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She Made Us Better

Last week, we said goodbye to our dog, Sadie. She entered our life more than a decade ago, a rescue pulled from what we believe were some awful living conditions. With a sandy-grey coat of scruffy fur, this 25-pound terrier mutt arrived underweight, with a case of worms and a whole big bunch of separation anxiety. (We got her to a healthy weight and took care of the worms; the separation anxiety never left.)

For the next dozen or so years, she entertained us, made us laugh, taught us about unconditional trust and love, and ultimately, made us a better family.

I admit that all those years ago, when Joan proclaimed she wanted a dog, I was hesitant. Whenever someone (usually one or both kids) broached the subject, my response was, “Are we any less happy without a dog?” twisting the words like a referendum that's presented in a way where you don't know if you’re supposed to vote “yes” or “no."

In the end (thankfully), my vote lost, and we brought Sadie home where she immediately cemented herself as the fifth member of our family. Now all these years later, I can confidently say that while we were already a happy, loving family and would have been with or without a dog, Sadie filled in voids we didn’t even knew existed in our lives. She made the happy times happier, the stressful times a little less stressful, and the sad times a little easier to bear. In other words, we would have been less happy without a dog, or at least, this dog.

I want to go on about her and I could because there’s a book full of stories we could write about her. But it’s too soon. I’m already getting choked up just thinking about her and how she’s not sitting at my feet right now as I write this.

So, for now, I'll just say this: Sadie, you’re a good girl, and we hope your bowl is always full, and there are endless new sniffs on your next walk. We miss you, and we love you. You made us better, little girl.

Thank you.

© 2021 David R. Haznaw

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