Sissy by James and Vicki Smith / Mom and Dad

We brought you home when you were 3 months old. You were a new sister for Fancy. You came to us an abused little thing. You were scared of everything. We had to be careful to speak to you in a soft voice so as not to make you think you were going to be beat. Your previous home was going to keep you as a breeder. You were so frail, what were they thinking? The reason was that you were so small and beautiful.

We started to think you never would come out of your shell but you and I spent a lot of time alone in my bedroom. This time alone gave you confidence and our friendship and love was born. We spent a lot of private time together, learning to play and you also learned that this room would be your safe place. It was your comfort room and you would prop yourself up on the pillows looking like a princess.

Your ‘firsts’ were incredible. The first time you demanded my attention by jumping on my leg, the first time you growled, then finally barked to get my attention. It took a couple more years before you got this bold with Dad. But yes, you even gained the confidence to bark at him and whine and jump on his lap and snuggle in bed with him. You even started smiling at me! Once you started that, you did it everyday when you met me at the door when I came home from work. You did it when we played. You did it just because you were happy. But I could never get you to do it when I had camera in hand. You just hid your little face. Sometimes you would be laying around and it seemed your little body almost spasmed in anticipation of me coming to pet you.

When I would come home and get changed out of my work clothes you would watch my feet. If I did not put on more shoes you would get happy. This is how you knew I was staying home. If I was putting shoes on or changing my shoes you were not happy. You just wanted me to stay home with you. You wouldn’t look at me, just my feet.
You were so silly.

The way you got house broke was really funny. You learned to follow Fancy around. You smelled where she went and you did your duty in the same spot that she went. You did this in the backyard, camping, fishing, pretty much everywhere we went. You did this till the day you left us.

You started hiding your toys and chewies in the house. Ha! Right out in the open, in a corner, wherever, you would start using your nose to ‘bury’ it nothing. Then you would hunker over it to protect it. You finally started burying things outside in the rocks or exposed garden areas. Then you would come in with mud on your nose but looking so innocent like “I didn’t do it”. Fancy would wait for you to finally leave it so she could dig it up the moment you would leave.

You would get so involved in your chewies. You would walk around with them looking like you had a stogie in your mouth. You would work them over with your little fanny in the air. I couldn’t resist and I would give you a goose. You would jump so high then turn around and come running to me with that smile on your face. You caught on to me a lot and would turn your fanny away from me so I couldn’t get you. You would also fall asleep with them in your mouth, occasionally chewing on them even when you were asleep. You’d just lay there and occasionally give it a couple of chomps and all the while you were asleep.

You and Fancy both had a real problem with the yard trimmer and blower/vac. The minute Dad would start them up, the two of you would go ballistic. It was as if these things were very bad and you were going to bark them right out of the yard. Both of you tried attacking these things and you even tried attacking the lawn mower. What protective and strong girls you were.

I never had a problem with you leaving my side. You preferred to walk behind me so you could always see me. When you did walk in front of me, you never walked more than a couple feet in front before you would turn around to make sure I was still there. Even in the house just walking from one room to the next, you would walk a couple feet in front of me and turn around to check that I was still following. Of course you did this when you wanted me to follow you to the yard so you could show off the squirrel you chased away.

I love the way you would dance when it was meal time. You would also dance when I baby talked you or when you wanted me to follow you outside to show me how you were chasing the birds and squirrel.
And oh how you worked to protect the back yard from intruders! You would chase everything away and come in all proud and dancing.

You always wanted to travel with us though it was hard on you. Over the years it finally got easier but in the beginning you would always get sick at least once. We many times believed that your heart being so big is what got you through the many hard times you endured.

You loved to go fishing. You would see those things coming out of the water all flopping around and you would get so excited! Even if you were sitting there cold from being in the water, the minute we would touch our poles you would get back in the water to grab
the fish that might be coming in.

I had to travel fairly often for work. Quite often you became depressed and got sick. I would call every night to see how you were doing. You loved Dad a lot but you really missed me when I was away. It sometimes took a good half hour to settle you back down when I came home. I missed you too. I don’t think any living critter has ever given back to me as much love as you did.

You’ve always been sickly, seems like negative excitement would bring it on. You just wanted to be left alone with Fancy, Dad and me. You did not want to share us with the company or family that came over. You got so sick once that we took you to the hospital. You were away from us for five days. We finally decided that if you were going to give up the fight, it would be at home with us. Out of the blue you just bounced back. You did this so many times. I don’t know how you found the strength. Again, I think it was the size of your heart. You were a fighter, a survivor, and you had such will to live, play, and be loved.

This time baby we were not so lucky. It was discovered you had a liver shunt. We took you regularly to the vet. Why was it not found out earlier? Why was it not discovered until you were in your last days? You started loosing weight. You became unbalanced a lot of the time. During your last four to five days you did not drink any water. The last two days you could not swallow so could not eat. Baby,
we promised never to let you suffer.

On your last day we took you back to the vet for the last time. I held you on my lap. God I hated this day. Your eyes were dull and sad looking but you still looked at me with all that love and kissed me. Dad was there with us. The doctor gave you the fluid that would forever end your pain, but it was the fluid that would start my pain. You are now in our backyard that you so loved and protected.

I love you Sissy.
I miss you.
I will see you again
so hold a place up there for me.


With all our Love Sissy,
James and Vicki Smith