Sydney's Story

Laura kidnapped her daughter Sara's three Australian Shepherds, Sydney, Addison & Emmitt. This was devious well-intentioned deed was done to have the dogs photographed at my studio. Their portraits were going to be a surprise Christmas present for Sara.

Sydney was the eldest. Addison, the youngest, was accommodating and polite. Emmitt was an eight-year-old rebel boy. During the session, Laura started conversing about how Sydney was very special to her daughter Sara. Please understand and imagine photographing three wiggly canines, with drastically different personalities, can be like organizing jumping beans in a straight line. Considering this predicament, my attention was on posing the dogs and not on what Laura was saying. However, the phrase that got my attention was "break in."

The story that is associated with those words is a tribute to Sydney's bond to Sara and visa versa.

Sara grew up with many family dogs. Before she went off to Veterinary school, she was ready for the responsibility of having her own personal dog. Her intentions were to have a dog to take with her to vet school as a companion and to have a dog to train for canine agility and agility trials. Sara specifically desired an Australian Shepherd. Her search for an Aussie puppy lead her to Long Island, NY. Sydney was one of two puppies left in a litter of Australian Shepherds. It was a meeting of destiny for Sara and Sydney. They immediately found a friend in each other.

Sydney started her agility training at two years old. She and Sara became an inseparable team. Their minds became synchronized as they anticipated each other's moves. In the forthcoming years, Sydney under Sara's direction achieved many agility titles for her accomplishments. Their heartfelt loyalty to each other through the past eleven years would also prove to be life saving for both of them.

Sydney took on the role of being Sara's guardian. Sara was 18 years old at the time when an incident near her parent's veterinary hospital took place. A distraught client of the veterinary hospital arrived. Finding the practice closed proceeded to frantically search the surrounding property. Since Sara resided in the old house attached to the veterinary clinic, the upset client forcefully pushed his way inside Sara's home. Sydney immediately took action and through her canine instincts forced the person off the property.

Another incident occurred in 2017 while Sara was away at veterinary school in Knoxville, TN. This was Sara's final year before she would be practicing as a licensed veterinarian. Just as Sara was arriving home, in the middle of the day, a teenager tried to break in the front door of the house. Sydney again went into action with canine force. Growling, with her hackles up and snarling at the intruder, she chased him out of the house. When Sara heard the commotion and saw the broken window glass, she knew there was trouble. This would be the second time Sydney came to Sara's defense.

One week later Sydney collapsed. Unbeknownst to Sara, Sydney had a medical condition that surfaced from the exertion of chasing out the intruder. Sydney had a cancerous sac of fluid around her heart. Chances of survival were narrow. Now it was Sara's turn to come to Sydney's defense. Through the following year, Sara's veterinary training coupled with her intuitive bond with Sydney worked together to energize Sydney not to give up this life yet.

It has been a year since Sydney has beaten the odds. Laura told me that there was a ninety-nine percent chance that Sydney would not survive the illness. The illness Sydney survived was miraculous! Sydney called upon her will to survive. It is apparent that Sara and Sydney shared many trials and tribulations together over the past few years.

Sydney and Sara welcomed two additions to their family over the last six years. Sydney' became a life coach to Emmitt, who was a basket case when he arrived at two years old. Addison was eight weeks old when she entered the family. To Sara's surprise, Sydney immediately adopted her.

In March 2018, Sydney achieved her final titles of excellence in agility at the age of eleven years old.

To quote Sara from her Facebook page honoring Sydney's birthday "Each day is a gift. That's why they call it the present. This past year has been challenging, and I am grateful for the battles that we have won. Happy birthday to the strongest little fighter I know."

Sydney continues dutifully watching over Sara. During Sara's bout with the flu, Sydney never left her side. All is well.