BY JODI PERL-ODELL | When Sadie Grace Perl walked down Ludlow St., people couldn’t help but feel happy. Maybe it was the sashay in her walk or the never-ending grin plastered across her furry face, but she made friends everywhere she went while she was living in the Lower East Side. Local 138, Ludlow Blunt, Kapri Cleaners 2, Cake Shop, Living Room and Pianos all had one thing in common: They called her the Mayor of Ludlow.
I got Sadie 11 years ago, when I was in my 20s. She saw me through so many big transitions, and she led my team of supporters through graduate degrees, careers, job changes, finding the love of our life, Betsey Odell, and getting married. But it wasn’t just with us. Sadie would lock eyes with everyone and smile. And when she did, you were a gonner.
No matter how many times my wife and I warned people that Sadie would, inevitably, mess up their nice clothes they would say, “It’s O.K.,” and laugh in delight as she shed all over them. She knew people in the neighborhood better than we did. She would drag, haul and pull us from one side of the street to the other and immediately ingratiate herself to strangers — now friends. And that’s what it meant to be responsible for Sadie: We had to follow love everywhere.
She had a zest for life that many of us crave. Sadly, cancer took her. It was aggressive and quick and left us in shock. The staff at St. Mark’s Veterinary Hospital, who cared for her all her life, were there at the end. We shared stories of when she energetically ate so much sand at the beach that she had to have her stomach pumped twice — but she didn’t mind a bit. Sadie just curled her lip and trotted away satisfied she’d gotten away with something…again. She had the same smirk on her face when she found a way to steal socks from the top drawer of a 5-foot tall dresser, or when she would duck down when we walked in, so we couldn’t see her lying on the forbidden couch.
She wanted to love and take care of everything she met. And in the end when we were crying over her, the vet’s face dripping in tears, Sadie was at once upset and concerned, trying to lick our tears away. Junot Diaz wrote, “The half life of love is forever.” He must have known someone like her.
Sadie was a riot, smart and even sporadically graceful. She will truly be missed by many. I will miss when she would sneak a kiss in the morning, and would never leave the bedside when one of us was sick, her hilarious doggie snow angels, and mostly her big heart, which taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you all for loving her as much as she loved you. Farewell our sweet Mayor of Ludlow.