If an animal can have a kind soul, it’s Sadie. She just has a sensitive spirit!
She’s a Porky, half Pomeranian, half Yorky. Even as an adult dog, she’s permanent puppy size. If she’s ever weighed more than 4 pounds, it’s only because her hair was wet!
Her little fox face and big, dark eyes give her the appearance of a harmless, nocturnal creature.
She quickly picks up on feelings, and well knows the regulars to our house. She also knows children love to hold her like a baby doll, so she’s developed an adept ability to hide.
Yet when someone new comes over, she studies them a while before jumping in the chair beside them just to make the acquaintance. After a time or two of visiting though, she’s content to just sit on her blanket and watch from a distance.
Sadie’s 15 years old now, and it may sound strange to say, but when she was 6 years old she was traumatized. My wife, Janet, let Sadie and her sister out early one morning. A minute later, Janet heard an odd, chilling scream, one that sounded like a woman screaming, just outside her back door.
Janet ran outside. On the other side of the driveway, a black panther was running away toward the woods with Sadie’s sister in its mouth.
Janet was scared. Sadie was terrified.
Sadie had always been a bit skittish, but the incident made a life-long impact. Sadie became a nervous wreck. The vet even prescribed anti-anxiety medication for a long time just to keep from trembling in fear.
From then on, she always moved gingerly, cautiously, UNLESS she heard the rattle of a cellophane food bag! Then, she’d burst onto the scene like a might little wolf to scavenge for scraps! And anytime anyone cooks or eats in the kitchen, Sadie’s all over it!
She’s like a living vacuum cleaner, snatching scraps, spills or morsels of food that hit the floor. She particular loves babies in the high chair. She’ll patiently wait for whatever the child obliges her with as the tasty morsels fall.
I’ve known Sadie since she was ten years old. She’s always been sweet, gentle and consistent.
And since she was a puppy, Sadie’s been through the ringer with Janet. For instance, Sadie was there with Janet when her first husband, a really good man, was dying of cancer. Sadie was there throughout the rainy days afterwards, during the five years after he passed away.
When Janet and I met a little over five years ago, she jumped up beside, made sure I was safe, and just stared at me from then on.
Sadie was there to meet new grandchildren, new friends, and even explore a new house after Janet and I were married four and a half years ago.
In every way, she’s a quiet, non-assuming friend, loved by all around her.
Sadie’s been having accidents over the last months, even waking up at all hours of the night to go outside. She’s walked into walls from failing eyesight, is having trouble hearing, and sometimes tumbles to the floor because she can’t make the leap onto the couch like she used to.
It got worse. Last week, we put Sadie to sleep.
I don’t remember crying over loosing a pet before, but Sadie wasn’t really a pet. She was a kind soul, peaceful spirit, and as odd it sounds, just seemed to understand. Plus, I knew it caused Janet great pain, and that made me hurt.
On a cold blustery night, we made a little wooden box and buried tiny Sadie under an oak tree on the back of our land. We planted yellow daffodils on her spot that will return year after year.
It’s hard to categorize the things that move us the most. It’s different for a lot of folks.
One thing I’ve noticed though is that people, and in this case, a perpetual puppy, who have goodness, innocence, even purity, at the core of their being, they just seem to endear themselves.
Maybe that’s because some of the most precious things in life are also the most rare.
Goodness matters, and now, goodness is missed.
Sleep well, little girl. Sleep well.