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19 February 2013

Goodbye, Sadie Girl

Always where the action was.
I said goodbye to my best friend on Friday....of the four-legged variety, that is. It hurts. And I'm still crying off and on as if I am one week postpartum and my milk hasn't come in. It's ugly, I tell you. Those moments are only balanced by moments where I want to shake myself and say, "Snap out of it, woman! She was just a dog! And you're running out of Kleenex!"

The rational part of my brain knows she was just a dog. But the irrational part knows she was the best dog I'll ever have. Sure, she ate two pairs of Joshua's man sandals (I cant believe I ever let him buy those, btw) when she was a puppy. And yes, until she was five or so she used to jump on people and bark like crazy when they came in the house. And believe me I was not thrilled when she once decided to eat an entire grill pan full of greasy chicken and steak drippings and then proceed to barf up ALL of her stomach contents on our brand new Army-issue beige carpet. She wasn't perfect. But she was perfect for me.

Ever protective.
 For 14 years she was here.  Every day.  All day.  She PCS'd (Army moved) eight times like a champ, and always settled in to her new backyard with ease.  She sat through numerous coffees, FRG meetings and bake sale preps with me without complaint.  She got up with me for middle of the night feedings, cleaned my cheerio-strewn floors on a daily basis and  In essence, she was my "battle buddy."  When the Army sent my husband across the big pond eight different times, I would bury myself in FRG meetings and functions, play groups and volunteering at school.  I did anything I could to keep myself out of the house and to make the time pass faster.  But at the end of each day, I always felt better knowing I would come home to Sadie.  And I could always count on her to lay in front of the couch with me when I fell asleep watching reruns of Matlock or The Dick Van Dyke Show (it's hereditary, I swear) waiting for a phone call.   I specifically remember one instance where the Air Force had cancelled four rotators to Iraq in a row (shocker!) which meant we had to say goodby to my husband four times over the course of about 36 hours.  It was pure torture.  Each time he left I would be a crying mess and Sadie would position herself by my feet and fall asleep.  After the fourth time, she positioned herself in front of the door as if to say, "Don't worry, I'm not letting him back in this time."  I think she knew we couldn't handle another goodbye.

Always a good sport.
On Friday, I left for work knowing I would not see her again in this life (dogs TOTALLY go to heaven, so don't even try to tell me they don't).  I sat down at the top of landing and stuck my face up to hers, nuzzled her snout, and patted the ground next to me to signal for her to sit.  But she didn't.  She looked up at me with her now gray face and cataract-filled eyes and walked away. I heard her nails on the rug under the dining room table and when I looked, she was lying down, her head on her paws facing away from me. This time, I think she knew that neither one of us could handle a goodbye.

5 comments:

Carrie Trimble said...

((hugs))

Bonnie Trimble said...

She will never be forgotten in your house or ours. Hugs and prayers.

Papa said...

There are dogs, there are great dogs and then there is Sadie - in a class all her own.

Sarah Gallagher said...

Yep. Crying. She was the best dog I could hope for for my Lobster. Annie and Jamie agree. Sadie Girl will be missed.

Janelle Vannice said...

Hi! I'm Janelle, and I found your blog while searching for military spouse blogs. I am marrying my Airman next year, and I'm really glad I found your blog! I can't wait to read more! Consider me your newest follower! :)

I'm so sorry about your beloved dog... that is NEVER easy!

Janelle ( http://janelle-and-dan.blogspot.com/ )