Born circa 1998/99, adopted March 6, 2008
Gone to the Rainbow Bridge June 24, 2012
(Photo by Red Dog Photography, 2008)
This afternoon, at 1:15, my sweet Sadie chose to leave us, ending her battle with insulinoma. She died the way she lived – quietly, without fuss, and on her own terms. She was approximately 13 years old, and has lived with me since March 2008.
I knew this day would come; and yet it caught me by surprise. This morning she woke me just before five, as usual. She had a meal, then a pee, then a snooze – all as usual. At nine o’clock she ate again and we went for our little walk around the block – as usual.
When we returned, she asked to go out to the garden, and she didn't come right back in - not usual. She was lying on the cool grass next to the recently planted Charley’s Tree, and she seemed content enough. I checked on her every twenty minutes and just before noon she moved to the back door, and lost control of her bowels. I cleaned her up, left a message with the vet’s answering service (It’s Sunday - all animal medical crises happen on a Sunday) and returned to my girl.
There was no need for a vet. Minutes after I made the call, and long before the vet would call back, it was over. As I sat on the deck with her head on my lap, I could see she was leaving. I whispered softly to her, and I told her to go find Charley. And she did – her breathing slowed, and she quietly slipped away. And she knew she was loved to the very last breath.
Sadie lost her first family when their house burned down and her human lost his job and they were living in a car in the middle of February in a cold northern Canadian town. The owner tearfully turned the dog and a cat into the SPCA, who called Okanagan Collie Rescue about Sadie. I offered to foster her, and adopted her two weeks later.
Sadie missed her first family terribly - she had obviously been well loved - and lay at my patio door watching the road for months, getting up only to eat or go to the bathroom or to run to the door if a car came down the driveway. One day, she realized they weren't ever coming for her; she climbed up on the couch for the first time since I'd met her, and never looked back.
She has mothered lonely visiting dogs, helped with foster piglets and adult ones too, lay down beside an alpaca, tolerated a tortie cat with attitude, and welcomed a never ending parade of foster dogs and a gaggle of foster pups. During the last weeks of her buddy Charley’s life last winter, she rarely left her side.
She had personality plus – you didn’t have to know her well to know there were profound thoughts going on in that head. Under the penname Sagacious Sadie, she once wrote a regular column for an online paper, Abbotsford Today, and occasionally she took over this blog. She loved life on our farm in the Fraser Valley, yet she handled the move to the island with great aplomb. She had confidence, a sense of humor, and a tender heart.
In recent months she acquired a new habit – she began climbing on my bed every night for a cuddle. As soon as I turned out the light she clambered back down and went off to the living room to sleep - she has always preferred her couch to my bed, but since Charley’s passing, always shared a few quiet bedtime moments with me. I was blessed to have seen this side of her.
Sadie died the way she lived - quietly, contentedly, never wanting to be any trouble to anyone. I shall miss my gentle girl so much.
|Stepping out with Sadie|
|Sadie's beautiful eyes|
|Sadie on Osborne Bay Beach|
(Photo by Red Dog Photography)
|My girl has gone home|
Run free, my lovely Sadie, at the Bridge with all your friends. As I close my eyes tonight, I know I shall feel your soft fur brush my face once again. Thank you for being a part of my life.