Sadie is a lady … and when it comes to the best-dressed service station canine around, she leads the pack.
An 8½-year-old, 12-pound Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix, the stylishly dressed Sadie has been hanging out and greeting customers at Paul's Conoco gas station at Hefner Road and May Avenue since she was 6 weeks old.
Station owner Paul Dean and his wife, Kelsie, wouldn't think of leaving for work without her.
Sadie rests in Kelsie's office on her doggy bed when she isn't at the door welcoming visitors or outside with Paul helping him service cars.
She has no fear when it comes to trotting over to the gas pump island or standing by Paul when he is repairing a car up on the lift. If he gets busy with a customer and ignores her too long, she reminds him by barking and jumping up and hitting him on the back of his legs with her feet. He gets the message, reaches down and includes her in the conversation.
In the mornings, customers stop by regularly to visit Sadie. (She goes home at noon.) Kelsie said one woman was among the regular customers who, for years, came by to see and visit with this winsome little creature. She would stop in every Thursday to see Sadie and purchase her lottery tickets and scratch-offs. After falling and breaking her leg, Sadie's friend had to move into assisted living, but she calls frequently to check on the little dog.
Sgt. Chris Mhoon, with the Village police, stopped by while Sadie was modeling her outfits for a photographer recently and greeted her by name and gave her a pat.
“She's a mascot for Paul's Conoco,” he fondly said.
Diabetic, Sadie is stoic when she gets her required injections twice a day. Paul gives her the shots when he takes his medicine. So the routine has become just another part of her day.
Motorcycle riding is her passion and she has been riding with Paul and Kelsie since she was 6 weeks old, strapped to Kelsie's body in a front pack. When they go riding and don't take her, she pouts and retreats to the closet. Needless to say she doesn't spend much time there.
Sadie has a mind of her own and insisted on choosing her favorite outfits for this shoot. Why else would we put her in a Santa suit in July? Seems red is her color and she likes a touch of white around her face. Then there's the red, white and blue bikini that she isn't especially fond of but thinks it does wonders for her figure, though walking on her hind legs to show it off gets tiresome. Animal experts say putting clothes on dogs is our way of humanizing them. Well, duh, Sadie is well ahead of them. She knew she was human from the get-go.