Sunday, May 4, 2008

Our Siva: August 1992 - May 2008



We finally let Siva pass yesterday, calling in a mobile vet to help us bring her peace. She ached all over from arthritis, her body was riddled with lypomas (benign tumors), she was 90% deaf, had lost a good deal of bowel control, had started to lose her appetite and had developed an intestinal infection. She was our first baby - Kelsey and I adopting her when she was a mere 6 weeks old, her vision not yet sorted out and her belly full of worms. Her parents weren't papered labs and she didn't make the cut with her first family as a hunting dog. My manager at the hospital that I was working at in Iowa City asked if anyone wanted a lab puppy - he couldn't wait to get her off his hands.

Kelsey and I had been dating for a year and a half - he was 18, I had just turned 20. I brought her into the house wrapped up in a blanket, rolling her out onto the floor in front of Kelsey as he worked on a midterm paper. She stole our hearts forever.

Siva hiked with us in mountains across most of the Western US, on swampy and mosquito infested trails across the Midwest, and swam in more lakes and streams than we will ever be able to count, although in recalling "The Siva Years" the last day or so, we've certainly tried to revive memories related to each and every one of them. She was a master frisbee dog until she ruptured her first ACL our second year in Portland (1997) and the second would follow suit a few years later on Bainbridge Island (2001). Up until a couple of years ago, she would have people shaking their heads in disbelief at how long she could swim in exchange for a stick tossed into the water. The tosser's arm would tire before Siva's passion and stamina for the retrieval process waned. She was an amazing companion and we will miss her dearly.

For those of you that knew her, we are putting together a slide show and will post this sometime soon. Many of you are featured in the photos, another testament to the many friends that Siva made during her almost 16 years.

Each time I listened to DogSong2 by the Be Good Tanyas the past couple of years, I knew it would remind me of Siva someday...

Out in the trees, dirt on our knees
We laid him down forever
And on that hill there it was still
As in the ever after

He lays his rest we knew it best
To lay him down so gently
And now he sleeps where moss does creep
And no more is he with me

The birds did cry, and so did I
To think of life so lonely
And in their song I heard it long
What sadness, and what beauty
Your friend is gone, but you live on
In life you loved him fully
But now little streams and forests dream
And all is made more holy

4 comments:

Mark said...

Hi guys, I can't believe how sad this is making me. I haven't even seen Siva for years, but she played a huge role in my own pre-dog life. She was the surrogate dog that happily filled in for my future dog I guess. She would play stick forever, over any terrain, for any length of time, never tiring. When we dog-sat her we would spoil her rotten, pretty much gave her whatever she wanted. Amazing creature. Bye Bye Siva.

Tim said...

Siva was a beautiful friend--thank you for letting me get to know her. And I'm so glad she shared so many wonderful years with you.

"Lovely legs there are
What a big black mask
What a hunk of love
Walk her every day into a shady place
She's like the dark, but I'd want her."

-"Gigantic," Pixies

karengberger said...

What beautiful words to honor a beautiful spirit. I am so sorry for your loss, yet happy for the 16rich years of close companionship that you described. Thank you for sharing about Siva.
Blessings to you.

sara said...

Dear friends,well it will be awhile or possibly forever that i will feel that emotional tear-inducing feeling in the back of my throat when i think of Siva, not sad but full of love and awe. she was my first and only goddog, and i have so many beautiful memories of her (such as kelsey playing guitar & encouraging siva to sing while stacy & i peeked from around the corner, tears in our eyes at her earnest, strong & beautiful puppy singing voice). she was an amazing creature. we will miss you, beautiful one.