Sandy Snyder (Sandy Unruly)
7/15/02 – 7/9/07
Sandy came to us as a “rent to own” dog. Our first grey (Cleo) didn't seem to be settling in and we wanted to see if having company would work out. Opposites must attract, since they made a wonderful “couple”. While Cleo is self centered, vain and adventurous, Sandy was reserved, cautious and just plain lazy. Since he was extremely fast (he would totally outclass Cleo, and our later addition, Abbee) IF you could get him to run, he must have been a huge frustration to his trainers. It seemed that he had been pushed pretty hard before they gave up on him. In our house, he found exactly what he wanted – comfort with few strings attached. I remember one of the first evenings. When I wasn't looking, he swiped the lid off the can of nuts that I was having for a snack. I did the only thing that I could. I swapped him some of the nuts for the lid back. He looked at me like I was from Mars, as if to say “You caught me being naughty and gave me a treat instead of punishment?” He never stole another thing (and always looked guilty when the girls did). As he came to trust that we would not hurt him, he came “out of his shell” and became a rather entertaining individual.
He was one of those dogs that never seemed to know where the rest of his body was. It takes a special animal to be graceful and clumsy at the same time, but somehow he managed to do it. When he frolicked with his stuffy toys, the girls just cleared out and gave him room.
Although he wasn’t much on running, Sandy loved to walk. Every trip was a “mission”, with numerous “stops” along the way. He never marked in the house (except for that small Christmas tree incident), but he had a grand old time on our strolls. Next to eating and sleeping, it was perhaps his greatest joy.
He was a wonderful companion, and he was happy and comfortable in his forever home. We didn't even recognize it when he began to slip away. Two winters ago, on the coldest days, he began to have trouble at his favorite pastime. He would occasionally stand there in the classic “Captain Morgan” pose, with only a dribble coming out. It was kind of comical at the time, but last winter was worse. We thought that it was a reaction to the cold, but this summer the problem was back with a vengeance. We exhausted all of the external tests possible, tried all of the known medications, but nothing worked for more than a few days at a time. The X-rays and ultrasounds showed nothing. Through it all, Sandy was still our happy boy, making the best of it that he could, but he was failing. The only thing left was to begin invasive procedures, with no promise of finding the “silver bullet” that would bring back the “good old days”. He would never have understood the pain after he had finally come to trust people.
We shared a bag of jerky then said “Goodbye”. He slipped away in our arms while he was still happy and comfortable. I hope I get the chance some day to tell him why.
“When all out tears have reached the sea, a part of you will always live in me”
- Tim McGraw