New Year's Day...and the day was rainy, dreary, and cold. I woke that morning hoping and praying that 2013 would be better than the previous year.
Corey was headed out to work and he looked out into the back yard and mentioned to me that Sadie, our beloved pet for 14 years, was laying out there in the rain. She picked her head up and looked at us then went back to sleeping.
We knew that her time with us was coming to an end. Her health had been going down quickly, especially over the last couple of months. Just 2 days before, Corey mentioned that we probably needed to make a decision about putting her to sleep. She was losing weight and it was obvious that she was beginning to suffer. It was a holiday and I knew the vet would be closed, so I decided to wait a few more days. I had a chat with Sadie that night and told her that I really didn't want to make that decision for her. My heart just couldn't handle it.
So back to New Year's Day...around 10 in the morning I had a strong urge to check on Sadie. I glanced outside and noticed that something was different. So while the girls were playing in their rooms I slipped out the door (I didn't want them to know something was wrong) to check on Sadie. Walking out into the rain and kneeling down beside her, I touched her but couldn't feel any breathing, no movement, no life.
My constant companion, guard dog, comforter, listener, best friend of 14 years was gone.
Sadie came to us shortly after Corey and I were married. She showed up at our home and had obviously been abused and starved. She was a beautiful, kind, gentle black lab. We kept looking for any signs of her owners searching for her, but never saw anything. I was so appalled at the treatment she had endured, I probably wouldn't have let them even think about getting her back. We took her to the vet and found that she was probably around 1 year old and had heartworms. Corey and I began the expensive treatments to rid her of the heartworms. Because of those treatments, she became one fat pup! Even on "diet" dog food!
At the time, we lived on my family farm. She loved trotting after us on the four-wheeler, spashing in the ponds while we fished and just taking walks with me through the pastures.
During this time I was attending college courses at night. When I would come home very late from classes, she would greet me with her tail thumping waiting on some loving and a treat.
Sadie moved with us when we bought our first home. She would lay on the back porch while I swung on the porch swing. She would see a critter and rush to check it out then come right back to my feet. When I suffered a miscarriage and grieved the loss of our baby, she would snuggle up next to me and let my tears fall onto her back. Never tiring of my sobs or chats.
A couple of years later, she moved with us again, 2 hours away. Once again, she adjusted well. I knew that she would always meet me at the back door and usually push her way inside. She was there with me as my belly grew when I was expecting Audrey. When we brought Audrey home from the hospital, Sadie was there to greet her with a wagging tail and took it as her job to be a protective "mommy", too.
Moving again just a few minutes away to our current house that we built, she had 5 acres to roam. Audrey loved Sadie and Sadie loved Audrey. She was such a gentle dog, Audrey could do just about anything to her (dump sand on, ride, throw balls, pour water on, etc). I loved that they were good buddies. Again, Sadie was there by my side when I was pregnant with Addison then welcomed her home after her birth, too.
Addison was always TERRIFIED of all animals- dogs, cats, cows, birds, rabbits...you name it. She would scream in terror just looking at one. Of course it was Sadie who won the heart of Addison and taught her to not be fearful of animals.
By this time, Sadie was getting older and arthritis was slowing her down. But she was still right there with us.
It has been so hard to say goodbye. I never realized how often I glanced outside just to check on her...until now. Since she has been gone, I catch myself numerous times a day looking for her. Anytime we would leave the house, she would lay in the grass at the end of the driveway and await our return. It hit me hard today when I drove back to our house and caught myself looking for her in her usual spot, but not finding her.
I wasn't sure how I was going to break the news to the girls. Corey took pity on me and told them while I was still sleeping the other morning. They took it better than I expected, but I think Addison is having a hard time comprehending what it really means. She asked me a few hours after Corey told her to let her go outside. When I asked why, she replied that she needed to find Sadie. When I told her that Sadie had died and she wasn't there, Addison began to cry and said "but I wanted to give her loving one more time".
This is going to be such a hard adjustment. Sadie has been my heart for many years. We had a wonderful 14 years together. I will have a piece of my heart that is missing, though.
I have so many wonderful memories of that precious dog.
Such a gentle, loving dog.
We loved Sadie so much.
Always right by our side.
Even when we were inside, she had to know that we were all ok.
Getting some loving...
She loved to roll in the grass or mud.
Sadie will always be a part of our family. Foever loved!