By Joe Rector

Amy and I were strict parents, I much more so than she because my hateful voice matched my sore disposition. I didn’t say we were abusive; however, our children weren’t strangers to spankings. Our children did not run the household; that was Amy’s job, and I never wanted to take it from her. I’m proud to say that both Lacey and Dallas are good adults who work hard, know the value of hard work, and who love others.

Yes, Amy and I did our best, and with the Good Lord’s help, we have been blessed with wonderful children. Something happened after both moved out to attend school and begin new lives. We lost that determination and drive that is part of being a good parent. Perhaps we are simply tired from all the years and effort we put into them. All I know now is that the adults at the Rector house aren’t in charge any longer. Six years ago, a new boss came to town, and she shows no signs of loosening the reins of her leadership.

Sadie is part Schnauzer and part Border Collie. I chose her when I saw her photo online as a rescue dog. We contacted the organization but discovered that someone had already taken her home. I was so disappointed that I told Amy that we should forget about getting a dog. As fate would have it, the family that took the dog we wanted brought her back because she urinated in the house. We asked to adopt her right then.

Sadie is a dog of destiny. She came to us when things were more than a bit stressful. Amy had lost her job, and I was retired. Our worries over insurance and an income gnawed at us and led to talks filled with resentment for what had happened to us and anger over the disruption in our lives.

As soon as Sadie arrived, things settled down. This dog brings with her a calming aura. She sits at our sides and rakes our hands with her paw as an indication she wants to be petted. Just stroking the back of a dog or patting its head brings a quietness that allows minds to find freedom from all the negative thoughts. I’ve always said that Sadie is Jesus’ dog on loan to us for a while.

This pooch isn’t perfect. She can be annoying as any child. Over the years, we’ve been consistent in her schedule. Now, she begins to whine a bit when it’s supper time. She has a vicious-sounding bark that belies the gentleness of her soul. That same warning bark echoes through the house when the doorbell rings or she discovers a FedEx or UPS truck stopping in front of the house. She has brown eyes that stare deeply at a person when she needs to go outside.

For almost two years, Sadie has lived with a tumor in the roof of her mouth. It is inoperable because it is so close to other vital things about which I know little. Dr. Nathan Butler prescribed for this wonder dog of ours a combination of medicines that have made the tumor shrink so that it is no longer visible. It’s still there, but for now, she’s in a sort of remission. Every morning and evening, Sadie growls and barks when it is time to take those pills. After she gets them, she expects to go to bed with Amy. Every night it’s the same thing. I’m amazed that the dog is so consistent with the time she expects things to be done.

At some point, the cancer that’s hidden right now will again rear its ugly head, and at some point, we’ll have to make a decision about letting Sadie go. I dread the time when that comes. However, since I do believe that our dog was on loan from the Good Lord, I’ll trust grudgingly to let her go home or maybe to help some other person or family. For now, Sadie is a spoiled dog who runs the house. I’m partially responsible for that and don’t care. I could never love another tyrant as much as I love the one in our house.