Saying Goodbye To Siri
6:30am Friday, May 12, 2006
Siri and I went for our last walk in Point Pleasant Park together. As it has been her whole life, this last walk would be done Siri's way. She granted me a few brief moments for a couple of portrait shots, but that was all. The rest of the walk was all hers. There was the occasional look over her shoulder to make sure I was there, but none of her normal coming back in to me. Instead, she moved out in front of me with the same determination she had when she lead my team down a trail. No one would ever have quessed that she had barely eaten in the past couple weeks and that she had totally gone off her food the day before. Her incredible pride and dignity would never allow that to be apparent. Siri was going to fully enjoy this last walk and she was going to make sure it was not just her sweet, beautiful face that I will remember for the rest of my life, but also her incredible sound and effortless movement. Even in her last hours of life that movement was there. She was The Princess and for this last morning we were walking in her park - not Point Pleasant, but The Princess Siri Park. It was her hour. She knew it and I knew it.

Her last moments on this earth at my home came with the same dignity and determination to do things her way. At 9am the vet arrived to administer 'the needle'. But the vein that had been found with ease for blood tests over the past few months was illusive and Siri was saying "not this way". Finally a sedative was reluctantly accepted. Siri then took one last walk around the room, came over, lied down on her comforter beside me and put her head on my hand.

In that instant she was gone. Even death, she did her way.

From the moment Siri bounced out of her crate and into my arms at the airport 13 years ago, until her last moment on this earth, Siri was always there for me, always giving me everything she had to give. She made all my dreams come true except one - that she should live forever. But she gave me her heart and in return I surrendered mine to her.

There will simply never be another like her.


*A very special thank-you to Siri's breeders, Tom and Marlene, for sending me this most precious of friends.
Pictures from the last walk in the Park
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