Front to Back: Renee, Sydney, Autumn, Rembrandt, Ramon
This was to be her Last Winter
I took this picture at 8:16 am on the fateful day. She is
uninjured at this time. Sleeping peacefully. Little did we know
that she had an appointment with Gaia, Mother Earth, in just over
A herd of Muskox came into the gravel pits while I was walking with
her. She faced them defiantly, protecting me, and was mortally
wounded. Here she is at the Vet's office.
Poked by a horn in her hip. Looks ugly; serious but not not life-threatening.
For a while we thought this was all, and that she would recover.
It was not to be ...
We discovered her back had been pierced by a horn, thru the lung.
She was bleeding internally, her tongue and gums were very pale.
She had both a pneumothorax and a hemothorax. We brought her
home from the Vet, and started our vigil. Time 7:29 pm.
Only 1:56 to go.
At 9:25 pm she gave a little yelp, and she relaxed and embarked
upon her journey. I called Renee, she ran downstairs and was just
in shock. I snapped this picture of her, Renee and friend Jessica
Joe, just a few minutes after she passed. She looks at peace.
Sydney now walks in beauty.
We laid her in her grave at 10:04 pm, sorrounded by flowers. We had
this dug last fall -just in case- because she was so weak and out of
it then. But, she rallied this spring, and we went for walks and
gentle runs. She gave her life defending me.
In back: Skipper's Home; Middle: Memorial for Lacey; In foreground: Sydneys Home
It is all about Love and Respect. She is not gone; I know where she is. She is home, she is safe and she is loved.
Those of us who ran this group of dogs, gathered here by her graveside, to respect these animals that brought so much joy --and sorrow-- to us.
Present at the Garden of Joy and Sorrow
Copyright © 2018, Ramon Gandia
From my back porch is my flowery yard and Sydney's roaming
grounds. Willows, gravel pits, trails. She loved it; and that
is where she got mortally wounded, and where she is buried. She
was a warrior; and defended me and this place to her last
breath. Picture taken 8/2/2018, exactly two years before.
Her health had been decining. She really did not go anywhere in 2019, and her 2018 trips were a struggle. She was so bad in December '19, and early January '20, that I made an appointment with the vet to lay her to rest.
But she rallied! So I postponed the euthanasia. Which is good, because I was in a mental state myself over having to do it.
This spring and summer she was walking daily with me, rain permitting. But mostly she spent her time sunnying herself on the porch. Or near me inside the house.
I had words for her. "Sydney, you will be starting your journey soon. I hope you will see the first snows of the coming winter, which you love."
When she got injured, we all knew in our hearts that it was fatal. The clinic gave her painkillers and sent her home with me. I am glad, because within three hours she was gone. I got to spend time with her. Sitting by her. Talking to her. Petting her. Renee came over, and spent time with her too.
Words "Sydney, you are now journeying to the summerlands. I will bury you facing east, so on that glorious morning, the daybreak sun will shine on your face, and you will be young and strong again. You will run free in the meadows, and have fun. Find Skipper and Kandie, and be with them."
"Soon it will be my turn, and I hope you abide me; speak for me, and let me join you, and we can run free together, in eternal youth."
"Please forgive me for not being able to save your life; I will for the rest of my life have that sorrow and that burden of guilt within me"