When I came back from Iraq I was despondent. I was dating a wonderful and patient person who became my wife, but while we were still dating we adopted a dog– a wiggly ball of belly fat and stumpy legs that we called Sadie. This dog gradually helped heal me. She became a best friend, a confidante, and a near-constant shadow to my every move.
When we got married, Sadie was six months older than our marriage. For a long time it was just the three of us. She was a founding pillar of our relationship and household as well as a little someone who helped her old Papa see the good in life. We played and rassled and hiked and had adventures.
Eventually we got another fun, rompy canine named Butter who became her brother (he was eager for this; she was less so) and for a long time, life was the best.
But of course one day the hikes get shorter, the naps longer, the weariness harder to shake. Standing and walking get more difficult, eating becomes a chore. Sadie was sick for awhile but a couple weeks ago it looked like she might have a chance, but in the end age wins out over the best of us.
All she wants to do now is rest, and since she looks to us and trusts us with her love and care, we have to give our beautiful girl what she wants.
I took my favorite character drawing of Sadie, one of my earliest drawings of her when she found a flashlight and used it to tell Scary Dog Stories, and made this to remember her. Her favorite toy is with her, the ball she fetched so gleefully until the last days.
Sadie is also represented in the comic as a character; will she vanish? In the story she is a few years younger and still a vibrant girl, and so I will keep her in the story as Joe and Juni’s dog. Right now it is still too painful to think about writing full comics about her but at the same time I want to keep her memory alive, even if only as a beloved character and cartoon image.
But for now, I am in deep pain and so I probably won’t be able to post anything for a bit; I’m going to take a bit of a break from posting. Maybe a week or two at most. I will work on new stuff and some Patreon characters but I need to catch my breath a bit after sending my best friend into memory. I want to spend some time with her brother, Butter, who is probably as sad as I am about losing our sweetheart. That little guy and I both were deeply attached to her.
If you have a dog or indeed any beloved pet, take the time each day to appreciate them and love them. We have comics and games and work and friends to keep us engaged; they have only us.