Personal: Saying Goodbye to My Sweet Sadie Girl
"Both pleasant and painful"... That's the definition of "Bittersweet". That perfectly sums up the experience of pet ownership. The excitement of choosing and bringing home a new pet, the joy you experience each and every day with them... that's the "pleasant". But there comes a day, when you must face the painful, and for me that day came one week ago today. That's when I said "See You Later" to my sweet Sadie girl.
After I bought my first home eleven years ago, I decided to get a dog to keep me company. (This was pre-husband, kids, or foster kids!) After one unsuccessful trip to Wayside Waifs in south Kansas City, MO, I went back and was matched with Sadie (Molly at the time).
So much has happened since the day I brought her home. Sadie lived with me in 4 different homes (joyfully living out her final years on our Farm Sweet Farm). She was snuggled up next to me through tears of heartbreak, and the loss of loved ones. She was an unofficial therapy dog to the seventeen foster children that came into our home, providing them comfort and security when they arrived on what was most likely the worst day of their lives. She allowed them to climb all over her, snuggle her, lay on her and play with her. Two of those seventeen went on to become my forever-sons, and she was my youngest's first word after months and months of speech therapy.... "Dog-Dog"
The photos in this post were taken about six months ago. I had just gotten the new floor drop and wanted to test it out. As you can see, with a human that's a photographer, Sadie was a natural in front of the camera. I am so, SO glad that I took these pictures.
It wasn't long after these photos were taken, that Sadie started to look and act "old". We eventually took her to the vet and discovered she was in the beginning stages of heart failure. Medication twice a day slowed down the progression, but had me feeling like I had a newborn baby - up every couple of hours during the night to let her out to go potty.
About a month ago, the vet told us her liver was failing too and to start mentally preparing for the "next step". But for me, that meant living in pure denial. My husband tried to talk to me about it. My parents. My kids. But I just refused to accept it. Until that final night, when my sweet, sick Sadie made it very clear to me that she was ready to go.
At our final trip to the vet, as I buried my face in Sadie's fur while she peacefully faded away, experiencing the "painful" part of being Sadie's human, I rejoiced in the eleven years of "pleasant" that I got to have with her. I knew I'd do it again in a heartbeat for the blessing of having her in my life. And I know that there will be another sweetheart out there somewhere, someday, that needs rescued just like Sadie did.
So Sadie, thank you for your companionship, your comfort and your security. Thank you for forgiving me when I wasn't always patient with you. For being excited to see me everyday when I got home. And for loving every human (and stray animal) I brought through our door. It was "me and you" for eleven years, girl. It hurts so much to let you go, but it would have hurt so much more to have never known you.
Here we are, from the beginning, to the very end.