Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sydney Sheffer
12/28/95 - 7/9/08

"A gentle soul overflowing with love"

I pull in to my driveway and I no longer have a greeter, that friendly smile that was a constant for such a large part of my life.  I open the door to walk into my house and there is no longer this large moving obstacle to walk over.  I no longer can sense the feeling of a soft nudge into the side of my thigh, a touch that is flooded with unconditional love and devotion and also communicating to me "I'm here."  Together forever on earth was something that was not meant to be, but I never really realized that type of reality until the time came to say goodbye.  

She was my confidant, she never complained and was always grateful just to be acknowledged.  She was a brave girl who traveled near and far with us, and taught me the real rules about responsibility for someone other than myself.  She was a gentle spirit, always content to just be apart of whatever the family was doing.  When she was young, she knew how to be a  sassy little thing, and yet she grew up to be a very enjoyable presence.  Sydney, my sweet girl, sometimes pain in the neck girl, but always reliable and patient girl.  Saying goodbye to you this summer was quite simply the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life.   You never complained once and you let us know when you had to move on from this world- we just didn't ever realize how hard that goodbye was going to be.  Riley still wonders when God is going to let you come back home, and we remind him that you are in heaven now with an important job to be looking out for us from up there now. 

 I know I complained a lot about the hair you would leave all over the place, but now that you are gone I have come to learn just how messy Lauren and Riley really are- there are food crumbs all over this house and no one to clean them up!  I'm going to miss Autumn nature hikes in the woods with you running way ahead of me on the path, and seeing your foot prints all over the fresh snow covered yard.  I might not miss Spring yard clean-up and all your evidence of not taking the time to go out into the woods to do your duty through the cold winter months.  I will miss muddy paws, and wet doggie hugs after a swim in the lake.  The slider door hardly opens anymore, I have no one to share my left over cookies and pizza crusts with.  I didn't realize how much food I tossed to you until I have caught myself now repeatedly standing in the kitchen with the urge to toss pieces of random food up in the air... you are not there waiting eagerly to catch them. 

 For over a third of my life you were a large part of my happiness.  I miss you so much Syd, but I am not going to be sad- instead I am going to be grateful for the time we had together.  You were a blessing to our family and we will always have a special place in our hearts for you.  Thank you for your love and doggie hugs.  Thank you for the e-mail too- it truly helped me especially to grasp the ability to move on, I know that is what you wanted.  I love you Sydney, you have left pawprints on my heart and the memory of your unconditional love will always be to me my first experience of the truest form of affection I have ever known.  

A letter that  I received from Sydney by e-mail the day after she passed away:

Hi Momma!!!
I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that I am doing good and to not worry about me.  I woke up this morning feeling just great!  My belly does not hurt anymore, I lost all of my gray and I have so much energy!  I do miss you though.  Momma, remember when we stayed at Mimi and Papa's house by ourselves?  I was so scared but I wanted to be brave for you.  Those were the good ol' days.  We had so much fun together.  I am sorry for being difficult at times.  Chewing up picture frames, eating your car visor, running away on sundays just to make you late for church and most of all, all of the hair, poop and pee I left for you to pick up.  You gave me the best life a dog could ask for.  Even when I caused trouble you loved me unconditionally.  I am a bit worried about you though.  Who are you going to confide in?  Who is going to give you hugs when you are sad?  Not that darn cat!!  She is much to selfish!  I know, Daddy can do it!  I know you can count on him!  Lauren and Riley should be able to help too.  I feel comfortable that I have left you in good hands.  Do you remember when you told Daddy that you were pregnant with Lauren?  I did not know what was going on at the time but I knew from Daddy's face that it was something big.  And then before I knew it you came home with Lauren.  If that was not enough, not long after came Riley.  Our pack crew by 2 in less than 2 years.  I am going to miss those two kids.  They got into more trouble than me!!  They gave me good loving though and I will miss that.  Well I better wrap this up.  I have some squirrels to chase.  Plus I have to go potty.  There is a nice stream just outside my house that will be perfect to take care of that.  I am not sure I will have time to write you again but I will be watching over you.  Remember, do not be sad that I am gone.  Be happy that we were fortunate enough to have the time we did.  You are the best momma in the whole world!!  I love you.