Sadie’s Pet Adoption Story

We wanted to pass on our story, for consideration by those that may be in similar situations, and with the hope that our positive experience may help save other animals.


We lost our beloved dog, Zoe, after 17 years. It was heart-wrenching, and the thought of getting another dog was far from our minds. However, we learned of a dog at the West Suburban Humane Society (WSHS) with a sad story. “Sadie”, a beautiful 9-year-old flat coated retriever, had been found as a stray in Oklahoma 5 years ago. She was bounced between shelters, eventually landing at the WSHS last year. Upon arriving, the vet found she had skin allergies, a horrible ear infection, urinary tract infection and arthritis. Medication and a special diet eventually controlled her allergies and cleared her infections. However, soon afterwards, several lumps developed on her legs and abdomen. These were determined to be mast cell tumors. Thankfully, when they were removed, they were found to be low grade and non-aggressive, and her prognosis is good.


Thinking we weren’t ready for another dog but wanting to do something for Sadie after all she had been through, we decided to foster her. It wasn’t long though that we knew we’d want her with us permanently, and happily joined the ranks of the “foster failures”. Despite, and maybe in part because of her history, Sadie is a devoted, affectionate and happy dog. She loves her daily walks and always seems to be wagging her tail. Although we brought Sadie into our home mainly for altruistic reasons, she gave us back the joy of a loving animal, and we now couldn’t imagine life without her.


To be honest, it’s unlikely we would have adopted Sadie if not for the WSHS “Loving Angel Fund”. This fund was established to cover long term costs for animals adopted with pre-existing conditions. For Sadie, this includes allergy & arthritis medication, as well as potential treatment if her tumors reappear.


Here are some lessons we learned. It’s our strong belief that rescued animals know they’ve been rescued, and that’s why they show their owners more gratitude than other animals. All dogs are trainable. Sadie was initially very aggressive towards some men (due to past abuse?). But with some simple training she’s caught on quickly and it’s now much less of an issue. Sadly, the adoption rate for older dogs is low. After losing a dog we had many years, a puppy wasn’t the right fit for us, but an older dog was. And maybe most importantly, bringing another animal into your home after losing a beloved pet doesn’t mean you’re trying to replace that pet. There are lots of animals in need of good homes. You won’t lose those memories; you’ll just add new ones.


Andy & June


Click here to learn more about West Suburban Humane Society.




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