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The Suburbanite
  • Frank Weaver, Jr.: Sadie Lou speaks, whispers

  • SHE LIES BY my feet faithfully, occasionally gazing my way as she patiently awaits a quick rub, a pat on the head or a nibble of my vittles. During the Super Bowl, Sadie Lou was deep into following all the action of the game when the field went dark. As if on cue, she ambled over to my chair and patiently waited for the lights to return.

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  • SHE LIES BY my feet faithfully, occasionally gazing my way as she patiently awaits a quick rub, a pat on the head or a nibble of my vittles. During the Super Bowl, Sadie Lou was deep into following all the action of the game when the field went dark. As if on cue, she ambled over to my chair and patiently waited for the lights to return.
    There’s never been a question about Sadie Lou’s loyalty, especially when we supply her with two squares a day, various treats and a warm rug for her sleep. Like all our dogs, during the day she snoozes (after her circular nesting obsession assures her the spot is fine). And, like many dogs, Sadie Lou is one pampered pooch.
    I taught her to sit, shake, switch from right to left paw and shake, speak and whisper. That last one, folks, you’d have to see to believe. But it’s true. I’ll hold a treat and say, “Speak.” She does, and loudly. And then, after rewarding her for obeying my command, I hold another treat and very gently whisper the word, “Whisper.” And good ol’ Sadie Lou obeys again, giving a very light bark. Sometimes it even borders on a sneeze.
     Naturally, I’m tempted to take all the credit for being such a good teacher, but being the good dog that she is, I give it all to her. Besides, Peggy popped my inflated ego when she claimed Sadie Lou’s previous owners probably taught her how to do it first, and that I was just refreshing her memory.
    Boy, sometimes a guy just can’t win around here!
    During Cleveland Browns’ games, every time a touchdown’s scored I think I’m in the Stadium’s Dawg Pound. I start by jumping off the chair and throwing my arms in the air, signifying a touchdown, while cheering loudly to beat the band. Sadie Lou goes bananas. She waits until I start cheering and then joins me with a bark and a run in circles.
    After repeated scores, she learns that as soon as my arms go straight up, that means celebrating and she starts barking immediately before running her ceremonial circles. Needless to say, I sit in my lounge chair trying to stabilize myself from falling on the floor in uncontrolled laughter.
    Believe it or not, this hound knows the difference between the good team and the enemy. When Baltimore ran the 108 yards after the kickoff at the beginning of the third quarter, I sat in my chair screaming for someone to stop him. She knew I was quickly becoming perplexed, and rather than cheering the runner with barks and circular dances, she sat by my side quietly with a look of concern on her mug. Naturally, I shared my concern about how we should have stopped him and then rewarded her allegiance to the ‘Niners with a doggie treat.
    Page 2 of 2 - Even though this hound is a Black Labrador retriever, she’s really not an outdoor dog. Inside, lying by the warm hearth, is her idea of comfort and luxury. And she’s always near another person. I don’t ever recall any dog we’ve had so dedicated to their masters as she is to Peggy and me.
    When we eat, she watches us closely. Whatever we eat, she’ll try, too, and most of the time she enjoys it. This is the third winter we’ve had her. If you recall, we saved her from the executioner, rescuing her in the nick of time. Thinking she would replace our beloved Golden retriever, ‘Tego, it didn’t take long to realize nothing could replace ‘Tego. And we’re quite sure when Sadie Lou takes that final journey into the beyond, no other dog could replace her.
    Over the years we learned that, just like humans, dogs, too, are all different. They all have different personalities that endear them to us, and frankly, folks, I wouldn’t want it any other way. This lets us remember them for the individual dog that they were instead of remembering all of them as the same.
    One lesson I wish I could teach her is how to close the door. She was pretty well trained when we brought her home, and the first time she needed to answer the call of Mother Nature, she moseyed to the door and Peggy let her out. But whenever she re-enters the house, there’s always an open door.
    She’s becoming gray in the face and some of her hair is thinning…almost to the point there are bald spots showing. During a walk, one neighborhood kid looked at her and proclaimed, “Yech! Get rid of that dog and get another one. She’s going bald!”
    To which the wife wisely answered, “So is my husband, and I have no plans to replace him.”
    It’s no wonder I love that li’l woman!
    Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com