On January 30 we said goodbye to the form of our dear 15½-year-old Sadie. Everything is the Buddha, indeed. And, somehow, for many of us, it seems our four-legged loved ones bring that home to us in such a sweet, direct way. Sadie gave so much to so many, and we loved her beyond measure. Given the words she left us with, it seems the feeling was mutual.
A thank you from Sadie
Thank you, Dear Sangha.
As this exquisite adventure draws nigh to a close,
I find I have a few words I wish to disclose.
It’s mostly to thank you for all you have done
To love, pet and walk me and all with much fun.
But, first just a bit, if you can take a quick moment
To hear tell of my journey, one of pure enjoyment.
I arrived at the center, just over 10 pounds
An adorable black handful of part Labrador hound.
But ‘twas only a fortnight I’d been on the grounds,
when the deadly parvo virus inside me, they found.
The Sangha secured me top-notch medical care.
After 10 days on an IV I pulled through quite the scare.
I returned home to jump, run, dig, bark and play
But my favorite time was meditation each day.
It was then when you sat in the Hall full of quiet,
That I began to add chewing your shoes to my diet.
Fear not, I soon learned this was not to be done;
I found much better ways to fill my quota of fun.
It was winter when I first was here on the scene
So imagine my thrill at that change in routine.
When the weather drew warmer, cars began to appear.
It’s the time of year for retreatants to be here!
You were kind and open, smiling and fun;
You threw sticks for me so that I could run.
You wrote stories about me as you learned of projection
I prayed that you’d own them, combatting self-hate’s rejection.
You inspired and warmed me, I feel moved now to mention
As you paid me and yourselves such good, close attention.
Unconditional love was most surely the lens
Through which I was able to view you, my new friends.
Aside from retreats when all my friends gathered ‘round,
my next favorite times were when work days did abound.
With your overalls, work gloves, sun hats and face masks
It was fun being with you as you went about tasks.
I would race to the wood shop then through the courtyard
Even sneaking into the garden wasn’t that hard.
Two years after coming, one fine summer day,
My best bud of all time arrived here to stay.
He was large and majestic, looked scary to some
But I knew right away he would be so much fun.
We barked and ran circles chased tails till day’s end
Pace was, without a doubt, my favorite friend.
On a dark winter’s eve nearly one year ago
We lost that dear friend; it was his time to go.
It reminded us all just how precious is Now
To be Here in these forms in the way of the Tao.
Now we’re writing this poem, my dear human and I
As we sit cozy together not quite time to say bye.
She tells me that I will be dearly missed
By you, the dear Sangha, more than we can list.
I reassure her that’s okay, okay to be sad,
It doesn’t change, perhaps honors, the love we’ve all had.
A heart that is broken is one that’s been loved
And I have been beyond blessed to be so beloved.
Nearly 16 times 7, you do the math…
I’ve lived a blessed and full life beyond the beaten path.
My most heartfelt dear wish for you each as I go
Is to practice seeing yourselves as the yous that I know.
Please liberally use me in your tool of projection --
“How would Sadie now view this moment’s perfection?”
Not one of us knows what comes after the ‘end’
So I’ve asked my dear friend to prepare our poem to send.
She shall share it with all once I have gone on my way
To join a litter of puppies with whom I shall play.
Take the time that you need to be with all your feelings.
I’ll be in the stars, grass and moonlight to assist with the healing.
Wish me well on my journey I know not its course;
I feel certain we’ll all meet again at the Source.
In addition to Thank You for all the above
I add Twatotella* to the Guide and monks for your beautiful love.
If you knew even half of the gifts I’ve been given
You’d be further in awe of this Sangha we live in.
It’s always a bit hard to know just when to end
But now seems a lovely time; don’t you think, my dear friend?
*”Twatotella” is Bemba (the language spoken in Ndola, Zambia) for “thank you.”
In the hospital with parvo
Playing as a puppy
She loved her toys!
Snow days were always a favorite.
Recovering from a wound.
In her final months, Sadie spent all her time in the archway close to us.
So beautiful in her old age.