I wanted to share the letter I've written to my vet.
Dr. *** and Staff,
I’m sure you receive notes like this all the time. And if you don’t, you certainly should. My family would like to thank your *** family for your care of Sydney over the past eleven and a half years.
Syd was a bit of a train wreck, if the truth be told. The dog always ran into doors and walls. Any time I made the mistake of leaving our glass door open with our screen door shut, I was always picking up the screen door off my porch. He was silent at all times, unless I came home from somewhere, then he would bark and bark and bark, just long enough to wake up both kids and the neighbors; then, he figured his work was done, and he’d stop just as abruptly as he had started and take a nap.
As a younger dog, as most of you know, Syd would pee on every single person he encountered. He could have just appeared to have completely emptied his bladder, but he always saved a little trickle, just in case the opportunity arose to greet someone. He did finally grow out of this endearing quirk, TEN YEARS later. For TEN YEARS, I had to greet all visitors outside of our home, and God help the person who showed up unannounced.
Sydney did not understand the concept of chewing. Chewing food was for the weak. Food was meant to be inhaled, didn’t you know? And that was the way he ate his food twice a day, every day, until the week he died. Now, despite his refusal to chew food, in his younger days, he was an expert chewer of all toys, especially those labeled “indestructible.” He laughed in the face of such claims, and a lot of dog toy companies owe me money.
Sydney was my baby. He followed me absolutely everywhere I went until the last two years of his life when he could no longer hear. He prepared me for the fact that I would never have privacy again now that I have children. If I was laying on my back, he would wiggle up on me, nose to my chin, and he would lay there for hours that way. This also prepared me for my children always touching me. Really, I owe my mothering skills to Syd.
Sydney was with me through the most pivotal times of my life. I was 26 when I adopted him, single and living up here with no family here and few friends. Adopting Syd got me out of my house and into my community. The day I bought my first house on my own, who did I take to the house after the closing? Syd. He and I went in by ourselves for a few minutes before family and friends went in to begin working on the place. I let him explore and sniff. After that, he went through my courtship with my husband, always jealous of him. Syd did not like playing second fiddle to this other man in my life, and he preferred to pretend *** just didn’t exist. Unless he had food. Then he existed. Syd was with me as I went through my darkest period in my life, losing two babies and sinking into my lowest of lows. Then, he was there as I successfully carried my daughter to term, and he was gentle as a lamb with her. It was around this time that Syd really started showing his age, and his hearing really started to go. He then became more of an observer than a participant in our home. After our son was born a year and a half ago, I felt like I could read Syd’s mind sometimes: “These people are nuts. I just want to take a nap.” He became a bit grumpy with the kids, but never with me. Never, ever with me.
Thank you for letting me take this walk down memory lane. Syd was more than his multitude of health issues. He was a part of my life for eleven and a half years that I will never, ever forget. People use the term that I rescued him since I got him from a shelter, but in truth, Syndey rescued me, many times, many ways. I’m not one for religious sentiment, and I don’t know what is waiting for me someday, but I do know that if there is something like a heaven, I only want to go there if Sydney is waiting there for me.
Thank you for your knowledge, expertise, and compassion. And thank you for your continued care of my Molly (let’s not forget about her! But that’s a story for another day, hopefully a long, long time from now.) Happy holidays to you and yours,