Losing Sadie

Sadie Julia 2006-2018 The day we adopted Sadie was one of the happiest of our entire lives.   Later that aftern...

Sadie Julia 2006-2018

The day we adopted Sadie was one of the happiest of our entire lives.   Later that afternoon, I felt funny.  I took a pregnancy test and discovered I was pregnant with Hudson.  Best day ever.

My Dad always loved to spoil her with giant bones, 2006

Travis trained Sadie with a gentle, loving approach.  He never yelled at her, shamed her, or made her feel afraid.  He trained her with unconditional love and patience. This is the way to train a dog.  I credit him for much of her gentleness and loving spirit.  From day one, she knew she was cherished. 2006

Cross country skiing was her absolute favorite activity, 2006

She loved to jump and run through deep snow.  She would make this crazy snorting sound and we called her "Powder Pig".

                      When Hudson was born, Sadie became his constant companion.  2007

Playing in the snow with my babies, 2007

Hiking up the ski mountain after it's closed for a run or two...Sadie was always up for anything, and we included her in everything we did, 2007

Rafting in Moab, Utah, 2009
Our river beauty, 2009

Hanging with my Mom, Arizona desert 2010

While we dote on 2 week old Viv, Sadie enjoys a celebratory roll in the grass, 2010

Watching over baby Viv, 2011

Pumpkin Patch, 2011 (The leash was a farm requirement.  We almost never leashed her.  She was so obedient, she didn't need a leash.)

Cross country ski picnic,  2012

Sadie LOVED to pull Hud on his skis, and Hud thought it was the coolest, most fun thing ever.  Later on, Sadie pulled Viv, too.  2012

Mountain Biking in Fruita CO, 2012

Hiking above Telluride, 2013

Sadie cheers on Hud as he surfs in a big one, Ventura, CA, 2014 (Seconds after this photo was taken, Sadie began to bite my sister's surfboard in her excitement.  The only reason she was allowed to get away with this was Sarah's soft spot for Sadie.  They were very close.)

Spring hike-to skiing, Ophir Pass, Telluride, 2015

Viv and her Sadie, 2016

Tubing the Dolores River, CO, 2016 

In August 2016, we left Telluride to begin our traveling adventure. This was taken on our drive from CO to ME, somewhere in Kansas.

                   This girl loved to chase a tennis ball, and she was absolutely amazing at catching it on the bounce. (I will admit that I would show off with her if I knew people were watching.) Iowa, 2016

Ice cream in Maine, 2016

In the back of Marshmallow, 2016  Sadie ALWAYS wanted to be where ever we were or were going.  Somehow the dog always thought we might leave her, maybe because she had been abandoned as a puppy.  She jumped in the van while I was packing for a camping excursion.  We used to sing the Fleetwood Mac song "Everywhere" whenever we were packing to go anywhere, because she would follow us at our heels until we were in the car.  I am not a big fan of Fleetwood but the song fits, you can watch it here:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LaOMLU8acM

Looking for fish in Moxie Pond, Maine, 2016

She loved a boat. Any boat. Moxie Pond, 2016

Canoeing with Viv, Three Mile Pond, Maine, 2016
Hiking Tuckerman's Ravine, New Hampshire, 2016

Crossing the Gulf Stream form Florida to the Bahamas, 2017

Making new friends, West End, Bahamas, 2017

Dead starfish munchin', Bahamas, 2016

Eleuthera, Bahamas, 2017 

She LOVED fast dinghy rides.  When her ears would fly up like this, Trav called her "The Flying Nun".  Bahamas, 2017

At our surf beach, Encuentro, Dominican Republic, 2017

                                     Exploring Playa Preciosa, Dominican Republic, 2017

Early morning Hud snuggles, Cabarete, 2017

Dinghy riding with my sister Sarah, Samana, Dominican Republic, 2017

Puerto Rico, 2018

Celebrating her 12th birthday, Spanish Virgin Islands, 2018

By the time we hit the BVIs, we began noticing big changes in Sadie's energy levels and movement, 2018

This is our last photo of Sadie.  March 23, 2018

Saying Goodbye to Sadie
by Vivian
The day my Mom and Dad adopted our 3 month old chocolate lab, it was love at first sight.  They saw her at the Humane Society Adopt-a-Thon in Ridgway, Colorado.  She was wearing a little orange coat that said, "Adopt Me".  They knew they wanted her. Since that day, Sadie has always been a happy-go-lucky puppy. 
Sadie has always been the most smartest dog that you will ever see.  One of the times that she showed how smart she was is when I lost my shoe in a gushing river.  First she tried to swim for it, but with no luck with that, she realized that she had to run on shore to get ahead of it and then swim upstream to catch it.  And she brought me back my shoe.  Now you see how smart she is.     
Sadie is a loving dog that will never make anyone scream or yell, instead she makes them smile and be happy the whole rest of the day. 
But now I am sad that she cannot make people laugh or smile because right now she is up in heaven.  Sadie has had a rough last couple of weeks.  Sadie had cancer.  Sadie had to be put to sleep because she was in a lot of pain. 
The last thing she experienced was sitting on the floor with me and my mom at the vet’s office.  I read her a story about the sea.  At the end, I pointed to a picture in it and she looked up and I knew that she was looking up and interested.  The last thing she heard was, “We love you Sadie.  Thank you for being our dog.”

From Hud:
               Dear Sadie,
I’m so sorry I was not with you during your last few hours. Your life flew by and I never took a chance to notice. I miss your smile, your chocolatey fur, and your loving heart. I am so glad that you were a part of my life and that you were willing to share your love with my family and I. You gave us far more than we gave you. That’s what my mom said and I agree. Sure we gave you a home but you put a smile on our faces and that’s what matters most.  If someone asked me “you have one wish and what would you wish for?”  without hesitation I would simply ask for one more day with my dog.  I understand that she is gone, I just want one more day.  If I had one more day:  I would buy her an ice cream, take her for a walk, throw the ball to her, buy her a cheeseburger, but most of all I would just love her with all my heart.  I have so many things to say about you, but all of them together would be “I love you Sadie, you’re our dog”.

From Travis:
My Dad, who is very inclined to share advice and his expertise on whatever the subject, would often say of Sadie, “You better appreciate that dog, because there will never be another dog as good as that one”.   And he was right.  If I could dream up a perfect dog I could not conjure one as good as Sadie.  When Jen and I moved into our first home, one of my first priorities was to get a family dog.  I figured raising a dog would be good practice for having children. Jen was not from a dog family and was kind indifferent about getting a dog, so I wanted to make sure that we picked a dog that would woo her.   So, nonchalantly, I asked her what type of dog she would like.  My criteria was a larger dog that would not eat children.  Jen was a little more precise: “I want one of those short haired dogs that are brown, a lab, but the definitely the brown ones.”  This was a bit of an obstacle because we both agreed the puppy had to come from a shelter and not a breeder.  Most people when they want a cute chocolate lab puppy call a breeder and hand them $2500.   So Jen’s request for a chocolate lab seemed on the more unlikely side.  I, meanwhile start combing the local shelters via the internet for free chocolate lab puppies (I might as well have been searching for a free wallet full of cash). For seven months I combed the internet and every shelter within 500 miles of us for lab puppies.
One morning in May of 2006 Jen and I woke up uncharacteristically early (this was before children). I mentioned there was an Adopt-a-thon occurring at the local Humane Society and why don’t we go down, kick some tires, and get some breakfast at our favorite breck spot.  I know they would never have a lab puppy, but I had been searching the internet for a long time and was concerned that we would end up having children before we had a dog and that just seemed out of sync.  I figured if we started looking at dogs in person then Jen might forget about the lab desire and just fall for a needy, mangy but cute puppy. 

For the first time in my life I arrived at a planned event early. In fact, too early. They asked us to come back in fifteen minutes when the event was to kick off.   I immediately noticed Sadie wearing an orange “adopt me” dog vest on our way back to our car.  I was so excited that they had a lab puppy that we circled the block twice and returned five minuets later and just sat staring at the volunteers until they relented and let us in to just look at the dogs. 

I have always wondered who the individual was that left that ridiculously cute and well-tempered little puppy abandoned at a gas station.  If I saw them today I would thank them for the best dog a family could ever want for.  Sadie was loving, gentile but not timid, curious but not wandering, loyal, protective, sweet, and I swear if could have taught her to hold a pencil she could have trumped me on a SAT test.  Training Sadie went like this: “Hey Sadie don’t do or do this ….” And most times she would just obey and sometimes she would do as she pleased and in those cases I would then have to say just a little bit sternly “Now Sadie, I told you to ….” And that was enough to immediately change her behavior, because she just wanted to please and do the right thing. 

She was one of our own and she knew it. When she needed help or love, she would look to us.  Like the time she came running and whimpering to Jen in the laundry room on a summer day, covered in dog slobber, which we assumed was the result of getting her butt kicked by the very large neighborhood bully dog.  She came to Jen for love and reassurance because she knew she would get it.  If she ever got a thorn in her paw on a hike, she would just stop and lift her paw in my direction. She knew I would understand what she needed.  We always felt honored to care for her and love her, and we were always the on the receiving end of the massive amount of love she returned. 

We generally left Sadie free to roam at our house in Telluride and being the obedient dog she was, she always stuck around, except for the time two hot air balloons floated over our house. Seeing a giant floating orb in the sky was enough for Sadie run for her life.  She took off out of our neighborhood and down the middle of the busy road.  A guy in a jeep, afraid that the dog was going to get hit by a car, stopped just long enough for Sadie to jump in.  Sadie looked at the guy and with those beautiful golden eyes said, “Did you see those massive things in the sky? Let’s get the hell out of here!”

At some point during our travels, Sadie tested positive from some tick-borne diseases. She remained strong and vibrant, and her symptoms were few. Seven months ago, she began showing some confusing health symptoms. The many vets we consulted attributed these symptoms to the tick fever, which was incorrect.  She had a small tumor that we had been told, after many tests, was benign.  When her health began to really decline, we had the tumor biopsied.  We learned she had transitional cell carcinoma, which had progressed to an untreatable stage.

In the last weeks of her life, Sadie continued to give us comfort and love.  One day recently, Viv came into the cockpit of Moxie, crying about something. Sadie, in the midst of her own discomfort and illness, came over to Viv and put her head in her lap.  Sadie was in pain, and it was hard for her to move at that point, but she wanted to help Viv and she moved so that she could nurture her. She was always, up until the very end, giving.  Thank you, Sadie. 

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  1. Oh I am so sorry for your family. It’s so hard to have a pet die after being the best thing you ever shared. You had her for a long time and she’s like one of your children, but she’s without pain now and she thanks you for letting her go. God bless you as you comfort each other and remember so many wonderful times you had together. Love, Sylvia ❤️

  2. I'm sorry about your loss....but if I'm right, the book Vivian is reading to her on her last day is one of Mimi Carpenter's....and that makes me smile.

  3. Oh Jenny, I'm so sorry. These pictures show a dog living the best dog life ever. She was so lucky to have your family.

  4. I'm so sorry Jen. You sure got lucky with Sadie. It takes time, energy and love to raise a puppy into a constant caring companion, and they give back every day. I think the above comment nails it. She had the best dog life ever. You did bring her everywhere! Hugs to you all.

  5. So sorry to hear of Sadie's passing. We lost our pup Nicky a year before we moved onto Wisper. Celebrate the great life you had together!


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