As I sit and reflect over the last twelve years, one constant has remained – Sadie. I got Sadie when she was seven weeks old and a ball of fur. She had a lack of gracefulness that drew me to her immediately. She was so excited to play and run she was tripping over her own feet. That excitement never left her.
Sadie was the perfect pet. She was always happy to see you, I mean ecstatic! She loved going for car rides and walks. In fact, the word walk has been spelled in my home for the last 12 years unless I was taking her on one because she would be at the door ready to go.
She has been at my side from day one; a faithful and loving companion thru thick and thin. Sadie loved me through moves, jobs, broken hearts, meeting the love of my life, even thru the birth of our first baby. She immediately assumed the role of protector when Sarah was born. She would sleep in her room in front of her swing and crib many nap times. She was the first to push open Sarah’s door and “check” on her when she was crying in her crib. Never once was she jealous or territorial of me. She just loved more, like I did.
I am forced to reflect on the times when I wasn’t so faithful to her. When I traveled for a living and left her alone too often. Or when I was single and would go and go and go and just not be home enough. Yet, her love never waned. She was always excited when I did come home and would love on me like I was her hero.
Sadie has always been our gentle giant. Weighing in around 75 pounds at her heaviest, she was the sweetest dog ever. The Cook kids loved her. Even when Griffin was going thru his mean spell and would poke her in the eyes, she would just turn her head. Then he would lay down on the floor with her and tell her he loved her. The kids always wanted her to sleep with them when they spent the night. She would lie down on the floor and let them fight over who got to sleep with her. She never growled or bit or anything. She just loved.
Sadie is the first family member Sarah looked for in the morning. When she saw her, she smiled and made a big excited yell! They had a special bond that only the two of them understood.
I sat and talked with her yesterday all day. I told her what a good girl she was. How blessed I have been to be hers. How we will always love her. We reminisced over her life – her early years in Illinois playing in the snow. Then in Knoxville, walking up and down the hills. Then Nashville, having the Cooks live with us while they rebuilt from the flood, then Tom and I getting married and him moving in and then Sarah. She and I had a nice long talk and cry, I told her I knew she was tired and it was ok. She looked me in the eyes with sad, sunken eyes. I know she understood.
Tom and I said good bye to her today. We held her, we cried and we let her go. She went peacefully and in my arms.
I cried out to the Lord – I am not this strong! But His sweet, still voice said back to me, I am. I am. And He reminded me that in my weakness HIS strength is made perfect. I know that He will provide the strength to get thru the difficult days and weeks and months ahead. The moments when I walk in the door and realize Sadie isn’t going to greet me. The moments when I wake up to a storm worried that she is scared and then realize, she is gone. The moments…when I just miss her friendship.
If you aren’t a “dog person” you probably think I am crazy right about now. But if you are, you understand the bond you have with your pet. She has truly been part of our family.
Now I feel as though there is a giant hole in my heart and in our family. I know the Lord is merciful. I am so grateful for the life I have. I know I have a full, very blessed life. And yet, there is a hole, where Sadie should be. I can’t imagine life without her. It hurts to even breathe. I believe that she will be in heaven. The Bible is silent on pets, but the Lord loves us and heaven is an amazing place, I know she will be there dancing and wagging her happy tale at me when I get there. Until then, I will miss you and always love you Sadie Belle! You are the best girl I could have ever had!