Sadie in a Nutshell

Since my blog can be The Sadie Show at times, it comes as no surprise to me that some of the most common emails I receive from readers pertain to my crazy dog. Through this post, I hope to address the most popular questions people seem to have about Sadie.

Let’s get started with the Sadie breakdown!

  • Where did you get Sadie? Ryan and I purchased Sadie from Shelley, a wonderful breeder in Alabama. Though we absolutely loved Shelley, I must say that Ryan and I were unaware that there are rescue organizations dedicated solely to vizslas at the time we got Sadie. We really wanted a vizsla, and had I known that vizsla rescue organizations existed when we were looking for a puppy, I would have rescued. If Ryan and I decide to get another vizsla one day, it will be a rescue.

Puppy Sadie

  • Why did you decide to get a vizsla? I have terrible allergies and sneeze incessantly around most dogs, so Ryan and I went on a hunt to find a dog that we both loved that wouldn’t affect my allergies. We read about vizslas and learned that many people who have allergies to other dogs do not experience allergies to vizslas, as they do not have an undercoat. It was also important to us to get an athletic dog and vizslas definitely fit the bill on that one!

Sadie's Doggie Derby Victory, 2009

  • How big is Sadie? Sadie is only 34 pounds. The average vizsla is 10 to 15 pounds more than Sadie, and a bit taller as well. Sadie’s mom’s name was Tiny and she was 35 pounds. Like mother like daughter! People always comment that Sadie is much smaller than they expected when they meet her in person after seeing her in pictures.


  • How does Sadie handle apartment living? Considering Sadie doesn’t like to be more than two feet away from me or Ryan at any time, she does quite well. We’re lucky that we have a backyard and can sit outside with her and let her out back to use the bathroom.
  • Did you crate train Sadie? We tried. For one night. She wined and wined and wined. She sounded like she was dying and it broke our hearts to hear her like that. So no, Sadie is not crate trained, though I think crate training can be a good thing for many dogs. It probably would’ve saved our coffee table, too.

Happy Dog

  • Was Sadie easy or hard to train? Sadie was pretty easy to train. To potty train her, we hung a bell on our back door and would touch her nose to it before taking her out back to pee. We did this every time we let her out to use the bathroom and eventually she learned to ring the bell if she wanted to go out to relieve herself. As far as tricks like sit, stay, down and shake are concerned, Sadie learned these very easily. We took a puppy training class which was beneficial in that it made us keep up with training her. We would often forget to practice the “trick of the week” until 10 minutes before class, but we’d hold a cram session equipped with treats and she’d learn the trick in no time!

Feed Me to See Tricks!

  • Is there a trick that was particularly difficult for Sadie to learn? The one trick Sadie couldn’t master was “Bang!” Upon hearing that word, she was supposed to play dead. I would have to say “Bang!” five times to get her to actually die. It was a slow and painful fake death, so eventually we just abandoned that particular trick.

  • What does Sadie do while you and Ryan are at work? She takes all of her toys out of her toy bin, sleeps in our bed, sleeps on the couch and guards our house. When she was a puppy and we were still potty training her, I would rush home from work at lunchtime to let her out and take her on a short walk. I will still do this from time to time, but now I typically use my lunch break to blog. She has no problem holding it until we get home.

Also a Peanut Butter Lover

  • How often do you exercise Sadie? I take Sadie on a 20 to 40-minute walk every morning. When Ryan and I get home from work, we typically take her on another 40-minute walk or will bring her to the dog park to play for an hour.
  • How did you teach Sadie to run with you? You may read my post about running with dogs here.

As a first-time dog owner, I would also like to share the two things that surprised me most once Sadie came into our lives.

First, I was surprised how needy dogs are and how much work they require. The first week we had Sadie, Ryan and I felt like we had a baby (though I’m sure once we actually have a baby, Sadie will seem like a piece of cake). Sadie didn’t just want our attention, she needed it. Of course dogs need their owners to feed them and let them out to use the bathroom, but they also need love, attention and exercise. We didn’t realize that having a dog would affect our lives so much. We now to make it a point to come straight home after work because we know Sadie is waiting for us. Both Ryan and I suffer from “dog guilt” and would feel awful going out to a movie or dinner after work when Sadie’s been home alone all day.

Second, I was shocked at just how much an animal could affect me emotionally. I love Sadie more than I ever thought possible. Before owning a dog, I always thought that dogs were just another family pet… like a hamster. Though I loved Harold (my childhood hamster), Sadie truly feels like part of our family. Ryan and I love her and cannot imagine our lives without her. She brings us so much joy and happiness and makes us laugh every single day.

Question of the Afternoon

Pet Owners: What has surprised you most about owning an animal?


  1. says

    I’m with you, I didn’t know how much WORK was involved with owning an animal. I have a kitten, so I don’t have to walk her or anything, but she ALWAYS wants attention. And she wakes me up every morning at 7 to be fed. It’s like clockwork.

    I also didn’t realize how expensive it is to take care of an animal. Growing up, we had 2 cats in my house but my mom always took care of the shopping so I never saw how much toys, treats, food, and litter truly cost. Now that I am on my own and have to pay for it, it really does add up!


    • says

      so true! i think it is SO important for people who are considering buying a dog or a cat to understand how much work and money goes into it. they are AMAZING and can bring you so much joy, but it’s important to be prepared for the work and financial aspect too.


  2. says

    As a self-proclaimed obsessive dog owner, I will say that your last point about how much you love your dog surprised me too. My two miniature schnauzers are seriously the loves of my life (don’t tell my boyfriend!) and I don’t know what I would do without them. A lot of people think it’s weird how much I love my dogs, but I think it’s only something other pet owners really understand. My puppy, Daxter was in an accident when he was about 12 weeks old (he’s 11 months now) and he almost died. The three days he spent in the emergency doggy hospital were some of the most emotionally wrecked days I have ever had! I can only imagine what I will be like when I have a human baby, and not just my fur babies!

    It’s wonderful to see another blogger out here with such unabashed love for your furry family member!


  3. says

    Sadie seems like SUCH a precious dog! Truth be told, I am a dog person stuck in a cat person house. Don’t get me wrong–I love my cat. However, more often than not she seems cool and aloof, and I’ve never met a dog like that. I plan to become a dog owner myself in the next few years, and it’s really encouraging to see another first-time owner going through the ropes and enjoying life with the pooch! 🙂


  4. says

    Great post! We trained our dog to do the “bell trick” when he wants to go out too. I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph. I have had rabbits for years, but dogs are SO different, I had no idea! I’m sooooooo emotionally attached to my dog it’s kind of ridiculous. I just love snuggling him and playing with him. He’s awesome 🙂


  5. says

    What a great post!
    I agree with everything you said about being a first time owner. I have 2 dogs, a 6 year old Anatolian Shep, and a 3 year old Shiba Inu mix. The oldest, Tessie, was my first dog that I was soley responsible for (we had dogs growing up but was never truly responsible for them). I think what surprises me the most about owning dogs, is the people in this world that don’t take their responsibilities seriously when they own animals. the people that don’t trim their nails, and don’t take them for exercise, and feed them nothing but table scraps and things like that.

    I consider my dogs my children… truly I take the job that seriously. I buy them all natural, organic and healthy food and treats, they have their own space in the house, they have health insurance and are covered under my car insurance, and I take them every where with me! If you invite me somewhere and you don’t welcome my dog, then I probably won’t come!! LOL


  6. Alexandrina @ The Cardio Queen says

    aw…those first and third pictures of Sadie are soooo cute!!! Have never seen or heard of a Viszla until this blog.


  7. says

    i always had dogs growing up, but they lived outside. when we got our puppy, i was shocked as to how much attention they need. i’m STILL trying to get fully adjusted to the fact that i no longer can do what i please, whenever i want. but he’s worth it 🙂


  8. Stefanie says

    Yep, they are our fuzzy kids. And yes, after 2 days adopting 10 week Lakota the puppy, we were like “WHAT HAVE WE GOTTEN OURSELVES INTO!??” We were horrified how hard it was and constant attention. We even lost weight as we never had time to eat for ourselves, and walked all the time trainer her.

    And then we adopted another dog, Daisy May, at 8 months old, and once again we had a life. what a difference. And now we are a big family!

    We also taught our dog Lakota, a red healer with a touch of beagle, to ring the bell to go out. It is awesome, though sometimes she will do it after she just went out, I swear to just mess with us! She stares at us and keeps hitting it over and over with her nose!!!!

    Daisy May, our lab/terrier mix, will sometimes just touch it but so quietly. I have a video of it on facebook page.

    Crate training-Lakota, too, whined like crazy for almost a few weeks straight. But we held strong as our hearts broke. Just like baby in the crib, we just dealt with it, and wore Bose noise canceling headphones to bed, and used lots of treats to “GO TO BED”. Daisy May was a lot easier as she was used to a crate already at 8 months.

    Now all we do is say “Go to bed” and they run into their crates waiting for that treat. And it is a life saver. Never have we had to worry about coming home to something chewed or an accident. Neither has eaten an item of clothing or piece of the house!

    So that is our experience!

    Thanks for sharing Sadie and your family with us everyday!!!


  9. says

    Sadies is soo adorable!! so so cute! I guess it seems silly, but it took me a bit of time to get used to feeding my dog and letting it out to pee! i just didn’t think!


  10. Katherine says

    Aw, Sadie is such a cutie! I love that you love your dog so much! My dogs are my life. And yes, they are a LOT of work, but so worth it!

    I have always loved dogs, and all animals, but having dogs of my own have really intensified that. I stopped eating meat almost four years ago and it’s the best decision I ever made for myself.


  11. says

    Sadie is so dang cute and sweet!!! I was never a dog person at all until my mom’s Maddie came into our lives! My Mom got her in June a couple of months after my Dad passed away. Maddie is a sweet little gift from heaven and is a member of the family!



  12. says

    I’m with you on how much I care for this animal. I just left her with my mom for a week, and I get so worried. We are actually responsible for this little dog. If something happened to her, it would be our fault!

    And don’t worry, we didn’t crate train April either. She didn’t really like it, and luckily, she doesn’t do much while we are gone. It’s only when we are home that she gets into mischief.


  13. says

    I really felt like I was reading about Koda bug! We looked for a vizsla because of my terribly allergies and our love of hiking and exercise.
    She is my first dog and I am amazed at how attached I am. She truly is my fur baby. Koda is crate trained, but we rarely utilize it because she is so good at just being around the house. She sleeps curled up in her bed, beside our bed…. <3

    Not that you wanted to know any of that, but just thought I'd share!
    I love talking about Koda so much, I can only imagine what a nut I'll be when I have kids!


  14. says

    I’ve had cats forever so no surprises there, but I’m amazed at how much my dog has changed me. I am such a neat freak and hate anything to be dirty, but, for instance, when we came home on Xmas Eve and we discovered she found Zach’s chocolate stocking stuffers and puked all over as a result. I couldn’t even get mad! I just cleaned it up and said “oh well.” So unlike me!


  15. says

    I think this is a great post! A lot of people don’t know how much work it is to own a dog. I am definitely waiting to get a puppy until I am able to work closer to home. I cannot wait to own my own dog 🙂


  16. Michelle says

    Ok…long time lurker, first time posting!

    My husband (very recently married) and I adopted our two Australian Shepherds about 3 years ago. I think some of the things that suprised me most were just how much we love them. They’re like our children!

    But also, I never knew dogs could be so smart and in sync with their owners! It definitely adds another level of love to a family.


  17. Kelli says

    GREAT POST I have 2 kids (5,4) and we have a 8 year old golden retriever we always swore if we had kids Barks’ life would not change he would still get his twice daily walks and as much affection as before and because we stuck with this our kids our totally in love with him!


  18. says

    I definitely have to agree with you and say I was most surprised by how much I LOVE my dog. I always had a dog growing up, but they were definitely more of my parent’s/family dog. Now that I have one of my own, the love I feel for her is beyond anything I ever imagined.

    God help me when I have actual children!


  19. Anon says

    I really want to get a pet! Like a little kitten – I’m just scared that it would be too much to look after. I’m worried it might go to the bathroom in my house – or bring back nasty stuff from outside (the streets are disgusting!).

    I’m very sure that at the first sign of trouble my family would send it back lol


  20. says

    I was surprised by how much I could love our dog – I had dogs growing up and loved them dearly but there is something about it being just our dog that makes the husband and I both love him so much.

    I wish my dog was athletic! The vet says that he should love running since he is a Jack Russel/Rat Terrier and he does like to but he gets so focused on sniffing every spot around him that he keeps his nose to the ground and will suddenly stop or veer off to investigate a smell, not conducive to running, lol.


  21. says

    Before we left for our honeymoon, Bryan said to my mom, “Don’t tell her if Princess dies while we’re away. She loves that dog way too much.” And I did. I loved her like a sister. She held out a few more months and we had to put her to sleep a few days after her 14th birthday. That’s the hardest part about owning a dog, how short their lives are. But she was ready, I was ready. I was just happy I was there to say goodbye. It was really tough on my parents, coming home to a Princessless house, especially my dad. You’d never seen a guy and a dog so attached to each other. And Buffy, our other dog, took it hard. I cried when I saw a black lab at the groomers. The lady working there said Buffy did the same thing when the lab came in.
    Anyone who doesn’t consider the dog a member of their family has something wrong with them.


  22. says

    Oh my gosh, Sadie was such a cute puppy! But then, are there any ugly puppies? My dog is my child until we have human children and I love him more than I could ever imagine. We trained our dog to ring the bells to go outside too! We call them “tinkle bells.” 🙂


  23. says

    Thanks for the post (and the email)! Sadie seems like my kind of dog. I’ll be sure to let you know if I end up adopting one once I get to DC…and the rescue idea sounds great. Happy New Year!


  24. Jenna says

    I got my first dog this year, and couldn’t agree more with the two things you found surprising. I definitely feel the guilt when leaving my puppy by himself for too long. He has the biggest puppy eyes; they get me every time.


  25. says

    I feel guilty admitting this. My cat Geneva passed away in 2008, just two months after the loss of my grandmother. It has been a surprise to me that I get more upset thinking about the cat then when I do about my grandmother. I was closer to the cat, I suppose, and I saw her everyday but I was shocked at how I still will cry when talking about Geneva but not about my grandmother. She really worked her way into my heart and set up shop.


  26. says

    I was surprised at how emotional i am loving an animal too. I didnt understand the love i have for an animal till i fell in love with one.. Like you i just thought they were family pets..not PART of the family.. I TOTALLY get it now.


  27. Annie-Rose says

    I always love reading about Sadie on your blog – she adds such a great energy!

    I totally agree that what most surprised me was how attached I have gotten to my pup. Growing up with dogs, it was never quite the same, either, probably because they were more my parents’ responsibility, but I just love her so much!

    I think the other thing that surprised me is that, except for those first few weeks, the responsibility of having a dog seems like nothing now. I thought I would notice the difference a lot more, but now everything I do for her is just second nature.


  28. Shana says

    Great post! I always love reading about your Sadie. I sooo know what u mean about dog guilt! I am always rushing home from work for my puppy Mia.


  29. says

    I surprised myself this year when we went on vacation and left our cats at home and found myself missing them terribly! Especially upon seeing my aunt and uncle interact with their 2 year old puppy, I missed my furbabies even more 😛


  30. JessieBee says

    I read this bit on Sadie right after getting a pup who was less than consistent with her potty training (not her fault – I understand that)… I read what you said about the bell at the back door and it made me sooo happy… I knew that would work! My hubby thought I was crazy, but he was willing to give it a try. We have only had her for a week and a half, but she is getting it! Sometimes she rings the bell to go out to check for birds, squirrels and kitties, but I am fine with that… she’s not pooping in the house! Thank you!


  31. Leanne says

    I just discovered your blog and was immediately drawn to it when I saw your Vizsla. We have a Vizsla and absolutely love her! We initially choose this breed because they don’t have an undercoat and they are just beautiful dogs. Boy, are they SO much more! They have such a unique personality and love like no other dog I’ve ever seen! I’ve heard them called “velcro dogs” and now I know why. They are the sweetest dogs. Thanks for sharing about Sadie. What a beauty!


  32. says

    When I rescued my dog (Sasha, a shar pei/lab mix) I was also surprised at how much I loved her. I’d always grown up with dogs, but there is something fundamentally different when it’s YOUR dog and not your parent’s. I suppose it’s a bit like the difference between a sibling and your own child.


  33. says

    I totally know what you mean! We got our dog (rescued- she is 2) 6 months ago, and I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love her. I totally know what you mean about the dog guilt though. I love her like crazy but sometimes I feel like I would love to just go out for dinner after work and not have to worry about her. But I am sure people feel the same way when they have children!


  34. Amanda says

    I just found your blog from another and as soon as I seen your love for all things doggie related I knew I’d be hooked! I love your sweet Sadie! My fiance and I love vizlas, but we have two MONSTER babies in our small house now, so its not conducive at the moment. Blue, my 160lb. English Mastiff and Geno, my 130lb. Rottie are the true loves of my life!! Like you, we got Blue from a well established breeder due to the many health problems mastiffs can encounter throughout their lives, but my rottie was a rescue who we literally took off of death row… I love both of my doggies equally and unconditionally, more than I thought I could love anything, but although all the work Geno (Rottie) took to help him fit into our environment, I can honestly tell you rescuing was the best thing we ever did, and will do nothing else in the way of bringing new members into our family. He is honestly the most amazing thing in my life (other than my baby Blue who I raised since puppyhood)… I can see the gratitude in his eyes when he lays his head on my lap each night at 9pm to “cuddle”… which by the way is his favorite cuddle position!! He thinks of course that he is much smaller than he is! Anyway… I always love to share my “Geno” story because of how life changing he was for us… thanks for your awesome blog and loving your puppy so much! I love seeing others that are doggie fanatics like me! <3


  35. Samantha says

    I absolutely LOVE seeing Vizla owners. As a kid and into young adulthood (not that long ago, I’m only 27), my family had two Vizlas, both rescues :-). I loved them so much, they just had the best personalities. All they wanted to do was be near you and love you. If I had the time, I would get a Vizla for myself, but for now I have two kitties (whom I’ve had since I was 12, they knew the Vizlas too!)


  36. Hannah says

    I just came across your blog and I’m up and getting ready for my run right now (4am). I have a Weimaraner named Joe and he is the love of my (and my husband’s) life. I’m currently trying to train him to run with me but he pulls a lot on the leash and gets distracted easily. Hopefully we can get a groove going.


  37. says

    I love this Sadie post! I have to agree, I never understood why people were so obsessed with their dogs. Who knew they could be more than a pet? I love Sammy, my dog, so much that I’ve been banned from Vet appointments because I always cry when something seems “alarming.” This doesn’t pose well for when I actually have a child 🙂 I heard a great quote once though “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings. I would have to agree, I don’t think its a coincidence Dog is God spelled backwards 🙂


  38. says

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your
    site is great, let alone the content!


  39. Lisa says

    Great post! We experience the same “dog guilt” and went through similar feelings of how attention needy doggies are when we got our Labrador. We also weren’t knowledgable on rescues in our area and found a breeder through a friend. Next time we will 100% rescue too! Thanks for sharing!


  40. Emily says

    Found your blog on Pinterest when I was looking for packing tips for an upcoming pick to Europe. I read the original post I was directed to and was about to close the tab, but then I saw a picture of Sadie! My parents raised Vizslas my entire life. It made my day to see Sadie’s smiling face! Vizslas are definitely a needy breed- they’re not called Velcro dogs for nothing! I’m glad she does well in your apartment. I just moved and am hoping to get a Vizsla next summer, but I was hesitant about them being confined to such a small space. Glad you love you Vizsla as much as I have loved mine!



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