Sabor: the rest of the story
June 25, 2013
During his career, broadcasting legend Paul Harvey hosted a series of radio programs. But the most notable was his segment, "The Rest of the Story." This iconic show was filled with forgotten, but nonetheless crucial, elements about a variety of subjects. He’d take a well-known story and explain how a number of unknown facts made it come together. It was always fascinating to learn how much you didn’t know about something.
This week, I have my own version of Mr. Harvey’s famous radio segment.
One year ago I wrote a column that left me gutted. It was a painful last goodbye to my beloved dalmatian, Sabor, my companion for 15½ years.
I cried as I wrote about her life and our special bond. At times I couldn’t type through the violent sobs. It took me over a week to finish.
That was the last time I ever wrote about Sabor.
Until now, one year after she died. Because there’s a lot more to the story.
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I said goodbye to Sabor on June 18, 2012. But I struggled with the decision for months prior. She was old and could no longer walk. I carried her, spoon-fed her, and was forever washing dog beds she’d soiled. I was completely willing to continue life as a doggie hospice nurse so long as she would let me.
While my friends, family and vet said it was time, Sabor continued on.
I didn’t know what to do. The line between love and mercy was completely blurred.
Frantic for some kind of answer, I made an appointment with a pet psychic.
Julie was her name and she called herself an animal communicator. I was highly skeptical, but desperate to hear from Sabor what she wanted.
During the hour-long appointment Julie told me a number of things that convinced me this wasn’t a bunch of nonsense. She knew things she shouldn’t. She mentioned specifics. She named ex-boyfriends Sabor had apparently never liked and still questioned. Truth be told, my spotted dog was a little judgmental.
Julie also told me Sabor only wanted me to have dalmatians from now on. My dog believed her breed superior, and said I was not to consider another. She had always been a little bit elitist.
I chuckled and didn’t think much more of this mandate until Sabor died two months later.
I was devastated, and the last thing on my mind was finding another dog. I had a second dog, Boston, that, although not a dalmatian, I loved just as much. I thought we’d be a pack of two for a while.
But Sabor had other plans.
Three days after Sabor died, my friend, Cathy, who runs the pet adoption center Furburbia, called my dad and told him to bring me over. He was in town helping me cope with my loss, and unbeknownst to me the two of them had been conspiring for days.
The day Sabor died, Cathy had learned of a dalmatian just surrendered to a nearby shelter. Something told her it was fate. My dad agreed. She got the dog to Furburbia, where my dad took me against my will.
Still grieving, I didn’t want another dog. But with some encouragement, I agreed to foster him until he got adopted.
I might as well have tried to foster an F-5 tornado. In his first week at my house he ate a snow tire, TV remotes, shoes, a suitcase, bras, a garden hose, two cell phones, several bars of soap, candles and a twin mattress. In the time it took me to pump gas, he ate the seatbelt out of my car. I had to shower with him because he proved he could eat a couch quicker than I could wash my hair.
When his former owners relinquished him, they said their reason for giving him up was because he ate their air conditioner.
Though he kept me busy, I wasn’t planning to keep him. I was still too heartbroken.
But from her place at the Rainbow Bridge, Sabor intervened.
I was out for a walk with this maniac dog and a woman I’d never met before came running over to me.
"Excuse me," she said. "But I have to talk to you. I’m an animal communicator and I’m getting an overwhelming feeling you just lost a dog."
The tears exploded as I nodded. My column about Sabor’s passing hadn’t been printed yet. This stranger had no way of knowing.
"I want you to know your dog that just died is telling me she held on for so long because she wanted to find the perfect dog for you."
She pointed at the spotted beast at the end of the leash in my hand. "She wants me to tell you this dog is a gift from her. And she wants you to only have dalmatians."
Then she walked away.
My sobbing turned into disbelief. Who was this woman? How could she know what another pet psychic had told me months ago? What was I going to do with a dog that eats appliances?
I was stunned. But I knew right then I was keeping him and I named him Stanley.
Last Friday, I celebrated the first anniversary of Stanley’s adoption. He’s still a maniac, but he’s a better-behaved maniac. He’s sweet and entertaining and has added so much joy and laughter to my life, I can’t believe there was ever a time I considered him temporary.
And while sometimes I think he was more prank than gift, I truly believe Sabor arranged this. She knew I needed to heal and Stanley needed a home.
So, in the immortal words of Paul Harvey, "Now you know the rest of the story."
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.