Sydney In Repose

Sydney the beagle lying down next to StefanieI went to search out Sydney for her daily beauty shot. I found her, but not in any of her normal spots.

Sydney was upstairs, behind closed doors, in Steffie’s playroom. They were both laying on the floor.

Sydney was on her mattress. Steffie was on the floor. Who is smarter?

Here’s the difference between Sydney and Ivy. Ivy would have been attentively watching TV with Steffie. Sydney, on the other hand, turned tail.

Since she arrived, Sydney has not barked. Not once. Maybe she’s capable, or possibly she knows it would expend too much energy?

This is not to say Sydney has been quiet. Yesterday, while napping in the family room, Sydney spent 15 minutes making a soft, low, deep murmuring sound – like a sea lion.

Helaine says Sydney snores&#185 too. I’ve yet to hear that.

Dogs don’t need a practical use to be an important part of a family. It is difficult to believe anyone could start a fight, or a war, with a dog like Sydney curled up next to them. She is a calming influence, even though she does nothing!

I’m not ready for the full time responsibility that comes with a dog. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say having Sydney here has been good in every possible way.

&#185 – Helaine also says I snore. Obviously, that’s a figment of her imagination, as I would never snore.

A Sad Day – Ivy is Gone

As soon as we met Ivy, we knew she was the right choice. She was a Westie – a West Highland White Terrier, but very much unlike the breed. Most Westies are high strung and active. Ivy was docile.

“Ivy The Dog” passed away this morning at age 12. She had been suffering from heart problems and finally succumbed. As far as we can tell, she went in her sleep, quietly, while cuddled against my back.

I remember the day our neighbor Martha came to the house. Friends of hers were getting divorced. They had a dog, but no longer had the ability to keep her. We had liked Martha’s dog and Martha thought we’d like Ivy.

Helaine wanted a dog. She had a dog as a child and thought Steffie was now old enough to have one in the house. They both knew I would be the sticking point. A dog was added responsibility in a house with a growing child.

We’ll never know why, but I said yes almost immediately.

As soon as we met Ivy, we knew she was the right choice. She was a Westie – a West Highland White Terrier, but very much unlike the breed. Most Westies are high strung and active. Ivy was docile.

To Ivy, a good afternoon was an afternoon on the sofa, her body on a pillow, her chin resting on armrest. She would lay there and watch TV.

If a dog or other animal came on the screen, Ivy would spring into action. She’d whine or bark and try and attract the attention of whoever it was that had come into her home. She protected us from the UPS man in the same way.

Ivy was great, silent, company. She started in our house sleeping with Steffie. Later, she moved into the bed with Helaine and me. She would lay on my pillow until I got there and then move to the foot of the bed.

She loved car trips with Helaine. Helaine would ask if she wanted to go for a ride and Ivy would spring up and get really excited.

Ivy was a kind and gentle soul. She touched our lives in so many ways. She added warmth to our home.

Last night, as I was leaving work, a college aged girl beckoned to me from across the parking lot. She had heard Ivy wasn’t well. She was the daughter in Ivy’s original family.

We spoke for a few minutes and I explained how Ivy was doing. She was sad to hear it, but glad to have reestablished a connection to Ivy.

It seems to me that this was more than a coincidence. Though I’m sure she didn’t understand, I told Ivy the story last night as she picked at her dinner. I was touched that this young woman still had a bit of Ivy in her heart.

Ivy enriched our lives and made our family better. We treated her with love and respect. We will miss her greatly each and every day.

Ivy to the Vet

Ivy hasn’t been eating well for the past 5-6 days. She had been eating really well prior to that. This morning, Helaine felt Ivy’s stomach and it was hard, as if she were full.

I took Ivy to the vet where a quick examination showed more fallout from her congestive heart failure. This time it’s fluid (blood) which has leaked from a bad heart valve and is now congregating in her abdomen.

Dr. Chin made some changes in Ivy’s meds and hopefully, in the short run, she will be helped. But as we go along, it becomes more and more clear that Ivy is not well and will never really recover. We might be able to hold off her illnesses for a while, and will try to do that.

She seems to be in no pain, but I’m sure she’s uncomfortable. Don’t you wish she could talk, just a little, to help us help her?