Oprah and Sadie Smile for O
Winfrey knows first-hand about the human-animal bond. A lifelong pet owner, she adopted Sadie after the photo shoot, saying, "Out of all the pups in that picture, Sadie was the one I felt an instant connection with." (The four remaining pooches in the photo were eventually adopted, too.) Days later, she adopted Sadie's brother Ivan, but then tragedy struck: After a few weeks at home, both pups were diagnosed with the deadly parvo virus.
Winfrey retold the story on the Mar. 20 episode of her show, and shares her experiences in her June "What I Know for Sure" column. She writes, "I'd been through parvo 13 years before, with my brown cocker, Solomon. It nearly killed him. He stayed in the hospital for 20 days. He was over a year old when he got it. Ivan was only 11 weeks. His young immune system wasn't strong enough to overcome it. Four days after we took Ivan to the emergency clinic, he died."
She says of Sadie's own experience with the parvovirus, "The first four days, she got increasingly worse. At one point I told her doctor, 'I'm prepared to let her go. She shouldn't have to fight this hard.' " But the next day, Sadie started to improve and happily, she is now fully recovered.
Though still mourning the loss of Ivan, the media mogul is enjoying hitting the all-important new-dog milestones with her blonde cocker spaniel puppy. She writes, "One thing I know for sure: I can't begin to repay my own dogs for the flat-out joy they bring me."
VIDEO: Meet Sadie here!
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