Sometimes we need to ask what we need, to allow others to need us too. My Sadie, our beloved lab, nurtured each of our family for over seventeen years. She did not present herself as one who was needy, yet she constantly understood the love involved in making herself available for you to pet her. Truth to tell she wasn’t much into petting, but she learned early in her life that to be fully present with our children or myself meant someone had their hand on her head and coat.
Sadie came into this world in Texas and she faced horror in her first few weeks. A child of a breeder had thought the puppies were cold and put a space heater in their nesting bed. She was horribly burned and permanently disfigured. I saw her at six weeks of age as they were deciding to destroy her or not and from that moment she was mine, the truth was however, I was hers.
A divorce separated us for many years, but then one magical day, she was delivered to my home again. Oh the joy of that moment. She was over ten then, and yet that Christmas, in Sadie fashion, after a long across country move, Sadie surprised us with two puppies Christmas morning. She had kept the surprise from all of us! Her child and now grandchild live in our home.
Pain has a way of helping people see through the moment and past to what is important. Her perspective of what was important never left her. Sadie was a fierce protector if her children or her human ones were threatened, and never softer than when a child explored her eyes and face and many scar lines. She knew and loved children, sat up with them at night and was fully present with our children throughout their teenage years waiting up with us for them and bedding down with them on sick days and broken heart healings.
The last two winters were hard on Sadie, I was concerned we’d have to put her down for the pain she had been in some hours. However my prayers were granted last night, she died in her sleep, in her spot, sweetly waking somewhere where pain no longer lives. Well done Sadie, you have taught me so much about resilience, love, and joy.