Our Dog Is Vegan, Too

Sadie outside screen door expecting to be let inside with her stick after failing to bring it through the dog door.

She’s following in Crystel’s footsteps who has been a vegan for over three years. Sadie helps till the soil, then comes the planting of the seeds. All last summer and winter she brought kale into the house, ripping the greenery to shreds before chewing on the stem. When Jody is making salads, Sadie waits for her portion.

Our dog Buddy used to be Trouble. Sadie is the real terror.

Crystel can no longer put a flat of seedlings on the bottom shelf of her greenhouse. Sadie thinks she’s the gardener. She’ll take out the tray. Nose the organic clump from the cell pot into its former soil mixture. She was put out when Crystel eliminated the bottom ledge. Sitting on her haunches, whining at the greenhouse.

Sadie thinks she ought to make bigger holes than what we think is necessary. Her face a ring of dirt, her feet mud sticks. We try catching her digging so we can parent properly but she knows when she is just outside of our line of sight. She is uncanny like that. I’ve become jumpy not knowing where she is.

It was no surprise that Sadie was the first to find an Easter egg in the garden. I thought she’d eat the money before I stopped her. You owe me her look said.

On walks she trails her nose on the ground. Every few feet we excavate something out of her mouth. A leaf, a stick, a ragged dried piece of a flattened squirrel, rocks, a bird wing, pinecones, even a chewed piece of gum. While we are enjoying the surroundings, she’s picking up litter. I bring an extra bag just for her. The ends of her ears are grey. I’m convinced it is because she drags them on the ground, nosing her way down the street.

Trying to keep Sadie off the pool cover is useless. It’s her water dish after it rains. A trampoline when it’s dry, jumping and leaping, round and round. 

First egg found

I told my two 18-year olds that they were easier to parent as children than the dog. They didn’t think that was much of a compliment. They know Sadie. Helped choose her. Named her. She’s a wonderful dog. We all love her. It just makes you reconsider having kids.

Sadie is the first retriever dog that we have ever had. But, boy, leave anything out and she will eat it. Even your distance learning homework. 

She’s a COVID dog. She’ll be a year old this month. I guess you could say that she’s done her part, kept up her side of the bargain. Offering us endless distraction.

This entry was posted in pets and tagged , by Elizabeth di Grazia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Elizabeth di Grazia

An artist, I follow the nudge inside of me. This nudge led me to write Peace Corps stories, find the front door to the Loft, and to graduate from Hamline’s MFA program. The story that became my thesis for Hamline is woven into my book manuscript: HOUSE OF FIRE: From the Ashes, A Family, a memoir of healing and redemption. It’s a story about family. And a story about love–for my partner Jody and the son and daughter we adopted from Guatemala. Most days, I can be found working as a Human Resource Manager for a foundry in Minneapolis. When I am not at the foundry I may be volunteering as a Police Reserve Officer for Richfield, MN or kicking butt at Kor Am Tae Kwon Do.

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