A tribute to Sienna. Rest in Peace.

Dear Sienna,

You left our family on March 9, 2012. After 13 good years with you, saying “goodbye” has been heartbreaking. I know your heart wanted to stay with us. But your failing body disagreed.

You came into my life in 1999. I was 19 years old and had $40 to my name. I saw you at the pet store and knew you had to be mine. I spent every last penny on buying you. Me and Lance sneaked you home in hopes that Mom wouldn't discover my recent purchase. She found out. And surprisingly agreed to let me keep you. You were the first “someone” I was ever responsible for. We were inseparable during those early years. You rode on my lap in the car. You came to school with me a time or two. And you slept in my bed with me.

After marrying Devan you became “ours” instead of “mine”. You were our baby. Our baby before our real babies came along. You went on midnight jogs with us, I shared my ice cream cones with you, you would swim in the Provo River with me, and I even dressed you up as Frodo Baggins for Halloween one year. Yes, you wore “the precious” on a necklace around your neck.

Violet came along years later and we worried how you would feel about the new addition. When we brought her home from the hospital you saw how much we loved our new baby and you understood what she meant to us. You immediately accepted her and loved her. As she grew you would let her play with your ears, give you kisses on your wet nose, and let her ride on your back and play horsey.

4 more great years passed and baby number 2 was coming any day. I remember crying in bed one night fearing that you wouldn't get to meet our new baby. Your hips had gotten so bad that I couldn't imagine you would make it one more month to meet Rockwell. But you did. You greeted him and accepted him as kindly as you had Violet. And you gave us two more years to spend with you.

A month ago I looked at your aging face and you appeared to be very sad. Your days were spent lying on your bed and sleeping. I snuggled up to you and told you that if you needed to die, it was ok. I didn't want you to die, but I didn't want you to suffer anymore. A few more weeks passed, and you still pressed on. Your heart was so strong. You had lost 100% of your hearing and we didn't know if you could see us anymore because of cataracts. We had to carry you in and out of the house because you could no longer go up and down the stairs. You dragged your back feet when you walked, and your nails were worn down to the veins. You were always so happy to walk Violet to school, but I could see how much pain it caused you. I could see your discomfort in every day living. Even when you slept in your bed, you seemed to struggle to find comfort. In my heart, I knew it was time to let you go. And today we did.

Sienna, you were a part of our family. You were never “the dog.” Your bed was always in our family room. You watched tv with us, walked with us, slept with us, ate with us, and played with us. I will always think of you as my baby before my babies. If God ever had a purpose for you in your dog life, you fulfilled it all the way and more.

Today was our first day without you. I saw Dad walk Violet to school. It's one of those sweet moments I love to see everyday. But the view was missing something. And it was you.

If there is a Heaven for dogs, you have earned your place there. Will I ever get to see you again in the next life? I can only hope so. I imagine that you are in Heaven with Grandpa David and Grandma Trimble. They knew you in this life and will take care of you in Heaven. And I hope they can pass on the message to you, Sienna, that you were loved so much in this life. Thank you for all the good years. Thank you for your loyalty and unconditional love. You are gone, but never forgotten. And you will be in our hearts forever.

Lovingly yours,

Devan, Becky, Violet, and Rockwell