Soul dog. Sadie was my soul dog, but I didn't know it then.
The 12 1/2 years we were blessed to have Sadie in our lives were years when I was living with my soul dog but had no idea. I knew she was special, that she was a part of our family, growing up with our boys, by their sides and always present. We relied on Sadie for her constant love and presence in our pack, and yes, I kind of took it for granted.
When Sadie hit her senior years, she was diagnosed with diabetes. That brought with it a whole other level of care, and it was stressful. It was daily. But, it was a challenge that I just picked up and carried on with. I will admit there were not so good days, days when I needed to manage my stress and emotions better. But, I did whatever I needed to do for Sadie. When she crossed the rainbow bridge, it hurt, emotionally and physically. It brought us so much sadness. One of my boys still talks with her almost daily. He shares his day with her just before bedtime each night. It's become a ritual for him....it makes me wonder if maybe Sadie was his soul dog too.
When Sadie was with us, I didn't always think to pull out my camera and take photos of her, particularly in the earlier years. Maybe I was in the throes of young parenting, trying to stay afloat, treading water with three boys and learning how to parent every step of the way. In those years, Sadie was present. She was growing up right alongside my boys, herding them, romping with them, barking and racing around the house with them. They were her pack and let me tell you, I absolutely adored everything about that.
Sadie was our beautiful, blue merle, Aussie mix, a pup we adopted from a rescue in the days before I'd gotten a glimpse into what the rescue world is about. I only knew that Sadie "came up from the South" with her siblings and that when we went to meet the puppies, she quietly came over to spend time with my oldest, then 18 month old. She picked us. And until I wrote those words just now, I never thought about that. She. Picked. Us.
The connection dogs have with us and the love that we feel for them, it's profound and as authentic as love gets.
I'll always miss my soul dog, Sadie. And I will be forever grateful that she chose us to be her family.