She was a sweetheart, a precious little fir ball, with great big eyes, a punched in nose and a bark that sounded like a duck’s quack. She was so precious, so special. Now she has left me and travelled to the rainbow bridge. I like that picture. It gives me comfort. I can see her, holding her tail high across her back, and her ears flowing with the wind. Not too much wind mind you. She wasn’t all that fond of big winds, or thunder storms, or wet snow, or wet ground and grass.
She was so small when I got her that she could almost sit in my hand. On her first trip to the vet, I discovered that she had a hole in the top of her head, and it never did close all the way. She got all her shots every year and stayed healthy. Then, last year she was diagnosed with heart disease. She managed quite well for about ten months, but then things began to go wrong, and after some seizures, little or no appetite, a diet of baby food and gradual weakening, she finally lost her fight, and died on Tuesday, April 14th.
I had made that awful decision to have her euthanized at 4pm on that Tuesday, but after a terrible night, I knew she was just suffering too much, and called the vet first thing in the morning and arranged to take her in for 9am. D drove me and Sadie cuddled in my arms, was quiet but looking around. As we were going into the examination room, Sadie took matters into her own paws, and died gently in my arms. The vet said that she was gone. That final few seconds was peaceful. It was like Sadie had saved me from the final decision to put her to sleep. I was able to spend some time with her, and then gave her over to the vet. She was wrapped in her little green blanket. She was gone. Dawn drove me home and I thought I could not face the house, but of course I had to. I was totally empty, and found the day long and lonely. The sorrow I felt was immense. My little pal, my little girl, and my best friend for eleven years had left me alone.
And yet, as I write this, she is still everywhere. She always followed me around, so that she could be in the same room with me. When she wanted something she would scratch her little paw on my leg to get my attention. She sat almost under my feet while I was cooking or doing dishes. She wanted to go out with me every time I opened the door. She knew my routine and would move ahead of me especially at night when it was time for bed. So, everywhere I go, everything I do, it seems she is still there.
Of course, over the week that has gone by since she died, I have been thinking a lot about her, her little quirks, her methods of getting my attention and the different things she did that were funny. She was a very nosey dog, who liked to sit on my desk and look out the window. If she saw the school bus or a car slowing down she immediately wanted down to see who it was, or to greet the granddaughters when they came to the door from the bus. She watched the neighbours across the street, and seemed to know their car and truck. When she was coming in from being outside, she always looked across the road first, before entering. I’m not sure what she was looking for, but she always did it.
Sadie loved to go to Halifax and see her special friends. I always called it her Spa Vacation. Whenever I had to go away she would stay with her city cousins and what a time she had. She was smaller than they were, but she didn’t seem to recognize that. This was especially noticeable when she was just a few months old, and as big as a button. I have pictures of her jumping on the Tibbies, rolling around and just having a great time. Jerry and Simba put up with her. Oh, she enjoyed it so much, and was totally spoiled by E and D, her hosts. I have pictures of them, but they were taken before I got a digital camera, and laptop. I found a couple of pictures of her with hj and I having a lunch on a bench in Point Pleasant Park. She was so tiny, and sat up on the bench sharing our lunch. She thought she was a big city dog, and was always eager to go on walks with E & D and the Tibbies.
Sadie liked to walk around the back yard with me, checking everything out. There were such interesting odours, and sounds. She especially liked it when I gave her her lead and she could run ahead of me. “Come on Bonnie, there is something really neat over here.” When I worked in the garden she would help by scratching in the dirt, sometimes right where I had planted. She looked so proud of herself. Then, she’d find some shade and lay down, having done her best. She watched the birds and chipmunks with interest, but no desire to chase. However if she saw a cat from the window she would stare and stare and sometimes even ‘quack’ at it.
The orchard was another place she liked to go. The grandchildren and Sadie and I would have nice walks there. She also liked going down to see the pickers in the fall. She ran and then panted and looked like she was laughing. Here, she was the big orchard dog. And of course, a trip to the orchard also had to include an inspection of the barn, another place she was fond of.
It seems to me that her favourite time of year was when the hay was being cut. She was oh so keen on watching the tractors and would sit on the porch and watch. Sometimes the parked car would get in her way and she would have to find just the right place to see the tractors. When L parked the tractors in the back yard, Sadie checked them out, sniffing all around them. I remember when she would first see the big bales of hay, she would bark at them. I’d let her go and sniff around them, and then put her up on one. She would sit there as long as I would let her. When L would get off the tractor to come and see Sadie, sometimes I would let her off her leash and she would tear off for the hay field and him. L was one of a very few men that she liked and always looked forward to seeing him, and especially when he picked her up, while he was having a coffee with the Captain, and give her a good scratching and her ‘massage’ for the week.
Sadie had the longest hair for a Japanese Spaniel or Chin as her breed is called. It would grow so fast and when she would lay flat on the floor she looked like an oversized black and white slipper. Her hair was everywhere, when she shed, but what could I do? Clothes brushes were a necessary item, so at least most of it could be removed from whatever I was wearing. She really was not a fan of having a bath, and would shiver like it was the end of the world as she knew it. She wouldn’t bark like other dogs, when she wanted out. It was important that I pay attention to her. She would sit and stare at me until I noticed her, then she would run to the back door. If I didn’t move immediately, she would run back to me, looks me in the eyes, than run to the door again. When she wanted up on the desk to look out the window, she would stand staring up at the desk until I picked her up and put her where she could see.
For most of her last year, Sadie was unable to do the things she enjoyed. Trips to the orchard were few, and most times I ended up carrying her. At least she had one last haying season. And she still watched what was going on out the window.
Words that would describe Sadie are many. She was companion, friend, confident, steadfast, my shadow, patient sometimes, impatient at others, fussy (about food), stubborn, loveable, sensitive, silly, adventurous, curious and many more.
She was a will always be remembered as a very special part of my life. She gave me so much and she didn’t even know it. I know I will never have another little friend like her. My sweet little Sadie.
Not the best picture but you can see the size she was
Just a little Sadie look.