It has been two days now since Sydney passed away. I am becoming able to collect my thoughts a bit on the past few days. One of the first thoughts is that I am deeply appreciative to you for calling us that morning. Your ability to share Sydney's thoughts gave us so much comfort.
Marilyn, I need to confess that I didnít know what to think of the work you do. I am a long time dog lover, but I was raised with some pretty conventional thinking. However, I've always believed that dogs have spirits - and souls - and that that is why we love them so. However, I didn't fully comprehend until the day Sydney died how much wisdom and comprehension they also possess. I want to tell you about what occurred to open my eyes.
We were at the clinic with Sydney. They had already put the IV in and brought her back to us. She was lying on the couch and we were ready to proceed. Sydney sat up, looked me in the eyes, leaned into me and put her head on my shoulder. The message was clear - love and good-bye. Then she did exactly the same thing to Jeff! The moment was electric - Sydney revealed to us her comprehension of the moment and her true spirit. It was not the eyes of a dog that looking into mine, Marilyn. It was the eyes of a conscious, loving soul.
I am forever changed by having known and loved Sydney. She has throughout her life, despite whatever struggle or pain, taught me how to love without reservation or judgment and how to be kind. I find myself struggling with the adjustment to her absences. It is excruciating. But today the thought occurred to me that I have a choice in how I view her time with our family. I can feel cheated of the 10 more years I anticipated having with her. Or I can feel blessed for the 3-½ years that I had with her. Today I am choosing to feel blessed.
I am humbled when I think that of all the people on this planet she chose me. You told me once that Sydney had a very old wise soul. I know that is true. I sensed it during quiet moments we shared. I also know that her life, even her illness, served a purpose of teaching her more about how to love and that by her example, we learned as well.
I feel like I am on the verge or understanding so much. That somehow, by witnessing Sydney's life, my own has been changed. I also feel that much of what I am glimpsing you see with clarity and ease. I would love the opportunity to hear your thoughts on all of this. In my heart, I am a writer. I feel purpose in this and would like to grow in my understanding so that someday I could share what I've learned. Sydney told me to be open to receive a surprise. I have inkling this is what she was referring to.
Thank you again, Marilyn. Your help was soothing and brought peace.
In memory of Sydney,
Belle Plaine, MN
August 17, 2006
IN MEMORIAM: Sydney, the 3-year-old Australian Shepherd, companion of Julie and Jeff, passed on from this life on the morning of August 15, 2006 after a struggle with Lupus. She is a beautiful spirit and it is an honor to have known her in this life. She touched so many people in her short time here and though this letter continues to touch so many more. She is a ripple of in the peaceful pool of Absolute Love.