{Echo} Week 4- Surprise

This round of echo, doesn’t have my best photography.

It’s not beautifully illustrated.

There aren’t any amusing anecdotes.

The writing, well.. it resides on the crappy end of my skills.

But it has a part of me; a genuine piece of my heart.

 A few weeks ago, heck..maybe months now.. a friend & I were on a photo excursion;  travelling the back roads of North Carolina, when we happened to stumble upon the most amazing, artistic place.. Vollis Simpson’s Whirlygig Farm.. we hadn’t expected it, nor had we heard of him at the time.. it was a treasure to behold .. a true surprise. That adventure and amazing artwork was what I had planned to post and tell you all about today.. but life threw me my own heartbreaking surprise on Sunday.

I awoke to find my sweet Sadie doggie trapped under a chair, ears pinned back, terrified ..body trembling.. unable to stand up. She had been struggling to stand more frequently these last few weeks, a combination of severe arthritis and muscle mass loss. This time though, even with my help, she couldn’t stand nor could she walk. Her body was ridden with tumors and cysts, she was having seizures, her sight and hearing almost gone, and we believe cushings  plagued her. Her senility was increasingly becoming worse.. along with a host of other troubles.

I knew instinctively that morning as she was quivering that it was time to let her go. She had already lost so much quality to her life, I couldn’t let her lose her dignity too. It devastated me to take her to the emergency vet and put her down. It shattered my heart and stole my breath when she looked me in the eyes and licked me ever so tenderly, right as she was leaving this world.. I feel so terribly lost and haunted by it all right now.. I type this through tears. I am wrestling with my decision, struggling with the morality of it…

and above all else..

I miss her. I just really miss her.

Life goes on however, and working through this is my reality right now. There are reminders of her everywhere here… I didn’t know how not to share, as she was and is a huge part of my heart. It is as hard, if not harder on me than losing the humans I love in my life.. Sadie saved me, literally.. time and time again. She loved me unconditionally, and as dogs are so good at – she always, always forgave me without fail. I feel as if a huge chapter of my life has now ended, and I need to learn to live without her; the one constant in my life.  

So very, very tough.

I have a sort of personal policy to not blog when I am this down. I don’t like how negativity is contagious, I don’t like the reminder of the pain and I don’t really like how it can translate to some as a sort of  ‘pity me’ moment to folks. I don’t like making people feel uncomfortable either so please accept my apologies if any of these things ring true.

So, that is my ‘surprise’ this week. I suppose, not all surprises are welcomed ones, but they too serve their purpose. My emotions are raw, I am a bit on edge.. however, I am pushing through. I am beginning to come to terms with it and slowly finding my peace. I am oh-so-grateful that I had nearly a year longer with her than I thought I would have, so thank you Dr. Jon  for giving me that amazing gift.

(click photo to see it larger)

Once again, I find myself awed at how well our photos complement one another and how relevant both the prompts and the diptychs become to my life. The photo of mine is Sadie (circa 1999) & a young boy I was close to at the time.. I love the reminder of the happiness she bestowed upon so many people.  Susan’s cupcake is reminiscent of a celebration.. it gently reminds me that I don’t want to dwell on the loss..

….that I want to celebrate Sadie’s life.

So that is exactly what we shall do. Instead of offering condolences, won’t you surprise me with amusing or heartfelt stories about your sweet furbabies?

A quick recap:

I can’t wait to see what you in have store for Week 4 of Echo– Surprise. We invite each of you to participate in the project and show us your unique vision, your voice, your echo. Remember, to share your link in the comments here so I can add it to the roundup next Wednesday.

I promise to share about my adventure to the whirlygig farm soon.



22 Responses

  1. This post just broke my heart. You had such a wonderful relationship with Sadie, and though she is gone, she is never fully gone thanks the the impact she left on your heart and those of everyone she came in contact with.

    In this post, through you, she reminds us to live our most cherished lives, to take the surprises–both good and bad–and allow them to somehow enrich our lives and those around us.

    HUGES to you dear.

  2. You ask for no condolences, but I offer them anyway. This is a poignant week for me, this week of American Thanksgiving at the end of November, for it was exactly a year ago that we lost our beloved Terra, to a horrific cancer we did not even know she had, she hid it so well from us. I know exactly the pain you suffer and all I can do is encourage you to remember all the joys that Sadie brought you, how she enriched your life forever. Sadie is gone physically but she will always live on in your heart. I wish you peace.

  3. I understand completely how a furr baby can take hold of your heart so gently, and so completely. I have my beloved Sabrina… She too has saved my life many times over.. and I do not look kindly to a future without her, and yet I know it will happen.

    Sweet Sadie… she will definately live in your heart.. until you can be together again.

    Thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  4. Here is my dog story: Last Christmas one of my dogs went missing. I was so devastated by the idea that something in my life could just be taken from me, I was totally unprepared for the pain and sorrow I felt. I hated just not knowing where she was. I cried for 2 weeks, I scoured the neighborhood, posted signs, called every neighbor, but nothing, no Benni. But then just as I was getting use to her being gone a neighbor called to say she thought my dog was in the newspaper! I rushed down to the mail box and got the newspaper – I fell on my knees, there was my dog’s photo! Someone had found her and took care of her and then an animal shelter had written a story about her. I called in hysterics, an hour later the folks brought her home! I was beside myself to have my family back together. Like the world was righted again.
    The sad part is she came home to die. She was 15 years old and it was her time. She passed away a few months later on her own bed and is buried in our yard. I loved that dog as you loved Sadie. So I know how you feel. I wish you all the best as you work through your sorrow.
    I posted a collaboration on Flickr & here http://shonastudio.blogspot.com/2009/11/echo-collaboration-surprise.html

  5. Ahhh, I’ve been struggling myself and therefor tend to keep quiet also. However, you’ve given me two prompts this time. One for Echo, and one for an amusing blog entry of our Sierra, almost a year gone now. Thanks for that.

    These photos appear two halves of the same whole, as if the cupcake is a close-up of what’s on the table the boy sits at. Look at his smile! He’s telling Sadie it’s his; not hers. What a perfect match that resonates of innocence and wholesome goodness. Just love it.

  6. dear Chrysti, my heart goes out to you.. i am so sorry for your loss. we just lost our beloved dog yesterday. he died unexpectedly after being sick for one day. i can’t even begin to understand, but know how much you are hurting. take care.

  7. I loved reading your post. Not all days are good ones, and I so very much appreciate you sharing your heart. I have been where you are now. (((hugs)))
    Also, I’ve just joined into {echo} and would like to be included in the weekly round up. Hope this is what I’m supposed to do, yes?
    Thank you.

  8. me again… I added 3 more images to my blog and submitted to the flickr group. let me know if i’m not doing this right… otherwise i’ll just keep doing what i’m doing….. ?

  9. I am so very sorry about Sadie’s passing. She is fortunate to have had you as her caretaker, advocate, and devoted friend. I lost a beloved cat earlier this year and it is just … heartbreaking (still). ♥

  10. Your post touched my heart. It’s so very hard to say goodbye to one of our babies. They take over our hearts completely.
    I posted Jeannine and my entry here:http://littlescrapsofmagic.typepad.com/little_scraps_of_magic/2009/11/surprise.html

  11. […] I thought about all the fun, exciting, and unexpected events that occur in life, but reading Christi’s post reminded me that surprises can also come in heartbreaking ways, […]

  12. So sorry for your loss. Beautiful photos and words.

    Here is our addition to the Surprise Echo collaboration.

    Shona Cole on the left and myself on the right.

  13. I’m soOOOo sorry to hear about Sadie but YOU did make the right decision I think! Thank YOU for adding me to your flickr group! and I can’t wait to hear about the whirleygig farm!!!

  14. I can’t imagine the tears as you wrote as I am one who seldom has tears, yet I wept as I read your blog. Eight days after losing the love of my life Cjazz I went to a shelter to just pet some animals. I needed to feel fur. I didn’t want to adopt yet and certainly didn’t want kittens, yet my precious Yahoo and Google came home with me that day and they have been at my side through everything. They never left my side through 48 days of H1N1.

    For the encouraging furbaby talk I’ll tell you what my sweet African Grey (who doesn’t mimic but converses) said to me yesterday, “I step up more?” Want and to are the missing words, but when one realizes that not only is she speaking vocal language without vocal cords, she is making sense in a very foreign language. It was heartwarming and I went straight to her and held her.

  15. As always great work ladies and great “stories”

    My Echo post is up …. http://vintagerosestudio.blogspot.com/2009/12/echo-4-surprise.html

  16. It is posted Chrysti. My heart is aching….I feel your loose. I have a grand dog, Jake, that I love so much!

  17. Chrysti- I’ve thought of you often the last week in a sort of odd circumstance: We’ve had 2 strays dumped at our place. 2 in a week. That’s very very odd. One we found a home, the other just showed up, and he’s still with us. For some reason, it made me think of you and Sadie…

    Anyway, my post is finally up:


  18. […] Posts Today} Recycled Sweater Fun – Ways to reuse your old sweaters!{Echo} Week 4- SurpriseSelf Discovery, Art for Sale & GriefMy Favorite ThingsAbout MeDay 3/29 Days of Giving […]

  19. i tried to think of a lovely story to share, but i have to allow what is coming up for me…

    WAHHHHHHHHHHH… *sniff* months later my heart is still very tender where doggy loss is concerned…

    hugs to you friend.

  20. […] believe facing one of my toughest decisions led to another life […]

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