Sunday, April 24, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Sadie

On a spring Saturday in 2004, my friend and I took a road trip to New Hampshire so she could go check out a puppy at a rescue that brought Puerto Rican street dogs (satos) into the U.S.  I was only going along for moral support and had plans that night to see a band play.  Little did I know how much that trip would change my life.

While my friend looked at a golden mix and a jack russell, I was handed a scared, little black shepherd mix who was barely three months old.  She snuggled in my arms, quiet and timid; and I fell in love with her. And even though I still lived at home with my parents...and even though I knew I would be in sooooooo much trouble for bringing her home...I brought her home.

As we travelled the highway back to Maine, I realized that there was no way I could go out to the bar that night with my friends to see the local band, Sister Sadie, play.  And in that moment of realization, Sadie was named.

For 12 years, my constant companion accompanied me on copious walks, hikes, trips to Damariscotta Lake, to the beach, on an ill-fated camping trip - pretty much wherever I went, Sadie came with me...even though she really HATED car trips. But she loved the destination once we got there.

Sadie loved to roll in the snow, the grass, soak up the sun on a hotter than hellfire day.  She thrilled at chasing cats, squirrels, chipmunks and later chickens.  She was never malicious; she just like to see things run!  She endured numerous nicknames: Sadie Wadie, Wade,  Sadie Girl, Girly Whirly, Schmoopy Puppy, Puppy Face, Puppy Roo, Whiney Dog...I'm pretty sure she didn't really know what her name was.

Coming home at the end of a long work day and setting out for our nightly ramble was something I looked forward to.  And weirdly enough, getting up at 5AM to walk wasn't so bad, either.  It was a nice way to start a morning - it was our own little moment of zen, watching the sun rise over the Kennebec River.

This past Saturday, we said goodbye to my girly.  Her age had finally caught up with her, as well as her struggle with Cushings Disease.  It was time to let her go.  She shared a cheese bagel with cream cheese with me that morning, she took one more dreaded car trip to our vet, she wandered their property and peed in a dozen places, smelled all around and made her way into the hospital.  And with my hand under her head and stroking her, I said my final goodbye to my sweet Sadie girl.

I know she's in the summer lands now, soaking up the sun, chasing chipmunks and resting easy. But damn do I miss that dog!

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