This was written by my aunt. I wanted to share it with you in order to pay tribute to all the creatures that charm their way into our hearts. They may not be with us for all of our lives, but we are there for all of theirs.
Once upon a time in the tiny town of Almond, in central Wisconsin, a Princess was born. This Princess was unlike any fairy tale Princess ever written about, pictured, or portrayed in movies. This Princess had no crown, no silver slippers, or handsome prince.
This Princess was only about 8 inches tall, smelled funny, and had 6 larger, but equally odoriferous siblings. This Princess was actually a dog; specifically, a collie dog. This tiny, extremely shy animal was the runt of her young mother’s litter. However, her beautiful markings and demeanor tugged at the hearts of her soon-to-be parents…us. This “runt” became the “pick” of that litter.
She was officially crowned “Princess Sadie Rose” in January of 1999, when upon walking into our house for the first time, strutted through the rooms and hallways as if she owned the place. And, of course, she did!
Sadie grew quickly, and through the years, we marveled at her intelligence and athleticism. We swear she could understand English, and often found ourselves having to spell things (like G-R-A-N-D-P-A, G-R-A-N-D-M-A, etc.) in order to avoid undo excitement. With terrific mouth/eye coordination, she could run down and snatch flying discs from the air, hundreds of feet away.
When Sadie was 3, a rescue collie named Casey joined the family. He was about the same age. And although the little Princess was rather unhappy at first about sharing her kingdom with him, they became very close companions over time. Casey passed away when they were both 13 years of age. A young little whippersnapper (8 months of age), Coby–another rescue collie–soon joined the family. Sadie was instrumental in teaching this young lad good manners and obedience. Coby adored his sister.
Throughout her life, Sadie was stricken at various times with illnesses. We feared she would not survive a battle with mites during her first year. But, regular “dips” and a maturing immune system eventually overcame the problem. A lifelong sensitive stomach required a special diet, and occasional medications. Whenever there was a problem, Aunt Kimmy & Uncle Jim (veterinarians) were just a phone call away for consultation. They are wonderful doctors, and Sadie loved them dearly!
Sadie’s health had been on the decline for the last year or so. What appeared to be dementia hung over her like a cloud, causing her to be more withdrawn; sometimes, a little afraid or confused. We had concerns about how she would handle the 1000-mile drive for our vacation to Florida in April. But, we hit the road on a Saturday morning, a smile on her face, and she soon cuddled up with Coby for the long drive ahead. She traveled well. One week into our 2-week vacation, and after one last walk on the beach where she has swam and played for years, she became seriously ill.
She was hospitalized for a couple of days. There were many long-distance calls to Kimmy. We had hoped for a somewhat common (in older dogs) diagnosis of vestibular syndrome, but when her condition did not improve, Kimmy and local vets concurred that a more serious problem existed. She likely was suffering from a brain tumor. It was clear that a decision would need to be made; something that had been in the back of our minds for some time, but something our hearts could not bear. We put our sweet little Princess to rest on May 7th. She was 15 years, 5 months of age. (Yes, truly a blessing to live to that age!)
Roger Caras once said, “Dogs are not are WHOLE life, but they make our lives whole.” Sadie certainly made our life whole. We will probably again get another dog, but there will be no replacing our little Princess. She was one of a kind.
Princess Sadie Rose
11/23/98 – 5/7/14