My best friend has long blond hair, big brown eyes and somewhat large ears. She is definitely short, about two feet tall, but she has a constantly wagging tail, which I think is her best feature. My best friend is my Golden Retriever, Sadie. She has filled the last nine years of my life with endless amounts of love, laughter and unforgettable memories I will cherish forever. I am so sad to think that these memories will soon be all I have of our friendship. Sadie's days are numbered due to her leukemia.
Recently my mother came home from the vet with Sadie and tears in her eyes. Sadie had been diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a treatable tick-borne disease. They had gone to the vet that Monday for a check-up, only to learn the most recent blood tests revealed my beloved pet had leukemia. We had limited choices: we could give her chemotherapy and hope she lived for another six months or put her on a steroid, prednizone, which would give her some time and make our suffering pup feel better, even though it would not stop the progress of the leukemia. Knowing that the chemo treatment is not always successful and could inflict even more pain on her, we opted to put her on the steroid in hopes of making her final days happy. We wanted the best for her, even if it meant she would not live much longer. We did not want to see her suffer. The prednizone has had a remarkable effect and she is feeling noticeably better and happier. Sadie's tail continues to wag and to me, this is her way of expressing her love and joy.
The news of Sadie's condition was devastating to us all, for she is the member of our family who makes us whole. She is my best friend, a very unique one, who has added so much to my life. She always knows how to make me smile, whether she burped in my friend's face, ate a whole wedge of Jarlsburg cheese off the table or came out with my cousin's underwear in her mouth while we were eating dinner. It is going to be the little things, like her sleeping in the bathtub and watching and barking at the animals on TV, that I will miss the most. She's also the best listener - she never interrupts, unless someone is at the door! Sadie has given me so much that I just want to hold her tight and never let go. My memories and love of her will never fade.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.