Thirteen and a half years ago, we decided it was time to get a dog just as friends of the family learned that their dog was going to have puppies. We went to their house and from the wriggling pile I picked a black-and-tan baby with a white tip to her tail. My stepmother named her Sadie, and she became part of the family.
She helped Eric learn his body parts, sitting very still while he poked her in the eye and chanted "eye" at her, stood solid next to my Nan when she developed Parkinsons and had trouble walking. She chewed and dug and decapitated Power Rangers, groomed the cat, and slept on the couch when she thought no one was looking. Whenever I would go back to visit, during college and after, she would sleep by my door at night. She has always been my dog.
Yesterday they found out that she has cancer, and they'll be putting her to sleep on Monday. My brothers are understandably devastated, as they can't remember a time without her. I am equally devastated. She's off her diet for the weekend, eating as much pizza and cheese as she wants, and come Monday morning my family will be one member less. We will all be worse off for the loss.