Johnson City Press Monday, October 20, 2014

Out of My Head

Sadie’s sweet nature makes up for crazy appearance

May 7th, 2012 9:45 am by Jan Hearne

I’ve decided Sadie, my terrier mix, was the last order filled the day before the dog creation division was outsourced. When the last-minute order came in, a committee was hastily formed with representatives from each of the dog divisions.
“Bring what you’ve got lying around — forms, fur, whatever — and we’ll knock this order out,” the memo said.
The design committee gathered in the assembly room.
“What have we got here?,” the boss asked.
“Well, all I’ve got is this form for a chihuahua head. Everything else has been shipped out,” one worker said.
Another offered a deep, barrel chested form meant for a dachshund. The committee stared. “OK,” the boss said slowly. “I’m sure we can make this work. What have we got in the way of fur?”
A woman stepped forward holding a paper shopping bag. She dumped the contents onto the table. “I’m telling you, it’s a hodgepodge. Leftovers I scraped together from several orders.”
The committee members studied the pile. The fur was brown, grey, white, black and brindle, long and short, silky and wiry.
“Torso. We need a torso form,” someone said, and added. “This is starting to feel like a game of Cootie.”
A young woman, with one arm held behind her back, stepped forward.
“Well, what’ve you got?,” the boss asked.
“I’m embarrassed to show you,” she said shyly.
“How bad can it be? Put it on the table.”
She gingerly set her contribution down. The committee took one step back.
“What the heck is that?,” a woman asked, staring at the long, narrow, swayed back with hiked-up hips and a wasp waist.
“Factory reject,” the young woman said and sighed.
“I’m afraid to ask,” the boss said, “but what have we got in the way of legs?”
“More rejects,” the leg man told him. “Front legs of a whippet; back legs of a — frankly, I don’t know what they were meant for.”
“Well,” the boss said. “Let’s do the best we can with what we’ve got.”
An hour later, Sadie was assembled: tiny head, long body, barrel chest, wasp waist, skinny legs, silky ears and wiry coat.
“Tail. We forgot the tail,” the shy woman ventured.
“Oh, just forget it,” said the boss. “Just join the fur at the end and make a little stub. She can wag her rump if she’s happy.”
The only thing left was the heart, the thing that would bring Sadie to life.
The woman in charge of hearts stepped forward, “I’ve been saving this for something special — a service dog or a companion for someone who has lost something dear. I think it will make up for the rest.”
So, Sadie was given a heart so big it took a barrel chest to hold it. The second she was activated, she wagged her silly rump and leapt with delight toward the person nearest her. Then she made her way around the table, thanking each one for putting her together.
“This is a special dog,” the boss said. “But not everyone is going to be able to see past her looks. Make sure she goes to someone who will appreciate how wonderful she is.”
They did, and I do — every single day.

Jan Hearne is the Press Tempo editor. Reach her at jhearne@johnsoncitypress.com.

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