Sadie passed away last night. I'm going to let Massah-in-law write about it:
We got Sadie when I was 12. I always wanted a puppy for as long as I remember and was so happy when we got the little runt of the litter. Her mom was a blonde american cocker spaniel and her dad was a black one. On our way home after getting her I sat in the back seat of our car and held her. She was always my best friend. The first thing that I loved (not counting my family) and from who I learned the meaning of unconditional love. I've had a troubled past, but through it all she was always there for me, wagging her tail and at my feet or following me around the house or napping next to me (she always had to be touching someone as she slept). She would lick the tears from my face through all my emotional turmoils and depressions. We had many discussions about death, since abandonment was and is my greatest fear and I somehow consider death to be the ultimate abandonment. We had an agreement -- if life ever got too hard for either of us, we would be okay if we chose death over the pain. She was the only one I confided my suicide plan to, and even after I tried and survived a few years ago and came back home she forgave me. I tried to break our agreement. But she never did, and fought for her life until the very end. She taught me that living a long fulfilling life full of love is the meaning of existence. I no longer have any desire to cheat myself of that.
Today I went home after work and she stood up when I walked in. That was the last time she would stand on her own. We waited for her vet appointment. She couldn't lift her head, but she wasn't sleeping. She just laid there looking at me, and through that silent communication I knew she was telling me that it was her time, and I comforted her as much as I could. But through my tears and selfish pain, she knew that I was having a difficult time and she was comforting me even more than I was her. I carried her to the car and held her on the way there and observed that I was in the same seat as when I carried her home for the first time. First and last car rides.
We think she had stomach cancer. Her mom died of cancer when she was 9 or 10. The vet wouldn't know for sure unless she did an exploratory surgery, which she wouldn't have survived. Her heart rate was 60 and she was taking breaths at the same rate her heart was beating. We knew that the best choice was to let her fall asleep forever. She was lying on the floor, all four legs spread out, just like she used to do all the time as a puppy. We took off her collar. The vet brought out a blanket, stood her up, and gave her the sedative. I was on the floor next to her, and the vet told me I should watch my hand because the shot would sting and she was worried Sadie might bite or snap at me. I told her she wouldn't, and she didn't even flinch as I petted her head and the sedative was given. Sadie was down to 16 lbs. She was normally 28 lbs. They stood her up to give her the sedative and she just stood there for a little bit before it set in. As she stood there I was petting her and crying and she gave me a kiss. Even then she knew I was having a hard time and wanted to comfort me. Then she got tired and laid down. The vet came back after 15 minutes. She shaved her back leg and explained that she would stop breathing and then her heart would stop beating. She gave her the shot. Sadie took a few more breaths then stopped. The vet listened for a heartbeat. "Her heart has stopped too."
After I stopped petting her lifeless body, the vet wrapped the blanket around her very gently and folded her into her arms. That's when it hit me. She wasn't with me any longer. The vet carried her little body out and I got up off the floor. After a long wait she brought Sadie's body back, wrapped in her blanket, and in a cardboard box. She offered to carry her out to the car for me but I knew I had to do it. I road back home carrying her body.
We buried her in the backyard next to a tree. I was the one who laid her in the ground, curled up in the blanket just like she was sleeping. We don't have a stone with her name on it yet, but I wanted to mark the spot so we would know exactly where she was laid down. We put a goofy little frog statue thing over her. There lies my best friend, who taught me so much about life and love. I will never forget anything about her. And I am eternally grateful for the 13 years we had together.
Rest in peace, Sadie. I will see you in 50 years or so. Thank you for everything. I love you.
June 1, 1994 - July 30, 2007
Here are some of Massah-in-law's favorite pictures of our Say-Say-Love.
Rest Peacefully, Little Angel