Rest in peace, sweet Sadie.

This is not the best picture, but it is the last time Kerri and I saw Tia and Sadie in May of 2009.

Sadly, Sadie had been very ill, and this past Monday, she crossed the Rainbow Bridge with her devoted Mommy at her side. Our hearts are breaking right along with Tia, because if you had ever met the sweet and special Sadie, you would have fallen in love with her as much as we have.

We met Sadie around the same time we became friends with Tia. That was over twelve years ago. So we almost knew Sadie her entire life. The first time I met her, I was a bit intimidated by her very large bark, her very big teeth, and her very big size. But then she shared her lambie (her favorite toy) with us, and tried to sit on our laps. She has been part of our family every since, just like Tia.

When Sadie and Kerri first met, I was not sure who was more nervous. But within minutes of this photo, Kerri was petting and hugging Sadie. And later on (Tammie was there that day!), Kerri curiously poked her finger into Sadie's tushie while Sadie was lying at Tia's feet. Sadie did not bark at her, but she did whip her head around, took one look at Kerri, and then hid her face in her paws and whined. She would not hurt Kerri ever. But she did always cover us in her sloppy kisses, and walk circles around and in front of us. She took over our couch and our bed - and we let her. And she talked, seriously that dog talked.

So this week we have a candle lit for Sadie. We will miss her greetings every time we called Tia on the phone. We will miss her sloppy kisses and couch hogging every time we would visit. And I have not had the heart to tell Kerri yet, because just yesterday she overheard us talking and said, "You know Tia is worrying about her because Sadie is getting older, right?". So we just nodded and sniffed and changed the subject. Because Kerri will cry when we tell her. She loves Sadie too, and Sadie is like her cousin. After all, that's Tia's kid.

If you have never had a pet that has been part of your family, you would not understand our grief. But Tia and I have been lucky to have had that one special dog in our lives, and have been blessed to share them with each other. And I bet our Charlie was waiting for Sadie with a wagging tail. They both shared a love for us, and their lambies.

Life with Kerri is grieving the loss of a very special family member.