Let Me Tell You About Sally

June 19, 2009

4 days ago, a new person came into our lives.


We walked outside to do who knows what, and she came running from across the street.

She was beautiful.

Gleaming blonde coat, perfect clean ears, even her paws looked pristine.

But no collar and no (we were to find out later) microchip.

Someone likely abandoned her.

So far we have been unable to find her owner.

We registered at Pets911.org.

We placed a call to the local shelter.

We sent word out with a local pet store owner who notifies her email subscribers of found dogs in our area.


It took Julien about 10 minutes to name her.



I had no dog food to offer, but I did have beef stew.

She ate 5 bowls of it.

Sally likes my beef stew, apparently.

Can’t say as I blame her – it was made with homemade broth from turkey and chicken bones and full of brothy goodness!

We discovered quickly that she enjoys car rides and doesn’t get car sick.


Everything hasn’t been perfect, however.

As is typical of a puppy, she has tried her teething teeth out on me. Since she hasn’t been socialized properly (which would take place at her mother’s breast or with her littermates), she doesn’t yet know what kinds of behavior are unacceptable.

Curiously, she never nips at the children.

Just Momma – but I know what to do with a biting baby. :-)

After a few days of lots of love and affection and some negative feedback when she nips me (First offense, I “yelp” an ouch sharply or spritz her in the face with water. Second offense, playtime is over!)

She has cut open my hands and arms several times.

A trip to PetSmart for some nice acceptable chewy things (and a pink collar) helped tremendously.

Although she is making her way into my heart, I fear that I can’t keep her permanently.

I’m not sure I have the resources (financial, time, energy) to care for a fifth baby.

I will not take her to a place where she may be “put down” (nice soft euphemism for killed!).

Did you know Craigslist doesn’t accept pet listings?

I do. Now.

This is one option.

I do want a dog, eventually.

When the timing is better.

Sadie is now terrified to go into the backyard and the kids are avoiding it too.

While they seem to love the puppy, the younger kids are intimidated.

They want to play with her, but Sally’s exuberance frightens them.

I know they would eventually get accustomed to a dog, but I would rather start out with a very young puppy that wouldn’t frighten my youngest.

I’m not sure what I would do when we go out of town – which we’re doing twice in the next few weeks.

There is the monthly vet visits, the neutering, the food.

She’s a Lab so she’ll get very large. My friend spends $70 a month on food to feed her Lab.

We will miss her.

If you know anyone in the Atlanta area who would like a sweet, devoted Labrador mix puppy (female) who almost never barks (but who defended her turf instantly when Grandpa came around!), please email me.

clauth @ gmail

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3 Responses to “Let Me Tell You About Sally”

  1. Casual Friday Every Day on June 22nd, 2009 10:08 pm

    Labs and Goldens (what we have) are great dogs… so sweet, but they are A LOT to handle. Hunter is the sweetest dog I’ve ever had, but I can say I’ll never own one again. He chews everything, still, and he’s closing in on 100 pounds. As you can imagine, that is not an easy fit in a family with young boys. I can sympathize with you… easy dogs to love, but sometimes hard to live with.


  2. Cara Mirabella on June 23rd, 2009 7:28 pm

    Would your kids be less intimidated if they walked her? If they learn to use a leash (as well as the puppy) everyone knows who is in charge. Even in the yard, we kept our girls on a leash for the first few months. Sometimes it’s easier to correct a dogs behavior with just a tug. Plus, a leash can be easier to grab than a running puppy!

  3. carrie on June 25th, 2009 11:14 am

    Thanks for the suggestion Cara. Actually the guy from animal control came by yesterday and spent an hour with me helping me learn how to do the leash thing. She would just bite it and fight me. I didn’t realize it was ok to jerk the leash a little – thought that was a no-no, but he did it and it made her calm down a bit.

    I’m going to keep trying, but ultimately I’m going to find a No-Kill shelter for her. The kids are scared to go into the backyard, which saddens me because they used to play baseball or whatever out there every day.

    The other day the puppy got too excited with oldest and tore his pajama bottoms up – bites and teeth marks and holes all over them. It freaked him out. If they were older, perhaps tweens or teens, they would be able to help me discipline the dog, but as it is now, they are making things worse by reinforcing her bad behavior!

    As I said, now is not the right time for me to have another baby. :(

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