We lost a family member last week — Sydney, my daughter, Gillian’s, dog. Sydney, an Australian Shepherd, was 12 years old – the average life span for a medium-sized dog. It makes you wonder why dogs aren’t allotted a longer lifespan. Why aren’t they allowed the longevity of elephants, which live to approximately 80? That age would bring them in line with their owners. Instead, dog lovers easily go through 5 or 6 dogs from birth to grave.Sydney woke up last Thursday morning her usual self, but after her morning pee it was obvious that something had gone wrong. While she was outside she had some sort of attack and would never run again. A visit to the vet showed internal bleeding caused by a large tumour on her small intestine. Gill sat with Sydney’s head in her lap as she slid into her final sleep. Sad days ahead.
Why is there a love affair between humans and dogs? I think it’s because dogs offer unconditional love. You can get angry with them and they won’t hold a grudge. They will slink off with their tail between their legs but when you call they run back to lick your hand. All is forgiven.
It is interesting to see a dog suffer embarrassment. Sydney had a number of run-ins with skunks. After her first spraying each succeeding incident seemed to cause her chagrin. “I can’t believe I fell for that again!”
The biggest trauma in Sydney’s life was when she was playing fetch the stick and ended with it lodged in her throat. The stick became impaled in the ground and Sydney lunged after it. Her yipes of pained surprise were heart breaking to hear. For many months after splinters caused puss-filled blisters to form in her throat. Many visits and many dollars later it was determined no more stick games. Even up to the time of her death Sydney would occasionally drop a stick at your feet and look up at you hopefully. “No way, Jose.”
Throughout most of her life Sydney didn’t seem to realize that she was a dog. She would give most dogs barely a passing glance. Especially small dogs. Three years before her death Sydney started to show the signs of her advancing years. She was less tolerant of the children in the family. As a young dog she loved going out in all weather but as she aged she avoided the cold. And when she got up after her naps she was stiff and slow moving. Gill decided it was time to get another dog. This over-lapping is a common practice among dog lovers. The old dog teaches the new dog the rules of the household.
Panda, another shepherd, looks like the Red Panda hence his name. Panda was a little over a year old when Gill brought her home from the Humane Society. She had been abused as a pup and was untrusting and skittish, especially of men. Also, she had some bad habits such as jumping up on the couches and even the dining room table. It didn’t take her long to realize those behaviours were a ‘no, no.’
Right off the bat Sydney and Panda hit it off and became the best buddies. Sydney was the steady, loving mother that Panda seemed to need. And Panda gave Sydney a whole new lease on life. The two dogs became inseparable and Sydney seemed to regain her youth.
Before Panda arrived Sydney would not leave the property. Unfortunately the two dogs were soon wondering far a field. Gill had to fence the property to keep them at home. One of their favourite pass times was to go tearing across the fields after the gophers. Sometimes they would tease the horses when there was nothing else to go after. And they never learned to give the skunks that took residence under the blue shed, the wide berth that they demanded. I wasn’t surprised that Sydney forgot, from one time to the next, to leave the skunk alone, as she couldn’t smell them. After her stick incident she seemed to loose her keen sense of smell. Panda on the other hand had no such excuse. Surely the smell alone would be enough to make her stay away from the cranky creatures. But no, time-after-time one or the other would come home reeking of skunk perfume.
Even with the sadness that comes from losing a best friend after only a hand-full of years together, man will continue to seek the companionship of dogs. Nothing is more rewarding than to have a dog wait for your return and then greet you with exuberance whether you have been gone for an hour or a day.
My sincere condolences to your family.
I brought my dog to Canada from Latvia. She was an old dog by that time ,12 years old. And lived in Canada only a year. I think that year was the best one in her life.
She barked at the bear which come to our fence one fall , wanted to smell a deer we met during our walk but changed her mind 🙂 when she saw that I was cautious passing the deer by, she run (like crazy) along the river shore barking at geese swimming in the middle of the river… She definitely enjoyed her life in Canada. 🙂
When she died I cried three nights and days non-stop, and after that I was not able even to think about another dog in my life any more. Now, six years later it became better and my husband and I started thinking about another dog. The problem is we cannot agree on the size of the dog 🙂 : he wants a German Shepperd, I would like to get a Corgi , and not two dogs. 🙂
I think you know this thing
but it’s still such a condolence for me, and I would like to let new and future Canadians read it too.
to Regina_BC: Я очень извиняюсь, что не по теме. Регина у меня к вам вопросик, как вы перевезли свою собаку из Риги в Канаду, сколько это стоило и как собака перенесла полет? Я с сыном прилетаю в Канаду 18 августа, но в связи со многими неясностями перевозки животных собаку решили оставить пока в Риге. Буду очень благодарна вам за скорейший ответ! )))
Я летела 7 лет назад, British Airways в ВАНКУВЕР. Стоило это мне , за вес клетки с собакой, что-то около 280 .. не помню теперь латов или долалров? латов, скоорее всего.
Собака у меня была миттельшнауцер, девочка, довольно плотная такая девчушка. 🙂
Есди вы решите везти собаку сс обой, то вам надо прямо сейчас сделать ей привику от бешенства у любого ветеринара. Это- одязательно, и сделать ее надо за 30 дней до вылета. т.е. у вас есть 4 дня. Если же у вашей сабаки есть такая привика, сделаная за год до вылета, то тогда не надо бежать за ней сейчас. но вам надо получить в любом случае справку от ветеринара , что собака здорова, прямо накануне вылета, дня за три, и утт же сходить на Элизабетес 2, в здание, где вы проходили медицину, и там анйти государственную вет.инспекцию и там , на основании справки от ветеринара -получить сертификат, он необходим для ввоза собаки в Канаду.
Также вам надо позвонить в представительство авиакомпании и предупредить их, что с вами таким-то рейсом полетит собака. Обычно, самолет на борт принимает только две клетки, потому, чтобы не вышло, что вы летите одним рейсом , а ваша собака другим, надо их предупредить заранее.
Я не знаю размеров вашей собаки, некотореы авиакомпании до сих пор разрешают маленьких собак, которые помещаются в клетку, которая в свою очередь помещается пол впереди стоящее в салоне самолета кресло, но большинство-не разрешает никаких в салоне.
Клетка по размеру должна быть такой, что в ней собака может встать в полный рост и повернуться. так же на клетку стоит приклеить маршрут следования и ваш адрес в Канаде, повесить на клетку поводок и намордник, и ключ от клетки. Так же надо постелисть что-то мягкое в клетку, и поставить там миску с идущей к ней трубкой от воронки с наружи. Ей будут наливать водички, и при пересадке выведут пройтись.
Посмотреть примерно, можно тут
Точнее посмотрите на сайте авиакомапнии , которой летите.
При прилете в Канаду вы получите клетку в том отсеке, где получают нестандартный багах, ПОСЛЕ прохождения вами имм.контроля и получения ваших сумок. Пройдете вет.контроль, заплатите где-то около 30 -50 долларов, т.е. имейте при себе канадские доллары.
(извиняюсь за опечатки, убегаю на работу)
Регина спасибо огромное за подробный ответ! Собака у нас скотч терьер по весу в салон не проходит :(, так что придется лететь в багажном отделении :(. В это раз не будем ее брать, мы сейчас летим к мужу на несколько месяцев с целью разведки, а вот когда полетим насовсем собакина объязательно повезем!
Sheila, we all very sorry such a terrible misery happened to your family. Our sincere condolences to you. I guess everything will be recovered from this hearty pain … unfortunately, this is life…
Yury, thak you for your kind words. But, yes, this is life.
It is amazing how the loss of a pet can be as heart wrenching as loosing a beloved human, family member. We still miss Sydney and I guess we always will. My mother-in-law, Flora, (now deceased) was a great dog lover and, over the years that I knew her, had many dogs, as she always had 2 or 3 and did the over-lap thing. From time-to-time I think of some of her dogs and still miss them One that I was particularly fond of was a Beauvier called Jenny.
I hope you and your husband have settled on a breed that you can agree on and now have a new canine family member.
RIP Sydney, a well loved and well cared for pet. I know how much he meant to Jill and her family. I think it is good for children to have pets as, since they usually don’t live for a long time, they prepare children for the inevitable loss of a loved one at some time in their life.