Dear Sydney ,

To My Amazing Sydney Superdog…

When I lost my beautiful German Shepherd three years ago, I was heartbroken. I had loved him so much, and a piece of me died when he passed away. I wanted another dog, but decided to stay away from Shepherds. The fear was that I would compare a new Shepherd with my beloved Geeger. Actually, I worried that any dog I chose would be unfairly compared. I struggled with my want for another dog, and my fear that no dog could ever replace Geeger. I should preface this by saying I have a “soft spot” for larger breed dogs. Smaller dogs are fine, but I had never been drawn to one… until a month after my Shepherd passed away.

Sydney, I saw your picture on the internet, from a shelter twelve hours away in another state. There was something about your sweet face, bright eyes, and those amazing ears. I just knew I wanted you. I continued to look at other dogs, and found one other dog that I thought could be my next companion. I showed pictures of you and the other candidate to my family, and most agreed that the other dog was just a bit cuter. For some reason, I still wanted you, Sydney. I’m not sure what it was, but something told me you were to be my dog. I told myself that my choice would be made by the email exchanges I received from the shelters, when I inquired about each of you. I found out that you had been a stray, running free on a reservation. You were a spry one, causing the dog catcher to catch you twice. He made the mistake of placing you on the front seat of the vehicle, with his window partially open. You took it upon yourself to jump over him, and out the window. That could have been the end of the story, but I am so glad it wasn’t. He pursued you and caught you again, and brought you to the shelter where it was determined that you were not fond of people, but were not aggressive in the slightest. It was decided that you were a good candidate for being a “cell dog.” You were placed in a woman’s prison, where you were surrounded by eight women, 24/7, for three months. Three of them became your trainers, teaching you manners and tricks, while I am certain you returned the favor by offering them a much needed gift of love, joy, and purpose. As I’m sure you helped change their lives, they definitely changed yours. You became loving, and more trusting of people, and enjoyed having your ball tossed, so you could leap at it with glee. However, you appeared extremely independent, and tried to run out of doors any chance you got. You didn’t have a home, and I know of at least six different places you stayed. You were so cute and lovable, that one shelter manager would sometimes take you home for the night. You got along well with her dog and cat, and proved to be a loving, sweet pooch, who needed a home and a person to love.
I endured a long process of proving I would be a good owner for you. I sent in photos of your new yard, your house, and stayed in touch with the shelter to find out how you were coping. When I found out you had lost a lot of your fur for unknown reasons (which turned out to be food allergies), I was devastated to find out any adoption was put on hold. I continued to monitor you from afar, and it turns out, this was the catalyst to becoming your new person. The panel that places cell dogs decided I was to be your new owner, and welcomed me to come retrieve you. After many long hours of driving, I got to really see you for the first time. I admit, I was a bit taken aback by your small stature, since you looked larger in your photos. You were small, but yet… not. Personality oozed from you, as you pranced around like you owned the world. You chased your ball with front legs flailing, as a cat would. I couldn’t get over your prancing, which is something incredibly endearing. I wasn’t sure your size was suitable for me, but there was a ‘park.’ Something nagged at the back of my mind, that you were meant to be my dog. I am so glad that my inner voice won over my ridiculous size issue.
From the moment I had you, I loved you. You are SO not small, as anyone who has met you can attest. Even your vet was taken by you, and said you “are the biggest, little dog I have ever met!, I figure that means a lot from someone who sees hundreds of dogs a year.
It took a year for you to bond with me, which is not a surprise considering your history. But, I bonded with you almost immediately. In time, you grew to trust and love me, and have now bonded as much as any dog is able. I cannot begin to explain to you how thankful I am to have you. You make me laugh every day with your antics. You’re a funny little dog who tries to talk. I never get tired of hearing your vocalizations when you’re happy, upset, scared, or content. There is never any question what you’re thinking or feeling, even if your language is not of human origin. Your wants and needs are made VERY clear! The way you crawl on your belly across the carpet to see me, wagging your tail and happily expressing yourself, is a trait I couldn’t teach. I love how you get ‘Bang’ and ‘Roll over’ confused, and once you start rolling, you do it over and over without my asking. You crack me up, little dog. All who meet you fall in love with you. I understand, completely. Your personality is bigger than life, your sweet and gentle nature is irresistible, and your confident attitude is enviable. You have earned the name, Ms. Prancy-pants, because of this confidence, and your prancing.
But most of all Sydney, you have proven that losing a dear friend doesn’t mean I can’t love another just as much. You proved that I can still love my German Shepherd, without fear of comparing my love for you. I’m not sure who rescued whom in this story, but I’d venture a guess that you are the bigger savior. My life is much richer, more humorous, and far better with you in it. I couldn’t have asked for a better dog. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend, either.


  1. Douglas Hildebrand says:

    Kate I am glad you go Syd…I love her as if she was my dog too…I love…loved Geeger too, he will always be my buddy..and Syd is my little girl…she is the best little BIG dog…Love ya Syd. :)

  2. Amie says:

    I have to dry my eyes again. As someone who also loved Geeg, Syd is pretty great too. Just ask Kootie :)

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