On this what would have been Miss Syd's 9th Birthday I found it only fitting to put together a memorial page for our Sweet Baby Girl Sydney. We woke up this morning to the most beautiful snowfall. I know it was sent from the "Heaven's Above". One week ago last Sunday Nov. 21, 2010 our little girl lost her battle with Renal Failure.
In 2001 a dear friend of mine and at the time she was my Yoga teacher had told me about her recent addition to her family. A Basenji named Miss Ellie. I had never heard of a Basenji. They come from Africa and sometimes are known as "The barkless dog". I did some searches online and Steve and I decided a Basenji was what we wanted to add to our family. I contacted several breeders, visited with them and chose Meisterhaus. A very dear man named Tad Brooks was expecting 2 litters that winter of 2001. I had my heart set on a red/white girl but when we visited in December when the pups were only a few weeks old this Brindle girl found her way quickly into my heart. She chose me. We brought Sydney home the end of January 2002.
She was a handful. I have never in my life faced such a challenge with a puppy. Basenji's are definitely not for everyone, but once they know who is Alpha (Mama of course) then things get easier! I would have to put her on her back in my arms, grab her muzzle and tell her "No Bite". Or whatever the struggle was we were facing at that moment! I hated the term "Bitch" that breeders use for the females, but I tell you *That term fit Miss Syd to a T! That's where the "Miss Thing" , "Miss Syd", "Miss Bossy", and "Miss Bitchy" names came into play! :)
Once a Basenji owns you, you will find a love for a fur baby like no other. They are so intelligent. I tell people when I talk about our Miss Syd, and little man Sheldon that they are smarter than most people I know. They are clowns! They have you wrapped around their little hearts in no time.
When Sydney was 4 years old I talked to Steve about how hard it would be if we were to lose Sydney. How lost we would be without her. I begged Steve to let us bring home another Basenji. At first Steve was against it, and being Steve he just had a hard time telling me no. That's when Sheldon was added to our family. OMG it was a nightmare when he came home. Miss Syd did not want any part of "look Syd here is a baby boy for you to love"... LOL I think her feeling was "Oh Hell No", not in this house! She beat him up. Now it sounded like blood was flying, but it was all noise. No bite marks. But regardless Sheldon took a beating from Miss Syd. I called Tad and said "I have got to bring Sheldon back" it just was not fair to this beautiful boy. I took him back to Meisterhaus. When Tad and I talked he said he put Sheldon back with his litter mates and he just sat in the corner of the pen. Then Tad thought he would put Sheldon with the older "Bitches" and the same thing. Sheldon missed me. His mama.
Sheldon and I had bonded and his heart was broken. Well Miss Syd and I made a trip back to Meisterhaus, visited a bit, Sheldon was brought into the room to see what Sydney's reaction would be. Still she could care less about Sheldon. Sheldon had spent the nights in our home with me and he would lay up by my head suckling on my ear lobe.
I told Tad "I have never failed at anything I have set my mind to accomplishing", and so Sheldon was brought back to our home. As Sheldon grew he started to tower over Miss Syd, and he also didn't take any of her crap!. But, Syd was the leader and Sheldon would follow one step behind her. Always. Our hearts are so heavy over the loss of our Miss Syd. We have our good days, followed by our bad days. Today is a very difficult day as I said, "It would have been Sydney's 9th Birthday". When she was admitted to the Vet and put on IV's I told Dr. Weakley we were planning the Biggest Birthday Party for when Sydney came home for good. That won't happen as Miss Syd has left us and taken a BIG part of our hearts along with her. When Sydney was admitted to the Vet's office Tad had told me about a Dr. Gonto. He is a people doctor, but he had a Basenji boy who came down with Fanconi and finally went into Renal Failure. But while facing this battle for his boy he developed a protocol that the Basenji people follow to treat Fanconi. It is not just something fur babies can develop, humans as well can. I kept in close touch with Dr. Gonto during Sydney's battle. Once you meet a fellow Basenji person you have an instant friendship. When I contacted him about our loss of Miss Syd I got the most heartwarming email. Here is just a piece of that email:
**At this point, I have no doubt that Syd has found Topper. I sent a little prayer asking him to keep an eye out for her. They can both figure their way around the best sunshine spots in heaven together.***
Topper was Dr.Gonto's boy. Yes he has suffered that loss of his baby boy as well. Just a week or so before we lost Miss Syd. Sheldon is glued to my side 24/7. He is so lost. We have stopped everything we are doing to console our boy. We try not to say Sydney's name out loud so he doesn't constantly look for her. I know time heals all wounds, but this is such a heartbreaking day for the Pierces... :(
Why do we put ourselves through all this pain? Bringing fur babies into our lives only to lose them way too soon? Because their love is like no other. It's unconditional. They greet you at the door when you come home like they haven't seen you in ages! They lay with you and console you when you are having a bad day. When you look into a Basenji's eyes you are looking straight into their soul.
Rest in Peace "Miss Syd" We will find you when it is our time to leave this Earth *At Rainbow Bridge*
"Sleep in Heavenly Peace" Baby girl. You will always be with us in our hearts.
Love Mom, Dad and Sheldon Pierce