By: Shanae (President & Founder)
In early 2013, my first dog passed away. I can honestly say, I had never loved anything quite as much as I loved Scrappy. He was my 4-legged son. I didn’t think I could ever love anything again as much as I loved little Scrap-ster.
About a month later, I was still depressed and was barely getting through the days. Many had suggested that I get another dog but I kept saying, “I’ll never get another dog again.” One day, I decided to entertain the idea just so I could say, I looked. I saw a little Chihuahua who looked exactly like my Scrappy-Doo.
I grabbed my boyfriend immediately and we ran down to the local rescue. Unfortunately, the little guy had just been adopted 2 days earlier but not removed from the website and my heart broke all over again. I cried right there in the middle of the room.
The staff at the rescue felt so bad for me that they took me to the back room hoping to bring out a puppy that would help me stop crying. We walk through the door and a curious little fuzz ball runs up to my feet and stops me right in my tracks. She started barking and growling and her little poodle friend wasn’t far behind.
I immediately stopped sobbing and picked up this feisty little nugget. This is Sadie. The staff at the rescue informed me that she had just lost her only puppy and she was very depressed and had trust issues along with a myriad of other problems. I immediately thought, “me too.” She was mine.
But of course, we couldn’t leave her poodle friend behind and the puppy that was brought out while I was fixated on Chastity (whom I renamed Sadie), well my boyfriend claimed that he hugged him so the puppy was coming home too. Yes, we adopted 3 dogs at the same time which I do not recommend.
Once I got Sadie home, she warmed right up to me. She became my other half and always had to have something touching me whether it be a paw, a nose or a tail. Despite some medical issues from the get go, she ended up being the greatest dog. She is protective, yet friendly. She loves kids and has an adorable motherly instinct. She is always looking out for the other dogs well-being. She is the pack matriarch and has so much to teach other dogs. That is why this is Sadie’s Safe House.
Well, the poodle (now Maddie) and the puppy (Chance, and also not a puppy anymore) went with my boyfriend and, of course, I took Sadie. Since then, I got a job at that rescue and ended up being the kennel manager. That is where I learned first hand, the struggles of being a Chihuahua in the shelter system.
Chihuahua’s have been carelessly over-bred and under-trained. Chihuahua’s are a very loyal and protective breed and many times, by the time they’ve ended up at the shelter, they’re no longer cute puppies and they’ve got undesirable traits that were never corrected such as barking and mouthiness. Sometimes biting is even overlooked because blood is not drawn. These traits often times were unintentionally reinforced because it was “cute” or “funny” when the dog was younger but now that the dog is an adult, the owner finds themselves frustrated with traits that are no longer such.
Unfortunately, this is the reason why so many Chihuahua’s are found abandoned or dumped at shelters. Chihuahua’s and Chihuahua Mixes make up anywhere between 30% and 50% of the average shelter population at any given time and many are euthanized to make room for the incoming population. This is why I decided to start Sadie’s Safe House. I will personally see that no comfortable, healthy, adoptable Chihuahua or Chihuahua Mix in my possession will ever be put to sleep.
As the saying goes, “Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”