“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard.” - A.A. Milne
I borrowed this A.A. Milne quote (in the title) from a woman who wrote a eulogy for her dog, Bear, just this week. Bear sounds pretty badass. I am pretty sure he’s going to like my Sadie.
I found Sadie in 2005 after my then husband took his bags and left me alone in the high desert with a house on a plot of decomposed granite overlooking Yucca Valley. The six months before Sadie and I became a power duo, I had spent mostly in bed. Occasionally I’d get up and have some toast or a cup of coffee. Sometimes I put on pants. Mostly I slept.
Sadie’s picture and story on a pet rescue site pierced my heart. She had a big pink bozo nose and a wrinkly face. Before her rescue she had been hit by a car. She had very recently had puppies and she had half-a-mouthful of teeth (hers) in her stomach due to the car collision. The puppies were never found. Sadie got along fine with fewer teeth but I will never know how she coped with losing her puppies.
She wasn’t the easiest dog. Her separation anxiety was extreme but understandable. She shredded curtains and gnawed an entire bay windowsill. She was fiercely protective of me, which made having anyone at all in the house a real challenge, but we managed. She was a bit of a princess who didn’t like anyone but me… but despite all that, I thought she was perfect. We understood each other: two girls who’d had a crap time. We got each other up in the morning. We took each other for walks and, eventually, regular meals and pants were part of my daily routine.
Three months ago Sadie was diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal form of bone cancer. This weekend I will sit with her on her fave bed on our front porch, while the doctor administers the sedative that will calm her and then the poison that will stop her heart.
Sadie has two lighter patches of fur on her shoulder blades. I've often told people that this was where her angel wings fell off when she came to save me from myself. I don’t believe in a beardy man in the sky who calls all the shots, but I do believe that Sadie is getting her wings back this weekend.