My Loyal Best Friend
October/November 1998 - November 2011 (I never knew when she was born, so said she must have been born in late October or November because she had plenty of traits like the Scorpio star sign!)
She was the best friend anyone could ever hope for. Protective, loyal, happy, curious, adventurous, strong, fearless, always had to have the last say, loved chicken and walks, but most of all, she was always there when you needed a hug.
She had a full life of 13 years, and it was a life of travels, adventures, fear and love. I decided to create a lens dedicated to her because, even though she left the physical plane in November 2011, this is the best place to share her story.
Thank you for visiting, and if you would like to read about the mischief Sally got up to, feel free to read on :)
(Just want to thank Squidoo for giving this lens a Purple Star. It means a lot, thank you so much :))
(All photos on this lens are personal and cannot be used without my permission. Thank you.)
I Named Her Before I Met Her
I knew Sally's name before I even got her.
I was driving with Dad and said, "When I get Sally..." That's all I really remember of it, but it's enough. It wasn't just a way of saying to Dad that I wanted a dog, or building up my hopes of getting one.
On some level, I knew Sally was coming into my life, and I'm grateful for it. She was the only real constant friend I ever had growing up.
It Was Christmas Morning
When I couldn't find her...
I was so happy! I was getting a puppy!
I raced out to the lounge room and straight to the Christmas tree. Presents were under it, big and small, all wrapped.
I saw the small, woven, red and yellow cushioned pet bed with one of my toys in it...
But where was Sally???
I glanced at my Dad who told me to keep looking, so I checked the other side of the tree which was difficult as it was in a corner (like they usually are). I had to find her! I ended up back where I started at the front.
Now I was getting upset. Why did Dad get a dog bed if there was no dog to snore away in it?
Then I glanced down at my feet, and wouldn't you know it; there in a tiny, open box, her little paws just over the tip of the top, her tail wagging faster than the speed of light, and a huge smile on her face, was Sally.
I got her out of the box and my other presents were forgotten for a long time. Sally had finally come into my life!
She Always Had To Have The Last Say
Whenever someone told her off, she would go away somewhere, behind a shed or around the corner, and you would hear a tiny "woof".
It was just loud enough for us to know that she wasn't finished getting her point across.
Her Mischievousness Started - On the very first day
All the presents were unwrapped, with Sally's help of course.
We had to be careful when taking her outside as she was a tiny puppy and Eagles were circling the skies.
The day went fast, and before I knew it, it was dinner time.
When we got around to packing the tree up (I can't remember if it was that night or the following day. Most likely the latter), some of the decorations had vanished. We had no idea what was going on.
Then, out comes Sally from the hall and picks up some tinsel from the floor then carries it back the way she came.
Dad and I looked at each other before following her. And can you guess what we found in the spare room? That's right - all the missing decorations in a nice little pile. She added the tinsel to her collection then made herself quite comfy amongst it then looked at us with the most happiest expression.
It was the first of many adorable stories to come :)
It was pure luck that we got this photo :)
Her Adventure Begins
We moved several times, from a few places around Adelaide, Roxby Downs, even over to Perth before returning to Adelaide once again.
As we crossed the Nullarbor from SA to WA which took a couple of days, we stopped at either Motels or Caravan Parks where Dad set up the large yellow tent.
I still feel the chill of the morning breeze as we packed up to hit the road again, the sound of small stones crunching beneath tyres, even the sight of the headlights on the darkened road ahead of us with only shadows around as dawn was about to break.
Aside from the tiredness, I loved it, and I'm sure Sally did as well.
We even saw a street-smart Kangaroo at one point. It looked both ways, saw us, waited until we passed, then crossed the road. The things you see while travelling...
Sally had a full life, that's for sure. She'd seen so many different places, met countless people, and, while in Roxby, even became a mum.
If only we could record our memories.
Sally's Miracle Puppy
We didn't even know she was pregnant.
We'd seen her getting a bit friendly with a dog that passed the house a few times - a cute, white, fluffy dog - and they would sniff at each other through the fence. How they did anything more than smooch, I have no idea!
I guess you can't fight love, huh? It's a shame they were kept apart when you think about it.
Anyway, one night, Dad went outside to do something when a tiny pinkish/white ball grabbed his attention on the grass. So, over he went to investigate, finding a new-born puppy. He quickly picked him up and took him into the laundry where Sally was giving birth to another one.
I can't remember how I found out, whether Dad called out to us, I don't know, but I was by her side in a flash! The birthing was a bit of a struggle, but Sally pulled through.
Unfortunately, the 2 female puppies born inside didn't make it. We buried them out the back. The male born outside, however, did survive, and Sally was extremely protective of him, only letting Dad and I get close to and pat him.
When my Dad's girlfriend's daughter went to pat him, Sally bit the back of her hand. That was in the early days, though, and Sally knew who she could trust.
As the pup grew, he started his own little adventures around the place. One day, Sally was in the laundry, sleeping or resting, and Elmo (yes, that's what we called him :)) was running down the hall, which were tiles, and turned to go into the laundry, but because his feet were so soft, he slid right past the doorway and into the bathroom. Lesson learned, he walked slowly into the laundry to see his mum.
After taking Sally and Elmo to show and tell at school a few weeks later, the teacher wanted to buy him, so when he was old enough, Dad sold Elmo to her (even though I despised her - I even drew pictures of her in a rocket with her staring out the window and her hair sticking up...that poor dog. I hope he had a good life.)
I often wished we kept Elmo. It was sad when we had to give him to the teacher. It must have been really hard for Sally to say goodbye to her miracle son, but Dad said that it isn't a good idea to keep the puppies your dog has.
Elmo came into our lives for a reason, and survived against odds with being born outside on chilling grass for who knows how long. But he did, and he touched so many lives, as did his strong, loving, protective mother who kept him safe and warm.
ElmoClick thumbnail to view full-size
She Was My Hero
We were protective of each other.
Dad would often pretend to hit me just to rile Sally up, and it worked every time.
She would bark, wag her tail, yap at Dad and jump onto my lap (if I was sitting) in order to protect me. If I was standing, she would run between me and Dad, and continue barking at him.
Not only was she my hero, but above all, my best friend.
Also, I used to say "Who Let The Dogs Out" by Baha Men was her favourite song (Keep in mind, I was very young when I said this :) )
Some more photos I would like to share - It's a dogs life :)Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fearless In The Face Of Bigger Animals - She must have thought that size didn't matter
In Roxby Downs one day, before the pup came along, Dad was at work and my Grandma was looking after me. (It was around this time when I drew that picture of the teacher)
We were in the lounge room with the front door open. Sally was a good dog and we knew she wouldn't run away. Unless a male Bulldog appeared at the front and decided to look in on us to see what was going on then walk away.
Well, that caught Sally's attention.
She raced outside and down the street after the dog, followed by me trying to catch up, with my poor Grandma chasing us (actually, she was still pretty fit so it wasn't all that difficult, but the visual is funny).
The dog stopped next to another male Bulldog, and they just sat there, staring at Sally as she barked her head off, staying a few good feet away, but oh boy, did she let them have it!
I finally got there and picked her up, relieved that she was ok. I didn't think twice before running after her. I don't think Grandma was too happy with either of us though...hehe.
She said that we were lucky they were male dogs, because apparently, in most situations, male dogs don't attack female dogs.
Where did she go?
Had she run away?
Now living back in Adelaide once more, Dad was getting the backyard ready for his wedding, the garage door open while people were moving things around. All 3 dogs were accounted for and watched, making sure they didn't wander out to the front. However, at one point, Sally couldn't be found. We searched practically everywhere inside and out with still no sign of her.
I began getting upset, scared that she'd decided to walk up the street.
Because my Mum only lived 5 minutes away, Dad dropped me off, saying that she might have walked to Mums, that animals have a way of finding their home no matter how lost. We didn't see her on the way.
I got to Mums, crying, and she made hot chocolate so we could sit out the front in case she did end up finding us. I remember wishing Sally would just walk up the driveway, happy and healthy.
I'm not sure how long we sat there, mostly in silence. Then my phone rang. It was Dad, saying Sally was locked in the bathroom. Apparently, his fiancee's son went to have a shower and found her laying on the mat, completely unaware of the fear and hysteria she'd been causing!
Though it was heartbreakingly scary at the time, I look back on it as a funny story. After all, it wasn't her fault someone shut the bathroom door without realising she was in there. She probably barked a few times, but because of the work and noise going on, no one heard her, so she thought she'd catch up on some sleep instead.
Age Was Creeping Up to Her
As was sickness
There's no doubt she lived a life full of adventure, but every life has to come to an end, no matter how heartbreaking it is.
However, Sally had been sick for a while. When we were driving back from the vet, Sally on my lap, the tablets in the packet next to me, Dad asked me what was wrong.
With tears in my eyes, I replied brokenly, "Just that surviving is different than living."
And it's true.
Tablets can keep people and animals alive, but is it best if they can't enjoy life?
Sal was coughing croakily, getting around slowly, sleeping most of the time, and wasn't doing too well. Every time I wanted to put her out of her misery and take her to the vet to have her put down, Dad and his wife would talk me out of it, saying that the tablets would be taking her pain away.
I knew different.
I felt her pain. My stomach often turned, I felt sick, even slept with a towel next to my bed in case I woke up and needed to vomit, but I was healthy, there was nothing wrong with me. I asked my Aunty Lin, who said that I was tapping into Sally's pain. She was trying to tell me that the physical turmoil was too much.
My Mum asked me what we were going to do with her, and I said it was time to have her put down. I called the vet, made the appointment, and later that day, we were leaving without her.
I loved her enough to let her go.
Gone From The Physical Plane - But not from our lives
One week later, I woke up on my 20th birthday from an emotional dream.
I remember it so clearly.
I was running down a dirt path in some kind of forest, a wooden fence on one side and trees on the other. Sally was in my arms. I could feel her fur like I was actually holding her, she was so real. I fell to the ground, crying hysterically.
Then she spoke to me in a little girls voice. "Mel, do you remember what I told you before I left?"
I shook my head, tears streaming down my face as I cried, hugging her tightly. I didn't want her to go!
That's when I woke.
I told Grandma, and she said that it was Sally's way of telling me that I made the right decision in putting her down, that those feelings I kept getting, the pain I felt, was real. I basically grew up with her, so we had a strong bond, one that even death cannot break.
I've had more dreams about her since then, but that was the most real and emotional dream I have ever had.
Grandma and I say that we know she's out there with plenty male dogs chasing after her, but she will always be the top dog wherever she may be.
You may not be with us but your Spirit lives on.You'll always be in my heart. I love you Honey.
Help Keep Your Pet Comfortable
Something more simple, but still comfy, especially for dozing close to a fire.
This would be comfy for any small dog. So cute!
This could give your dog more sense of security while sleeping, and be comfy!
How cute is this? I'm sure your dog would love to snuggle up on this at night time (or when they just want to rest)
This is useful if your dog is either too small or too old to jump up onto higher surfaces.