A good friend lost her dog this weekend.
It was time.
Although, I don’t think it probably ever feelsl like time.
Syd was a yellow lab, with the sweetest personality it felt like she could give you diabetes. I love my dog, Riley, but the truth is, he’s not a dog’s dog, and he’s not really a people dog, he’s become, over the years, just a “me and my husband” dog. I don’t mind this (although it was fun when he was little and he loved everybody, and everything), but my friend’s dog wasn’t like this. Sydney was a true blue people dog. She was the kind of dog that made you think you were the freaking queen of England.
She had that, like, dog thing that labs and golden’s seem to have, which is that they really can’t get enough of you petting and giving them affection. They’re kind of in it with you. I happen to love that in a dog (actually in people, too). This summer, I was babysitting Syd for the day, and I remember going out and coming home, and when I walked in she stood with great effort to say hello with a tail wag. It was like she thought that was her job, and even though it was painful, she was that committed to her dogness and manners. It broke my heart a little. And made me want to scoop her up and hold onto her forever.
My friend lives in California and was here for the summer. I could tell this would be the last time I would see Syd, and that gesture, of getting up, even though it was hard for her, touched me in the deepest place. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way her eyes looked that hot summer day, collecting herself that way, just to give me a meet and greet.
I’m a dog person through and through. I wasn’t always, and I feel lucky I found my tribe, because it’s made my heart so much bigger. That’s the thing about dogs, they can reach places in you that nobody else might ever touch. They can expand your emotional capacity in ways that might never see the light, otherwise.
Dogs are all love. That’s all they are. Just love.
Here’s to Sydney (and her owner, an extraordinary dog mommy). She was the best girl.