It’s one of those childhood memories I couldn’t possibly forget even if I tried.
My dad and I were driving down a quiet dirt road out at Brown’s Lake; Nimrod Road, to be exact. With newspaper in hand, the two of us finally stumbled across the address I circled so feverishly the evening before. We pulled into the driveway and I just knew this was it. This was going to be our last stop.
I jumped out of the car and ran straight to the back. There she was: my beautiful puppy. She was the only one left in the entire litter, chasing her mom around with those bright eyes of hers and a big, happy smile spread across her caramel-colored face.
Those eyes and smile are exactly what I see whenever I think back to our memories together; taking W’s (you couldn’t dare say the word “walk” unless you absolutely meant it) around the neighborhood, all while avoiding those damn sewer drains; putting up a basketball hoop in our front yard and then branding the cement with our handprint and pawprint once it was finally completed; practicing my free throws on that same basketball hoop, using her as my barking rebounder; and, of course, that one Christmas the Stiles family got completely snowed in. My brother and I, along with Sadie Fay, assembled Operation Drift Dive. The three of us spent a solid hour outside running full speed into heaping mounds, laughing and having ourselves a blast.
That dog of mine was always there. Whether I was grabbing something out of the refrigerator, grilling out on the balcony with my parents, watching movies in the living room, or coming home for a visit during my college years, she was right there by my side, loving me unconditionally.
A very big piece of my heart left Wednesday afternoon, one that can never be replaced. May you now have flowing streams of ice cubes, a meat and cheese drawer the size of Texas, dozens of cats to herd, and snow to last you an eternity. Oh, how she lived for that snow!
Farewell, my sweet Sadie Fay. I’ll always love you, forever and then some.