Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sagacious Sadie Says Goodbye

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

Happy Sadie
(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.


Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful gentle soul.
RIP sweet Sadie.

Else and Sadie's friends Archie, Hugo,Tess and Tanner.

georgia little pea said...

Oh Jean :( I knew it was coming but it was still hard to read your post. There were so many things I didn't know about Sadie. Her life before you. How she said goodnight... I know you'll miss that so much! The way she died, taking the decision out of your hands. That was her last gift to you, don't you think?

I imagine when she was lying next to Charley's tree, that she was telling her old friend, "I'll see you soon." And that must be where she is now, quite glad to not ever have to wear a diaper again.

A big hug for you, Jean. Goodbye Sadie. It was good knowing you X

Anonymous said...

I am so very very sorry for your loss Jean. Sadie was a very special little dog. Hugs
Bev Inglis

penelope said...

I just read your blog post and want to extend my condolences to you. I was taught by an Elder that our beloved four-legged companions live such a short life compared to ours because they are pure of heart and spirit and have much less to learn (and so much more to teach) in their time on this earth. Rest assured that she and Charlie will be waiting for you when it is your time to take your journey. My thoughts and prayers are with you. said...

Sadie, what an amazing dog. I am so sorry for your loss Jean. You were one amazing Mom to her. Sadie and Charley, your angels this day.

Irene, S.Surrey said...

So sorry for your loss. Sadie was so very thoughtful, even in death, you didn't have to make that awful decision. <>

MrsB said...

She was your lovely said it so well. What a grand tribute to a grand dog.
Well said.

Mark said...

I am so sorry for your loss Jean. It sounds like she had a wonderful life with you after the loss of her first family. our thoughts are with you at this sad time.

Mark, Del & the Royals

Karen said...

So sorry for your loss, Jean. Sadie was an extraordinary friend. What a lovely way to leave this life.

Dawn said...

Jean, you have had so much loss in the last year or so. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Sadie on this sad day.

I am glad you have Eddie to help you focus on living today and tomorrow.

Sadie was a very special dog. You two were lucky to have each other. said...

On behalf of Abbotsford Today, Thank you Sadie for the stories you shared with us, we loved your take on life, seeing things the way you saw them.
Caroline follows your mom's blog faithfully and always smiles when we saw one of your columns. No one could tell it quite like you did.

Run free but come visit your mom on occasion as we are certain her heart is heavy at this time.

Mike, Vince and Caroline

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute to a very beautiful girl.

shihtzustaff said...

I am so sorry for your loss Jean. Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you and loved your history of beautiful Sadie. Run free beautiful girl.


ruth said...

Oh, Jean - I am so sorry to read this. My heart goes out to you with tears in my eyes at work.
Sadie, run free with Charley. You were so very loved!

Unknown said...

I am so,so sorry Jean, thankfully you were with her to help and comfort her as she left on her journey, now all 4 are together to keep each other company, you are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Kate D

Lisa Marie said...

We'll all miss your wisdom, Sadie, but are better for having shared in it. Run free, gentle spirit, reunited with missed friends.

Lovely tribute, Jean - I wish you comfort in the tenderness of your memories of your dear girl.

Cathy said...

So sorry Jean for your pain. Great that you could spend your last moments with Sadie in peace. I feel as if I knew Sadie, you have portrayed her so lovingly.

Funder said...

Oh Jean, I'm so sorry for you! She was a wonderful old lady, and you gave her the best of everything.

Sheryl said...

Jean, I am so sorry for your loss. She was an amazing girl and you were both so lucky to find each other.

Rest in Peace, Sweetheart.

Erika said...

What a lovely tribute to a lovely dog.
You brought tears to my eyes.
I am very sorry for your loss.

Brigid said...

Morning tears as I read this. Thinking of you, Jean - Sadie was such a gift to you, and I'm so glad she was able to pass in your care, knowing she was loved.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Oh, Sadie, I will miss you so very much. Not only were you deeply loved and appreciated, but your Mama shared your stories and thoughts with us in blogger land so beautifully and so generously that we fell in love with you too.

You have written a beautiful tribute to Sadie, Jean. My heart is aching with both sadness and happiness as I read it, for as much as you feel Sadie's loss, you can also rest easy that your Sadie enjoyed a fabulous life and is now at peace.

hornblower said...

oh I am so sorry. What a special dog, so loved & so full of love.

Anonymous said...

run free Sadie with your friends Charley, Oliver, Belle and hopefully you will meet dear Caleb over the bridge too..I am so sorry Jean..another loss for you has been a tough couple of years..may the future hold nothing but sunshine and no heart have been such a wonderful furmom..hugs


Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

We are sorry for the loss of your Sadie. I hope when the time comes, our Chloe Belle, can have as peaceful of a passing as Sadie did. Sending big hugs your way.

Jen Green said...


I missed this post a couple days ago. I am so sorry to hear this news and that it took me so long to discover it. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. It's lovely that she got to decide when and where she passed and she could go in such a gentle way. I am sorry for your loss Jean, but I am grateful that you were able to save her and love her to the end.

Rest peacefully, gentle Sadie.

Jen and the Black Dog Crew- Spike, Sophie, Murphy and Reason

Nana & MP said...

Oh Jean. I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute. They sure know how to find you. You are amazing.

Have fun with Charley and all your friends, Sadie. Good bye for now. We will miss you so.


MmeG1G1D0g said...

Dear Jean,
What a wonderful tribute for a fine girl.
I'm so grateful for the care and love she was able to know while part of your family. Thank you so very much and THANK YOU from Sadie.
Big Collie Hugs to you.
Janet Lamont - Founder of Okangan Collie Rescue

Linda Toews said...

So sorry to hear this Jean, but glad to hear that her passing was peaceful and with you holding her - I am sure she knew she was loved right till the end. I am so glad that you and Sadie found each other.
Take care

Jean said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. She was a wonderful, gentle girl and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to share my life with her. She is missed so much.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jean,I don't know how you do it. As I always say,they are so lucky to have "you" to love them. I could barely read your post on Sadie. I'm so sorry.They were all such wonderful and special dogs....I hope your okay. Big Hug, Kelly

Dom said...

What a good girl. I'm glad you were able to give her a second good life. 13 is a good old age, but I imagine that doesn't help ease her passing. I'm glad you were there with her and that she was so well loved. And now I'm off to dry my tears... RIP, beautiful Sadie.