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Sirius's Memorial
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Sirius's memorial was created on 8/15/2012.
Sirius was with us for only 2 years, but he gave our family enough love to last a lifetime. Why are the truly sweetest dogs taken from us so early, so often? We chose the name “Sirius” because it is the brightest star in the night sky, and because Sirius is commonly known as the “Dog Star” (reflecting its role in the constellation Canis Major (Great Dog)). Sirius was a truly Great Dog, with an unflagging zest for life and a personality as large as his heart. Cancer struck Sirius when least expected, with a force that knocked us over and spun us around like a tornado.

As Great Pyrenees are known to do, Sirius had a penchant for greeting us at the door by jumping up and placing his paws on our shoulders, so he could look straight into our eyes to convey just how much he missed us. When particularly excited, he played with toys by walking a few steps across the yard or room on his hind legs with the toy in his mouth. We have still not figured out how a dog that large could balance long enough to walk on two legs. He loved to snuffle for and chase birds on his long walks on the prairie, having a remarkable nose for bird scent. He was not perfect—he loved to dig random holes in the yard after it rained, spraying his face with mud caking his paws with it. But what little boys don’t like playing in the mud?

In the early morning hours, Sirius walked onto the bed (he was tall enough to do this), laying right next to one of us with his head on the pillow and promptly falling sound asleep. For Sirius, there was no better place to be than laying right next to you, plastered against your side. Sometimes his fur tickled your nose, but even now I can’t think of a better way to start the day. For my husband Scott, Sirius’ lord and liege, Sirius at times would sleep with his head resting on his chest or gently along his neck, so that he could fall asleep to the slow rhythm of his favorite person’s heartbeat.

Sirius’ best friend, Mowgli the Kuvasz, has been largely inconsolable for months, and still pines for Sirius. Even now, he removes Sirius’ two favorite toys from the toy basket and naps with them by his side. These two dogs, when their playing reached its peak, were like two wild bears streaking through the house or yard, and then coming together on their hind legs in mock combat. They were best friends until the end. Sirius, from puppyhood, became Mowgli’s “sheep,” to be protected, educated and groomed by his guardian. In fact, Mowgli accompanied Sirius on his regular vet visits, so that he could “supervise.” Sirius mimicked everything Mowgli did, including learning to walk off leash at heel, and being particularly calm and gentle with small children (whom they both loved to meet on their walks).

Sirius never met a stranger and instantly liked every person he met. From the beginning, Scott took Sirius to the local elder care facility. Eventually, Sirius graduated from being carried from room to room, to walking from room to room. His favorite room inevitably became the “graham crackers” room, because he knew one of the resident ladies always had crackers ready for his visit. Sirius loved his friends at the nursing home, and they loved him right back.

We will always remember Sirius when we gaze into the night sky, but we sure wish he was here with us instead. He forever changed our lives, and our hearts ache for our missing family member. Cancer can strike when least expected, and the only possible lesson learned is to value every moment of every day. Sirius reminded us to live life fearlessly, with unabashed enthusiasm, showing non-stop affection and generosity to those you love most.

The Olds Family

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