Memorial for Sydney the Goldendoodle

October 30, 2018

Sydney and her canine buddies Vador and Snickerdoodle enjoy their time at casa Mahaney-Hammond

One of my longest-term patients recently passed away.  I got to know Sydney when I first moved to Los Angeles and was working at TLC Pet Medical Center (now VCA TLC Animal Hospital) in West Hollywood.  As a Goldendoodle with a big personality and presence, Sydney was always a patient I enjoyed seeing on my appointment schedule.

I also felt fortunate to get to know Sydneys owners, Adam and Tara, as my clients.  After working with Sydney and her family for a few years, I transitioned to seeing her on a house-call basis and provided needle and laser acupuncture treatment and a joint-supporting injection approximately once monthly for almost nine years.  As a large-sized dog having arthritis and a history of joint trauma requiring surgery, we were able to minimize the need for her to take anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving mediations (which can potentially have mild to severe side effects) while maintaining good day-to-day mobility and a great quality of life through her monthly treatments and daily doses of supplements and herbs.
Sydney also trimmed down significantly and maintained a slim body condition (a crucial aspect of whole-body health for adult and senior dogs) by eating exclusively a human-grade, whole-food diet that was in part-commercially available and in-part homemade. 
It was so rewarding to see Sydney thrive for so many years while barely needing any medications and overall having few health concerns that would significantly compromise the time she spent with her adoring group of human caretakers.
I also loved doing in-home caretaking for Sydney in August 2018.  She was a dog up for any adventure and she got along famously with two of my much smaller patients, Vador and Snickerdoodle, during her stay with us.
Sydney was such a special pooch, so it was very sad to learn of her rapidly falling ill of an incurable disease and needing to be put to sleep without me being there to help her in the comfort of her own home.
To best share what she meant to so many people, I asked Tara and Adam to write Sydney’s memorial.  
“Sydney was never just a dog. She was a baby.  She was a child.  She was a daughter.  She was a member of the family.  She was a big sister.  She was human.  She was an ethos, a way of life.  She touched the heart of everyone she knew.  And she looked into your soul with those big brown eyes.
Sydney was a showstopper – people would literally stop us on the street so they could pet her, some even asked to take a picture with her.  She was stunning yet playful, sassy even, and she had the biggest, best personality that one could ever imagine.  She was a ham and she absolutely loved getting the attention which everyone gave her.
Sydney was a true friend and companion.  She wanted to be where you were, where the action was really, and she gave you what you needed. She went running with you if you wanted to run.  She went into stores with you if you wanted to shop. She went to eat with you if you wanted to eat.  She was excited when you were excited.  She did something to make you laugh when you had a bad day.  She gave you a snuggle when you were sad.  She smiled at you, well always. She had a special way of making you feel calm, reassured that everything was going to be okay.
Sydney was a foodie.  She ate steak.  She ate salmon.  She ate the pureed organic vegetables that we made for her every week.  But she really loved to eat chicken.  She literally made guttural noises when she smelled it, like she was trying to talk.  We always thought that one day she would and we had no doubt that her first word would have been chicken.  
Sydney was home.  She made any place, whether it was our apartment, our house or our hotel room feel like home.  She had a dance that she did when she greeted you at the door after you walked in and it just made you feel centered.  She had noises that she made so you would know that it was time to wake up or if it was time to go to bed (she snored).  
Sydney was ours.  She was loved and she will always be loved.  She will never be replaced but she will always be remembered.  Sydney was ours and boy were we lucky for it.”  

Sydney was a great assistant during my yoga practice

I also want to extend a big thank you to all the veterinarians and veterinary support staff from VCA TLC Animal Hospital and ACCESS (especially Dr. Adam Eatroff) for your roles in Sydney’s caretaking process.  
Although Sydney is no longer with us, the impact she had on my life will always be cherished.
Have you lost a cat, dog, or other furry or feathered friend?  Feel free to share your perspective in the Comments section.

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Please leave your constructive perspective in the below Comments section and communicate with me and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine and life via Instagram (@PatrickMahaney), Twitter (@PatrickMahaney), and Facebook (Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets).


Copyright of this article (2018) is owned by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian, Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and Certified Veterinary Journalist.  Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr. Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr. Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

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