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We finally had to make the decision to say goodbye to our beautiful Red, Sadie on 15th August (only now feel able to write about it).

Sadie was 11 and had been diagnosed with a tumour on her heart back in March following a routine check-up as we had changed to a new vet closer to home.

She was completely oblivious to this time bomb and we decided not to change anything except to exercise for 10-15mins, twice a day rather than one big walk a day.  She remained happy and eager for her walks, eating well and being our beautiful girl.

It all happened so fast.  On the Friday morning she seemed off her food but ate it when I hand-fed her.  Apart from that, she seemed her normal self.  She ate dinner fine.  Saturday morning was the same & again no other indication throughout the day, had a nice walk, ate her dinner fine.  Sunday morning, the same - only took her food when I hand fed her.  Sunday evening, she ate her dinner ok but as she was resting I felt that her breathing seemed to be more of an effort than normal - but nothing significant.

Monday morning - off her food completely.  Breathing definitely harder for her.  She seemed comfortable otherwise except for an occasional cough.  Made an appointment at the vets for the following day.  That night, she slept with us as I just had an awful feeling.  She struggled to settle and wouldn't come up on the bed as she usually would - a sleepless night for all.

Vet checked her over, heart sounded normal with the usual occasional dropped beat because of the tumour.  Her lungs were clear although the vet agreed it sounded like she was working harder to breath.  She had some sensitivity around her throat so the vet suggested kennel cough and gave antibiotics.  We were sceptical!

After that she deteriorated fast.  I could only tempt her to eat very small amounts of salmon which I had to hand feed to her.  She refused all of her meds and her cough was worse, plus she started to be sick every so often - mostly bile and mucus as nothing in her tummy.  When she settled, she seemed very comfortable and we made sure she stayed that way for as much time as possible.

Friday morning, she was a lot brighter.  No longer coughing, a little keener to eat - but still hand fed.  Wanted lots of cuddles and fuss.  Review at the vets, I had a feeling, having sat with her and been unable to feel a regular heart rhythm.  He confirmed she was in heart failure and advised us that it was time to put her to sleep.  So difficult to believe as she was so bright - she even jumped in the car - something she hadn't been able to do for a couple of years!!!  We took her home and as I couldn't bear for her to be PTS at the vets as she hated it there.  Our vet was brilliant.  He came out to the house, was so kind and calm and she went to sleep on her favourite sofa having hugs and kisses from us both.

She was the greatest dog ever.  She was very loving, loyal and hugely eccentric.  All her funny little ways made her the dog we loved and there will never be another one like her.  She came into our lives nearly four years ago at a time where my health was not great.  She helped me heal, she gave me a purpose and the strength to carry on.  When I had bad days, she would lay with me and wouldn't leave my side.  On better days she loved her walks, checking in with me often to make sure all was ok.  She was hugely perceptive and seemed to know she was what I needed and was the centre of my world!

A much longer post than I had anticipated - sorry folks!  Once I started, it felt cathartic to type it.  She is much loved and can never be replaced.  We miss her every day.  

RIP my beautiful girl.  Hope you are running free.

Thanks for 'listening' guys.  xxxx


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Thinking of you!! So very sad! Our Reds are so very special!

Sadie will always be with you!! x

My thoughts are with you at this sad time.

Vanessa I am so sorry for your loss of Sadie. From your letter the love you shared with Sadie is so evident. I pray you all find comfort in your wonderful memories of Sadie.

So sorry for your loss, one look from them brown eyes and they have our heart forever x

I'm so very sorry for your loss of such a loved and special girl. You will always have her with you in your heart.

Run free Sadie at Rainbow Bridge. x

My sincerest condolences for the loss of your lovely Sadie, Vanessa. I got my boy in similar circumstances to yours and I feel privileged to share my life with him. I know from reading your post that you felt the same with her. God bless.

So very sorry to read your news, no words are enough to ease the pain of loosing a beautiful friend but take a little comfort it knowing that we are thinking of you. Sadie forever in your heart, run free of pain sweet baby X.

Rest In Peace Pretty girl

So sorry to hear this sad news Vanessa, am sure Sadie will always be in your heart and in your memories of her.....am also sure she knew how much you loved her and it sounds as if she died peacefully, surround by the people she loved. Thinking of you at such a sad time xxx

So very sorry to read about Sadie. It's not easy losing these lovely red dogs, especially when they seem to rally just before the end, they always make us believe that they might recover, making the end even harder. She knew that she was loved and was lucky to have you. If you would like me to include her in the In Memory section on the web site www.hooley-irish-setters.co.uk let me know and I'll tell you what I need.

Thinking of you,


A lovely tribute for your lovely girl. She is always with you and you can always talk to her. Find a familiar and comfortable spot and try to "still" or "quiet" yourself. Then, listen, just listen for a few minutes. Whatever enters your mind or you think of which pertains to Sadie is likely from her. Sometimes it takes several of these sessions to hear what our "kids" are saying to us (or maybe I cam just crazy). For me, it works and now I can talk to them anytime night or day, home or away from home. Mine have always been so reassuring and loving I talk to them often.

I have one friend who swears on occasion she has seen her boy walking through her house. I have "sensed" a couple of my Irish in my house but I have never seen them. She is the first to admit the imge is hazy, not really solid but she will swear it is her boy.

My sincere condolences for your loss. My Irish and I (both living and etheeral) send you are best.

Mary Fairchild Shader, Kirby, Bud and Shane

Hi Mary - thanks for your condolences.  I do sometimes feel that I can sense her strangely enough.  I've recently had a tough couple of weeks with hospital appointments and such like and on a number of occasions I felt as though she was with me.  Because she was on a fish diet, she always had a unique smell (god bless her) and I swear I could smell her!!!!  My husband thinks I'm bonkers - but it actually brings me comfort!  I've lost a couple of dogs now and still talk to both of them.  Whatever works for us I say! xxx




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