Monday, September 23, 2013

In Memoriam: Saartje

I apologize for my lack of updates lately. I am a fulltime student now and I also work almost every weekend, so blogging had to be put lower on my priorities list. Also, sometimes life just gets in the way. It’s a bit of a strange expression, but it also describes what I went through these past weeks quite well. I’ve had a lot of trouble putting my different emotions in order and I am finally ready to talk about it.

Two weeks ago, on Friday September 6th, my dog Saartje passed away. I thought long and hard about what to write, but the loss of someone, whether it’s a pet or a family member, can’t really be put in words. So I decided to just tell you some things about her.

We adopted Saartje (which means ‘Little Sarah’) about three years ago from the stray dogs foundation we are a foster family for. My mom fell in love with the small, black old grandma dog called Nonna (which means ‘grandma’) and not long after we took her in, calling her Saartje. We already had three other dogs: Twinkle, a maltese, Catootje, a pug, and Canela, a breedless stray dog. Saartje was not like our other dogs. She preferred to stay in her bed instead of lying on the couch and she didn’t like cuddling at all. But we loved her from the very first moment! She had so many funny ways of her own.
She acted like a real queen: she’d come up at you, giving you the ‘I want to be petted so pet me’-look, you’d pet her and after a while she’d just walk away again, as if she said: ‘That’s enough.’ Such a sassy little dog. ♥
She barked like a seal, a strange, high bark, but so cute. ♥
She had a tickle spot that was quite easy to find. If you scratched the right place near her tummy, she’d start wiggling her paw. ♥
She’d often lie at your feet, just to be close to you. This sometimes caused us to almost trip over her. ♥
When we would pick her up to hug, her eyes would go wild and she just stared into a void until you put her down again. She did not like cuddling like this at all. ♥
When the other dogs were playing (which doesn’t happen a lot), she’d run up to them and growl so they would stop. She didn’t like too much fuss around her either. This sounds strange, but it was so funny! The other dogs respected her very much, even our newest dog Oliver. ♥
When she was hungry, she would bite my mom’s leg (not in a mean way), to tell her it was dinnertime. Dinnertime was the moment she became then years younger: she’d jump around and bark and dance until she got her food. ♥
Sometimes she’d just randomly start licking my leg, for no reason. When I looked at her, she’d just give me a ‘What?’-look. ♥
When she was still able to go on walks, there was only one dog she really liked to bump into. It was a male dog called Bart. She would really show off in front of him to impress him. ♥
At first she wasn’t keen on visitors, but through the years she got friendlier to strange people. I am glad most of my friends got to meet her, strange as that may sound. ♥

When she was getting sick, my mom and I slept downstairs on mattresses for a week to stay close to her. Some nights she decided to climb on one of the mattresses and sleep against me or my mom. I had never bonded with her so much before.
After some extra medication, Saartje seemed to feel better and she lived on for a couple more weeks. On Thursday September 5th we decided it was over and the veterinarian came to our house the next day. Saartje died in my arms.

It’s been a long time since I’ve lost a pet and I couldn’t remember it hurts this much. I know for sure Saartje spent some wonderful last years with us and it comforts me, but it doesn’t take away the pain. Writing this makes me cry again and it will take a while before I can say her name with a smile of melancholy instead of tearing up in sadness. I keep seeing her from the corner of my eye, I keep hearing her when I am daydreaming, I keep thinking she will walk up to me when I come home. I miss her so much, but she will never come back. I am sure that one day I will see her again, when the time is right, but it is not now.

I just miss my baby so much…