The vet called later in the day with an update. It became apparent to him that she had suffered a spinal cord injury in the neck area, and even if she recovered from the more obvious wounds, she would be paralyzed — unable to walk or relieve herself without assistance.
AJ and I went out to the clinic about 3:30 p.m. and said our goodbyes. We told her how much we loved her and spent a few minutes with her and then they gave her a shot and she went to sleep for good.
I wish you could have known my doggie. A better pup there never was. Her parents belonged to one of the groomsmen from our wedding. We’d gone over to his house for a July 4th cookout in 1993. There were all these roly-poly puppies! So sweet. And the runt of the litter was Sydney. I fell in love with her that second. David was selling them for $250 each, but AJ worked a deal with him — he’d help David build a pole-barn for his horses in exchange for Sydney.
I read an article one time that said Australian Shepherd puppies are put in a pen and observed for natural herding instincts. The puppies with the strongest instinct are the ones chosen for training as ranch dogs. Sydney would have been at the top of her class, had she had the opportunity. At one point we had four other dogs: a German Shepherd, a Weimaraner/Lab mix, a Cocker Spaniel, and a Pomeranian. We observed more than once Sydney literally herding the other dogs around the backyard! She was incredibly smart.
When we decided to have a people baby (that would be Jami), we knew we had to thin out the pet population if we were going to be able to afford people baby food. Sydney and our Pomeranian, Logan, stayed with us, while the other dogs went to good homes. Logan passed away almost five years ago — old age reasons. I wish Sydney could have had an old age death, too.
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be weepy for a while . . . I don’t handle these things well at all. But I know we made the right decision, as painful as it was. It’s kind of odd how things work out . . . about three months ago, two new puppies joined our family — Lab/Border Collie mixes. I can’t help but wonder if part of the reason they came to us was to help ease this loss a little bit. No one will ever take her place, but it lightens the heart a little bit to see these pups rolling on the living room floor.