Sadie is no more.

Sadie restingThe first engagement for me as Hawarden Community Council’s new Chair was the Town Mayor of Buckley’s civic service last Sunday, 1st June. The church was packed with the Chain Gangs and Buckley people who came to support Cllr Ian Peters and family. My mind was elsewhere. I could not stop reeling back to the previous Sunday when Sadie, my feisty little three legged Capricorn rescue Yorkshire Terrier was fighting literally for breath & for her life. I did not know then how little time she had.

Sadie had been collected from kennels after a super trip to Chelsea Flower show and I was told she had been quiet. After watching her breathing hard on the Friday, I realised she needed help. In the evening, she was bundled off to Village Vets who took one look, put her on oxygen and she was kept in with instructions to do all the tests & s-d the cost. They thought she wouldn’t make it through the night but she always has been a fighter and got through the night.

A year after getting her from Capricorn Animal Rescue, as her owner had died of cancer, on a quiet St Valentine’s day I walked the dogs as I had done a hundred times but now I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A dog on the other side of the road caught the attention of my schnauzer who charged after it followed by Sadie despite my frantic screams for them to stop. I hadn’t taken a lead & what a costly mistake.

Big dog made it to the other side but smaller Sadie didn’t. I scooped her up from the road with blood from a badly damaged front leg oozing onto my woollen gloves. Again the vet thought she would not survive but she did & was returned to me a few days later with a huge wound across what remained of her shoulder.

17th February 2009, is burnt into my mind as that was the same time that I sent that stupid “late night” emotional email which contained sheer rubbish. They proved hugely damning some weeks later when the Ombudsman came a calling. Seeking solace in the bottle with this dreadfully wounded little dog beside me, I suggested that Cllr Patrick Heesom was a bully. Untrue, not meant, totally down to my grief & booze but it became the stick to beat me by sending me to the Ombudsman’s biased Adjudication Panel and readers of my occasional blogs passim; know that of course I was found guilty of misleading the Ombudsman. Sadie made a full recovery & at times, with adrenalin pumping, she could run as fast on three as she had done on four. Always up for everything and always raring to go.

Then she was hit with yet more bad luck as suddenly months ago, a back knee dislocated and an operation was suggested to put it back in the groove. She could walk but was it was getting more difficult. I initially agreed to the op but changed my mind. If it failed, Sadie would have to be put down. She was too small for wheels & even she could not operate on two legs.

Bank Holiday Sunday dawned & I was allowed to bring her home for the afternoon to see how she coped. She slept, ate hot roasted chicken fed to her by hand & for a time her breathing was less strained. Following orders, I returned her at 5pm to the vets surgery & learnt they were not sure what was causing the breathlessness. X-ray inconclusive, etc. Vet suggested she could go home but instinct told me otherwise so I handed her over to a lovely caring nurse who told Sadie that her bedroom was ready for her as she carried her away.

The call came at 9.10am Bank Holiday Monday. Sadie had relapsed and it was clear she was dying. I promised I’d get to her as soon as possible. Interested in the Euro election results on the radio through the night of Bank Holiday Sunday, I was awake until about 2.30am then I dozed off. Suddenly,I was awoken from a deep sleep by Sadie barking. It was about 3am. I began to get up to see to her only to remember she was with the vet. I arrived at the surgery to find Sadie too exhausted to lift her head. She relapsed badly about 3am, Alice her vet informed me. I should have known, that was the time I heard her bark last night. I stroked her as the injection quickly took her from me.

Then, wrapped tight in towel & blanket to keep her dignity, I was driven by a friend to Holywell Pet Cemetery where she was cremated and will rest in peace in the company of 5 previous fur friends who shared my life for a short while too. I don’t recall too much of the Town Mayor’s Civic Sunday as my thoughts still were deeply immersed with the events of the previous Sunday and the card & roses from friends made me weep again.

Her cask now waits to be placed in a niche put aside for my animals. The tears still flow as just ringing to check progress with the Pet Cemetery set me off again. The time for bereavement can be long, especially for a much beloved dog. The vet sent a condolence card & a packet of “forget me not seeds”.

Sadly, I will have to go through this similar trauma for three more dogs & two cats. Must learn to toughen up!

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