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.