We can all remember the one teacher growing up that had a real, impactful, influence over the person we’ve grown into. For Sadie, that teacher is Mookie.
A great Dane and St. Bernard mix with gorgeous colorations and heterochromia (two different colored eyes) to boot, Mookie is a showstopper. Whenever they go out together, they’re stopped by admiring passersby that are so interested in Mookie, the beautiful giant, that they’ll keep them for more than just a quick moment. They all want to know every lovely detail about Sadie’s furbaby.
And oh the stories to be told about Mookie.
As large as she is, Mookie’s never quite ready to commit herself to the mellow stereotype of other large dogs. She’s never fully committed to being indoors; she’ll wait by the front door just to see if she can coax an extra adventure out of her beloved human. Sadie is more than happy to oblige.
Walks down the street, head out the window of the car, romping through woods, or, her favorite, playing at the beach. Mookie soaks up every minute of adventure she can. She loves it. You can see it in every elated breath she takes.
When Mookie turned 4, Sadie started to think about the precious time that she’s had with Mookie and that there was no telling when that time could end.
Sadie decided it was time to take a real adventure. She and Mookie jumped into the car and headed towards Colorado. This 3000-mile journey would have Mookie thrilled over the view of Niagara Falls, entertaining hockey teams in Ohio hotels, and sticking it out when her momma decides to drive straight through from Cleveland to Denver!
Mookie kept Sadie company, listened to her talk, and to this day hasn’t spilled any of Sadie’s secrets. When they reached their Aspen destination, Sadie met up with a friend who introduced Mookie to her new (now long-distance) boyfriend Danny. Mookie and Danny had the best of times together.
Sadie had never seen Mookie more happy than when she was romping for miles on end around the fields, playing in the snow, exploring the woods, and sniffing all the smells she could smell.
There was more than one moment when the thought crossed Sadie’s mind to move to this peaceful, wild, land just to see this joy on Mookie’s face on a permanent basis. But alas, Home was calling to her so she and Mookie got ready to load up the car for the journey back.
That’s when the limping started. Sadie thought it might be the long hours spent in the car, or maybe an unseen injury from Mookie’s uninhibited outdoor adventures… but after a couple weeks with no improvement, it was time to get things checked out.
Hoping for the best but suspecting the worse, Sadie took Mookie to the vet where they tried to relieve whatever was causing her pain with medications. But Sadie just knew and insisted that Mookie be checked more thoroughly: to be tested for cancer.
Mookie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma or in layman’s terms, bone cancer. The recommended treatment was leg amputation.
Sadie was heartbroken and unsure whether or not this was really what was best for Mookie. It was such a drastic operation… such a big change to Mookie’s life.
The doctor told Sadie that it would just be one operation. One operation and, if Mookie made it through, that would be it; the cancer would be gone and you would have more time. Mookie would have more time. You’d have more time together.
Sadie reached out to her community and an overwhelming outpouring of love and donations came their way. Sadie was amazed at the kindness and generosity of complete strangers. Through their love and support, Mookie was able to have her surgery and the necessary treatments afterwards.
It was hardly four days after it was all said and done that Mookie started to show her rambunctious nature and yearning for adventure. This resilience and appreciation for life, in spite of pain and loss of limb, was beyond heartwarming for Sadie.
Sadie, who loved and trusted Mookie as family and friend, was now inspired in a way that she never thought possible.
Mookie taught her the extraordinary love we are all capable of, to take time to appreciate every moment of every day, to have patience, to be kind, and to persevere through the hard times. Mookie’s story speaks volumes about the good that can come in unexpected packages.
Whether it’s the support from a community of like-minded people, the resilience of a pure soul, or the love you find waiting at your door when you come home… there is good. Embrace it and embrace the precious time you have here and with the ones you love.