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.