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wren in Heber City is doing 12 things including…

Keep thinking good thoughts for Sadie

183 cheers


wren has written 48 entries about this goal

Good thoughts for Sadie

Today is a sad day for me because it is the anniversary of Sadie’s death. My mood and my thoughts lean toward the sorrow of her last days.

But most of the time, I think good thoughts about Sadie. Although she is gone, she is still very much a part of our lives. We are reminded of her often and are always telling each other “remember when” stories. We have a little alter with a framed Sadie photo, the box with her ashes and a few of her favorite toys. Other toys have been handed down to Becca and Elbee.

Sadie was a wonderful dog and an inspiration. When she was picked up by the dog catchers, she was in terrible shape, skin and bones, matted coat, insect infestations. She was such a mess that the dog pound people were reluctant to clean her up. Thank goodness our local rescue group found her.

Sadie had been on her own for a long time and had just made it through a mountain winter. She was feral and fearful of many things. When we brought her home, she stayed close to me. I was her favorite from Day 1.

Sadie helped me through a terrible, years-long depression. When I didn’t feel like getting out of bed, she would lay quietly beside me. Often, I would get up only because I wanted to feed her or take her for walks. We walked all over our neighborhood together. Sometimes Sadie liked to go off on private adventures. We would frantically search the neighborhood, always to no avail, and in a few hours she would show up on the doorstep waiting to be let in.

Sadie was an inspiration. She had a serious handicap. One of her legs was underdeveloped, which led to her nickname “Stumpy,” and she eventually developed severe arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. She never let any of that stop her. She never felt sorry for herself, and she always did just what she wanted to do.

Sadie was probably 13-15 years old the second time she got cancer. That was when she finally started to seem old. Although she was no longer able to do many of the things she used to do, she continued to have a good life, just in a different way. She enjoyed hanging out in her yard, savoring the breezes and the tiny backyard dramas. She also enjoyed snuggling in my lap. I’ve never regretted our decision to give her chemotherapy so that we could have those last six months together.

3 years ago today

Sadie passed away. She is still very much a part of our lives, though.

I recently bought a calendar from the Wyoming Herding Dogs Rescue, and this poem was on the back. I like to think this is exactly how Sadie would feel (although she was always jealous of me, so who knows?).

A Dog’s Last Will and Testament

Before humans die, they write their last Will & Testament, and give their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I’d ask….

To a poor and lonely stray I’d give:

My happy home.
My bowl, cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.
The lap which I loved so much.
The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice which spoke my name.
I’d will to the sad scared shelter dog the place I had in my human’s heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

So when I die please do not say, “I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand.” Instead go find an unloved dog; one whose life has held no joy or hope and give MY place to him.

This is the only thing I can give…the love I left behind.

sad anniversary

Two years ago today Sadie passed away in the morning. We made a sizable donation to the location animal rescue group, and in turn they made a special brick in her honor, to be placed on the patio at their new rescue rehabilitation facility. It took almost two years, but they finally placed the brick, and Mr. Wren & I went to visit it last week.

I do still miss Sadie a lot. There will never be another one like her. I’m happy to say, though, that neither Mr. Wren or I have any regrets. We both feel that we did right by her and took good care of her up until the very last. It would be so painful to have regrets.

I have been thinking

a lot of good thoughts for Sadie lately. Especially I have been thinking about how we would take neighborhood walks and the local children would get excited to see Sadie, she was such an incredibly fluffy and beautiful dog. They would surround her, all these short young people, and pat pat pat away at her with their little hands. She couldn’t have enjoyed that much, but she would just wait patiently until they were gone.


Today I went to the dentist because I needed to have three fillings replaced. Like a lot of people, I am terrified of the dentist.

After a while, the dentist suggested that I use the nitrous oxide gas. I’ve never used that before. Also, it has been over 24 years since I have been high, I don’t use any mind-altering substances. Of course, the dentist’s gas doesn’t get you really super high, so I think it was probably okay.

Anyway, once I was good & relaxed from the gas, I decided to think of something very nice. I thought of a day that I spent with Sadie. We were visiting friends in New Jersey, and I had pneumonia, so Sadie & I were alone in the house all day while everyone else was out & about. Sadie & I took a nice walk in our friend’s beautiful neighborhood, and that was our big event of the day. Then we came back and I snuggled with her on the bed, watched tv & fell asleep. I used to love to put my head on Sadie’s warm tummy & take a nap. Sometimes when I’d lay my head on her tummy I’d also hold her paw and squeeze it a little. She liked that.

It was very nice to spend that time with Sadie again. It is nice to think that I can spend time with her like that whenever I like.

I have been thinking about Sadie a lot lately,

maybe because it is cold and because we’ve had so much snow.

Sadie LOVED the snow and cold. When the snowflakes were falling, she would jump up to catch them on her tongue. She couldn’t really jump much because of her short rear leg, but the snow got her so excited she couldn’t help trying!

She also loved to make tunnels in the snow, using her nose for a shovel, and to roll around in it. One of her favorite toys was an empty plastic milk container in the snow. She would jump on it, it would fly away, and she would jump some more.

Oh, and she loved ice puddles. There are a lot of ice puddles right now. Every time I see one, I think of her. She would peer into them very intently, and then she would methodically pounce on them with her front legs until she had broken the ice. It seemed to be a great source of entertainment for her.

Sadie would appreciate this...

The Zen of Old Dogs

November is adopt a senior pet month. Francis Battista shares the joys of having an older dog around the house along with some helpful tips from our Dogtown staff.

Bop is a dog. A small black and tan chow mix.

She spends most of her waking hours with her one eye glued to the crack beneath the bedroom door where she will occasionally catch a glimpse of some cat paws padding about on the other side. You know when the paws are happening because either she lets out a kind of whoop or she rolls her extra round little body on its side, waving all four paws for balance, trying to keep her eye at best cat-viewing angle.

She looks for all the world like a slightly worn out teddy bear. One black button eye is missing and one of the hind legs is a bit askew. The fur has a tattered appearance as if from years of the teddy being dragged around by generations of adoring children.

Bop is old. She spends most of her time asleep, usually not far from my desk. Watching her snoozing contentedly is one of those things that make me happy. I don’t know much about her life up to the time that she came to live with my wife Silva and me and the rest of the crew. I know she had some rough times, as witnessed by her scars and loss of an eye. I guess what makes me happy seeing her just lying there is that, for her and for most of the old dogs around here, the past is the past, and now it’s all OK. She is as happy as a clam.

That’s one of the great things about old dogs. They are easy to please and they radiate gratitude. Sure, you can’t take them on cross-country hikes. That’s for the young dogs. But you can watch them sleep and you can step over them like a bunched-up throw rug that is always in the wrong place without bothering them. If you’re sweeping and they don’t feel like moving, well, you can just slide their bed, dog and all, to a more convenient location.

That’s not to say there is no action. Occasionally they get so excited about some ordinary thing that they gambol like a lamb or do some silly puppy thing. (Despite her arthritis, Bop’s short legs carry her roundness on walks with a determined blur.)

Everyone in animal rescue work knows that it’s easier to find homes for puppies and kittens than it is to place older pets. We’ve all heard things like, “I want the dog to be my dog. I don’t want to inherit someone else’s problems.”

Well, in addition to the adage to be careful of what you wish for, this is just plain old puppy poop. It’s not people that make dogs into amazing and remarkable creatures. They are amazing and remarkable creatures. We don’t love them because they can do tricks or are exquisitely mannered. We love them because, well, they’ve got that whole crazy dog thing hard wired into their brains and they’ve got humans pretty well taped, too. An old dog may not be your dog, but with a minimum of patience, you’ll have a one of a kind friend.

I recall hearing a Buddhist teacher describe the exalted state of openness to which he aspired – a stage of development wherein he would have nothing to defend or protect, where the world could come and go without disturbing his being. He called this “The Old Dog State.”

I think I know what he meant.

I really wish

I had more photos of Sadie. I only have a few because she hated having her picture taken.

Rest in Peace, beautiful Sadie

One year ago today, Sadie passed away. She was a good dog right to the end. I still miss her a lot & guess I always will.

I've been thinking about it,

and to mark the anniversary of Sadie’s passing, I think I will make a donation to Rolling Dog Ranch.

wren has gotten 183 cheers on this goal.


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