Girl and I took a walk around the store to discuss a few things. I needed to know if she liked cats, because we got a bunch of those. She seemed pretty blasé about the whole meow issue. She walked nicely on the leash. She sat when told to and even seemed to pick up on most of the basic commands like come, down and heel. I was impressed, but she was modest about the whole thing.

I sat down and tried to think. That’s when she put me straight on the whole thing. “Look lady,” she seemed to say, looking me straight in the eye, “I don’t know what your story is, but that kid back there needs me. I think we both can see that pretty clearly. I’m not worried about the cats, but I am concerned about your kid. I think I can take care of her pretty good, so what do you say? I need a home and you need someone who can make her laugh. I’ve got my fox toy and I’m not afraid to use it.”

Sadie Girl came home with us and settled in beautifully. Her good training and manners were apparent from the moment she stepped into the house. Did you know the Humane Society trains the dogs? I had no idea how much time and energy they put into ensuring the dogs are prepared for their forever homes, but I can assure you, we were impressed. Adopting an adult dog meant we didn’t have to worry about housebreaking, chewing or training. Sadie Girl was already spayed, vaccinated and had basic obedience skills. Bringing her into our home was a breeze and we are so thankful for the efforts of the staff and volunteers to keep her as long as it took until she found us. Maybe your new best friend is waiting there for you?