Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Phoenix, Part 2

This post is continued from the previous one, in which I talk about a session with my shrink where I realized I really am a positive person.

After talking about the end of an old friendship, we next talked about my last dog. I don't remember how she came up or why, but she did. I told my shrink about the day she died, and how heart wrenching it was. She wasn't even 4 years old, and her death was a complete shock brought on by a peach pit and a congenital defect. I had to put her down while she lay on the operating table under anesthesia less than a month after I married my sweetheart. It was a cruel, painful day.

I sat in an exam room by myself after I had kissed her goodbye for the last time and after she had taken her last breath. I sobbed so hard. I can't remember the last time my heart felt so broken. I couldn't believe how that day had gone and that my dog was dead. I couldn't believe I had lost the battle to keep her alive. I loved her so much.

While I waited for my husband and dad to join me, the vet tech brought in a book that went over my options for my dog's remains. I opted for cremation so I could keep her with me always. I was not in a permanent housing situation, so burial was not an option. I had to choose a box for them to put my dog's ashes into, and what I wanted written on it. As I was looking through the selection of boxes, I came across one that had the name, "Sadie" written on it. The first thought that went through my head was that it was what I would name my next dog. But then like most people in the world would, I told myself no, because then I would forever associate that name with that day and my loss.

I got another dog a few months later from the same mom-dog as the one who had died, but the name Sadie didn't fit. It wasn't right. I decided to hold the name until I found the dog it belonged to.

A couple of years later, I was ready to get a second dog. This time the name Sadie fit. But I kept asking myself if I was sure that was the name I wanted to use. I polled people in my life and asked what they thought. Every single one of them told me not to name her that for the same reason I wasn't sure I would do it on the day my dog died. But it felt right. To me, that name meant that my last dog lived on from the moment I saw the name in the book. It meant a little piece of her from that day was in my new living, breathing dog. So against what everyone said, I named my dog Sadie. I haven't regretted my choice to use that name. Not once, not ever. In fact, I paired the name with my old dog's name.

While that day was so heartbreaking and unbearable, I feel like something good came out of it.

When I told my shrink this story, she looked at me with amazement and said that she couldn't believe the level of positivity I had in the situation. She told me I was like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Life had handed me something very hard to handle, and I turned it into something beautiful and meaningful. I loved hearing her say that.

Next up is my final installment of this session, and it proves to be the best.


AnxiousMummyto3 said...

This post is so beautiful, Saige. I thought I'd read it before but I didn't remember this. You made a great decision in re-naming your new dog with the same name. How wonderful to be able to hold your other dog in your heart but move on at the same time. xx

~ifer said...

Such a great story so far, I am definitely interested in reading the last installment.

The Steadfast Warrior said...

This is a wonderful story. I think people are more positive than they give themselves credit for, it's just a matter of seeing it.

Noelle said...

Ooooohhhhh I just loved this. I think that was a beautiful name to name your dog, and what a precious way to remember your old doggy. I definitely agree with your therapist. Most people would not have been able to take such a sad situation and turn it into something so positive, but you did.

I am looking forward to part 3! This weekend I am going to work on the post that you requested!

Fran said...

I loved this post Saige. Thank you for being always so supportive with your comments. I have left you an award on my blog!
Love, Fran

Potters said...

I am so glad you went with the name Sadie for your second dog.