Thursday, May 7, 2015

Our life with Syd! (Part I)

Two weeks have now passed since our beloved Sydney passed away, and I can speak for both Jeannie and I when I say that a day doesn't go by that we don't think about her and wish she was still with us. But like most important decisions in life, we can't undo the decision we made to finally have her put down...but we do have to live with it, and we both know in our hearts it was 'time' (if not past-time). We still miss her terribly every single day I can assure you. But this post isn't going to be a sad one (well, maybe a little at the very end), I intend for it to be a happy "in honor of" post. She deserves that. And most likely, this post means MUCH more to Jeannie and I than to anybody I understand if nobody but the two of us actually read it all (it will be QUITE long, most likely I'll have to break it into two or three parts). But no matter....without further adieu, I give you "our life with Syd", Part I.

Sydney came to us way back in May 2006. We already had TWO fur-babies (PG and Sweet Pea), and Jeannie for some reason had been going to the Humane Society during her lunch and browsing thru the available dogs and found Sydney. I was reluctant (to say the least) at adding ANOTHER baby to our household. PG and SP got along fabulously, and I didn't want to do anything to change that dynamic. Syd was an unknown. But she finally managed to drag me down to the shelter, and there sat Syd...her tail all bandaged up because whenever ANYBODY came near her "cell", her tail would go off like a propeller, hoping against hope that THESE people would be the ones to rescue her. She was in that shelter for SIX MONTHS waiting for a home. She was a chubby girl, apparently having almost no exercise whatsoever living in a cage for six months does that. But Jeannie won, and we brought her home. I had to almost immediately alter my doggie-doors that I had made, as Syd's shoulders were much wider than either PG's or Sweet Pea's and she could barely wedge herself thru.

Her immediate reaction was to hide...the ladies down at the shelter warned us of this, as she had been "institutionalized" due to living at the shelter for so long. She was unsure of her new surroundings and was looking for a safe place. It didn't help that PG didn't treat her well, as she was the boss and didn't want to share our love with anybody else.  So Syd started hiding in the garage at first, and then fairly quickly in the living room on the couch. But it didn't take long before she came out of her prison-cell-shell and we started to see her happy-personality. She quickly found she liked being part of our "pack", and PG was more than happy to have another subject in her kingdom (only Syd wasn't much on being lorded over it turns out).

These first few are some of the first pictures we have of her...this one she's sitting on Jeannies lap 
and loving it...she craved our attention  from the start.

 Here she shows her snuggling colors, as she LOVED to be wedged between either one of us and most anything else. Jeannie and Syd spent MANY a napping hour on this couch.

Here I am with ALL our babies. PG is of course giving 'a look', but Syd is just happy to be here.

Syd was born to snuggle, which we learned quite early on. Here is a 'typical' morning scene 
AFTER I got out of bed. I actually was in there somewhere.

Halloween 2006. I'd been dressing up PG and Sweet Pea for a year or two by now, but this was Syd's first 'dress up' day in our family. She loved the attention, and was quite proud in her "french frys' outfit!

This shot is during the Trick-Or-treats. Both Syd and PG loved to be AT the door, hoping for some attention and, gasp...petting... by some of the kids who weren't afraid of her.

For Thanksgiving every year we fly to Virginia to spend it with Jeannie's twin brother. We typically leave the babies at the house and have a doggie-sitter come by once a day to feed them. I have doggie-doors installed into the garage and out into the back yard from the they only need food and water to get by. The first time we left them alone was this trip, and Syd had been in the family about 6 months. We had already been been gone for a few days, and on Thanksgiving evening we got a call from our doggie-sitter that there had been a 'squabble' (likely over WHO was the Alpha-dog). It was PG and Syd. She told us PG was missing part of an ear, and there was blood all over but she seemed fine (shaking some). We figured Syd was the new Sherrif in town, as she was a Pit-bull/Basset hound mix (we think).

Here's what we saw when we came home from our Thanksgiving vacation.

You can see the chunk of ear that is missing. However....Syd was NOT in charge as we suspected. She (Syd) had a hunk missing on the top of her head, and another hunk missing on the inside of a front leg. PG (a whippet/terrier mix) apparently is one tough little girl. We believe you'd have to kill her to take away her "alpha" status.

Next comes Syd's first Christmas in our family. I make our Christmas card every year, and I always like a picture of the babies for the cover. This is one of the shots (I also like dressing them up some). Notice how happy Syd is, and how haughty PG is (and the daggers that Sweet Pea is giving me as I take the pic).

 Also every holiday season the babies wear their "reindeer" collars with jingle-bells. We love the sound of jingling as the babies run around he really makes the Holiday Season fun! 
We call them "the Jingle dogs".

Here are the 'Jingle dogs' resting with Jeannie on the couch.

 One of the things we liked doing as a family was 'beach day'. On the base where I work (Vandenberg Air Force Base) we have 42 miles of beach that most people can't get to. One of the beaches at the most northern point is my favorite, and usually we are the ONLY ones there. The babies LOVE beach-day!

Here we are in my old car (still with my Hawaiian seat-covers) heading to the beach. The babies are all jammed in the middle vying for our attention. Did I mention how they LOVE beach day?

We'd go to the beach off and on, whenever we had a decent day and the time to kill. As the beach we go to  is usually deserted we let them run free. FAR away at the end of the beach it turns out there was a sea-lion laying on the beach snoozing. Syd was the first to spot it and charged right for it. The lion quickly exited into the water, and Syd didn't hesitate and went right in after, totally unafraid of the ocean and waves. I on the other hand was QUITE afraid (for her) being out in the ocean, as there are rip-tides and pretty good size waves crashing on the beach. I jumped in right after Syd and grabbed her before she got very far out (her legs are pretty short and I have no idea how good of a swimmer she was).

Here are the HAPPY babies posing, Syd still soaked from her swim with the sea-lion.

This is one of my favorite shots of Jeannie and can see how loving she was. Gosh we miss her!

How quickly another Halloween rolls around. This was my 2007costumes (as always, made with a hot-melt glue-gun and a stapler and some foam). I like to call this picture "Fast Food".
(note: the diff between this years outfits and last years was PG's costume: the soda. The hot-dog costume from last year was a 'store-bought' outfit, and this year all three are in my home-made outfits). I'd call this shot a "Happy Meal" (in ref to McDonald's Happy Meals) except Sweet Pea is anything but happy in her hamburger outfit.

Jeannie took this shot of me 'napping' with the babies. They LOVED naps!

And suddenly it's Christmas-time again. Here is our 2007 Christmas Card cover photo.

Here Jeannie sneaks in a shot of me with the Jingle-Babies. In case you can't tell, 
I just LOVE having them all over me! Talk about feeling LOVED!

And suddenly we're into 2008! Time sure flies when you're having fun!

Here are the babies (and Jeannie) snoozing..everybody in their usual spots...Syd with her butt touching Jeannie (facing where I'd be), which was her favorite position.

And here are the babies in the front yard. This shot shows how large Syd's ears truly can't really tell that from most of the pictures. They really were quite large....sometimes the wind would catch them and they would just float up like sails.
 Here we have PG daintily eating her dinner, Sweet Pea is way done and gone, and Syd is also done and now is playing the "I'm not touching you" game...where she stands as close as possible, pretending NOT to be interested in PG's dinner. PG growls very low, and then eats even SLOWER lording over Syd that SHE still has dinner and Syd doesn't. Syd was smart enough to know NOT to try to move in on PG's food. This game was a nightly occurrence.

Here we are out on a hike. In this shot you can see how thin Syd's fur was on the you can clearly see her pink skin and black splotches. Syd had been having trouble walking for so long now that I can barely remember her running seems forever ago.

Here we have Halloween 2008. The babies are dressed up as The Three Musketeers. The hats were especially tricky to make (finding a source for the large feathers for the hats was also interesting). Their outfits are modeled after the Charlie Sheen 3 Musketeer movie outfits. We entered them in the local Humane Society Halloween costume contest, and they lost to a dog wearing a blonde wig with sunglasses...he was dressed up as "Dog the Bounty Hunter". I think they got gypped (as did MANY people in the crowd who came up to us after and told us so).

Here's the 'after' shot of the contest. They got to walk around the park and see (and be seen) by the judges and all the people. They seem quite happy, don't they! The only problem: Syd's front legs are so short I had a very hard time with the outfit...when she would walk the front of her Tunic would drag and kept getting stepped on, pulling her entire outfit down...she was quite hilarious! But they actually had a pretty good time. (note: 2 years ago I had also entered them in the same contest in their Fast Food outfits... and we WON!)

I think I'll end Part I of my tribute to Sydney's life here, as we are now pretty much thru her first 3 years in our family. I just peeked back, and I have included TWENTY TWO pictures thus far (with PLENTY MORE to go!)

Have a great weekend!


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