Sydney's Decline and Death

In Happier Times Copyright © 2013, Ramon Gandia

In Happier Times

Front to Back: Renee, Sydney, Autumn, Rembrandt, Ramon

Sydney Early Morning Copyright © 2019, Ramon Gandia

Morning Sun on Her Face

This was to be her Last Winter

Uninjured 8/2/2020 Copyright © 2020, Ramon Gandia

Last Uninjured Picture

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 thirteen hours.

At the Vet Copyright © 2020, Ramon Gandia

At Animal House, Vet Clinic

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.

hip injury Copyright © 2020, Ramon Gandia

Hip Injury

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 ...

last alive Copyright © 2020, Ramon Gandia

Last Picture of her Alive

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.

just died Copyright © 2020, Ramon Gandia

End of Vigil

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.

sound asleep Copyright © 2020, Ramon Gandia

Resting in Her Grave

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.

just died Copyright © 2020, Ramon Gandia

The Garden of Joy and Sorrow

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.

Memorial Sept 11, 2020

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

  • Victoria Simpson, for Nona and Pixie
  • Renee Gandia, for Sydney
  • Thomas Ilmar, for Skipper
  • Autumn Falls, for Rembrandt
  • Marcia Jennings, for Strider
  • Nisi Gandia (by picture), for Lacey
  • Ramon Gandia, as Garden Keeper
Field of Flowers

Copyright © 2018, Ramon Gandia

Lay me to Rest in a Field of Flowers

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.

Closing and Lamentations

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"

Narrative Copyright © 2011-2020, Ramon Gandia
Pictures Copyright as indicated