Saturday, May 18, 2019

Scott MacDonald & Sadie

Who is in the photo at right?

Sadie is a mixed breed with some obvious Yellow Lab. She recently turned 6 years old. My son rescued her after she was picked up by Beaumont TX Animal Control; she and her mom were living in the wild, and Sadie (named by my son Ross) had serious health issues including heartworm, which is normally fatal to dogs. A dog DNA testing service analyzed her DNA and found lab and no other significant breed DNA meaning her parents were mixed breed, her grandparents were likely mixed, and maybe her great grandparents. She is a mutt, just like most Americans.

I'm Scott MacDonald. I have had a long career in real estate, often working for investors to fix troubled companies and projects throughout the world. My last full time assignment was CEO of the Investa Property Group in Sydney Australia. I wrote a book about that experience: Saving Investa: How An Ex-Factory Worker Helped Save One Of Australia's Iconic Companies. I am now semi retired but still providing real estate investment advice to pension funds.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Sadie and I frequently walk to Starbucks in Del Mar, California together. I have a Grande black coffee (no room please) and Sadie enjoys treats. She waits patiently outside when I enter the coffee shop, and frequently gets pets by others coming and going. When we stay downtown San Diego on occasion, Sadie and I go to a restaurant for coffee and breakfast; Sadie knows the way and the restaurant (Cafe 222) staff find a large dog biscuit for her as soon as they see us approach.

What's brewing?

I like my coffee bold and undiluted.

Any treats for you or Sadie on this occasion?

Always. Treats are an essential part of life.

How were you and Sadie united?

My son Ross saved Sadie when he was a law student at the University of Texas. When he accepted a full time job at a prestigious Houston law firm, he could not keep Sadie and asked me, his father, to take Sadie in. I was not looking for a dog, I was traveling back and forth to Australia, and having a dog created complications. But Ross is my son and he loved this dog, so I did what I think most parents would do - I took Sadie and made adjustments.

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

When Animal Control picked her up, they called the puppy “Blondie.” When Ross adopted her, he named her “Sadie.” He liked the name and she didn’t care what she was called as long as there was love and treats.

Please tell us about your book, Think Like a Dog.

The book is a self-help advice book based on observed canine behavior. Sadie writes part of each chapter in “her” distinct voice about her priorities and preferences. Then I talk in my voice about lessons learned and apply Sadie’s message to human life and conditions. The book is filled with cartoons and fun illustrations, and each chapter is punctuated with true stores of dogs doing things that demonstrate a point. Chapters include Being persistent, Knowing when to bark, Being a good sniffer, Leaving your mark, etc.

Sadie transitioned from a scared rescue dog afraid of virtually everything to a confident, outgoing dog engaging with people and dogs. There are many lessons to be learned as people encounter change and challenging conditions.

What is Sadie's best quality?

Unconditional love. It is hard to stay upset about something, when Sadie is waiting at the front door with a waging tail to greet me after a challenging day.

Tennis ball, stick, squeaky-toy…?

She likes to play tug-of-war with a rope toy, especially with other dogs. Although one of her friends is a Bernese Mountain Dog, and Sadie has realized she is not going to budge Titan so she tries to get Titan to chase her instead (Titan is not very fast).

Postman, cat, squirrel…

She likes to stalk and chase rabbits. She will never catch one, but she is persistent. Some of the letter carriers carry dog treats, and Sadie is fond of greeting them.

If Sadie could change one thing about Cailfornians, what would it be?

Everyone should be required to carry treats.

If Sadie could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

What are you thinking?

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Sadie could speak, who should voice her?

A woman with gentle but determined voice. Sadie generally gets her way by wagging her tail, curling up beside someone, and staring with her big brown eyes. She never threatens and never shows anger. But she is persistent and charming.

What advice would Sadie give if asked?

Read the book. It is filled with advice.

Visit Scott MacDonald's website.

--Marshal Zeringue