Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sugar: A Dog Lover's Creed

I read somewhere that the dog has the soul of a quiet philosopher.

Whoever penned those words was entirely right. Dogs are forgiving, loyal, and love us for who we are. So really, where would we be without them? Dog lovers and pet owners alike truly understand that our furry friends aren't just animals we keep, but they are family members we come to cherish and very much need.

Rescuing two American Pit Bull Terriers, I can honestly say that my pups, Grace and Caesar, enrich my life on a daily basis. They make me laugh. They make me love. They can even make me cry when they are hurt. But most importantly, they make me a better person.

So given my feelings about dogs, when I experienced a heart-breaking experience at the vet's office a few years back, I naturally had to write about it. Pet lovers, please enjoy this story as a reminder to love your little friends while you can. They are yet another reason for us to love and cherish our lives with every breath we take.

It's a simple fact that if we listen long enough and if we pay close enough attention to their ways, dogs teach us how to live.

K.A. Phinney

I took my adopted APBT, Grace, to the vet this morning for an infection in her eyes. As I sat in the waiting room, growing slightly irritated over the long wait, a man walked in carrying a 50-pound boxer. I found it quite odd that someone would carry a dog of that size, rather than walking it. This piqued my curiosity, so I watched him carefully. I began to notice that the dog, Sugar, was shaking and stiff. She appeared to be in a great deal of pain. I quickly realized that she was ill. It now made perfect sense why she was being carried into the veterinarian's office.

Moments later, the receptionist quietly asked the man if he wanted to look over the cremation options. I was emotionally floored. This was his morning, the morning I personally dreaded for my dogs and myself.

Sugar was old. Her muzzle and paws were graying, and her eyes were foggy and dim. I was sure she could sense what was about to happen, as her owner gently whispered in a soothing cadence, "It's okay, Sugar. It's alright." He knew he had but a few minutes left with his loyal friend, of years I am sure.

I slowly turned my head away to choke back the tears, as he filled out the papers for the euthanasia. I could hardly imagine the pain. I looked down at my little white dog, Grace, and stroked her floppy ears. She looked up with her intense, almond eyes and seemed to smile at me. I thanked God for her and that it wasn't our day.

As the veterinarian technician crept out from behind the door to assist the man and his faithful friend to the back room, my eyes flooded further with the tears I had been struggling to control. I watched as the three figures disappeared behind the door. I was alone in the waiting room, and somewhere in the office, Sugar would soon be alone too.

I wish I had said something to her owner as he sat in the waiting room, but I knew that no words could solace a heart that would be losing its best friend. Dog owners understand what I mean. Instead, I just smiled with a look of empathetic emotion. I hope he understood.


  1. I see you like animals and writing. I'm a children's author and I also love animals. I have a blog for people who like to write at

    and a blog for animal lovers at

    Please come visit! When you're at my animal blog, please read the story in memory of my reminds me of your lovely post.

  2. My dog, Mandy is a Chow mix that I picked out when she was seven weeks old. This month she turned nine. I can't imagine not ever getting her. Every time I come home she greets me like she hasn't seen me in years, even if I haven't been gone but an hour. I hope that our day doesn't come anytime soon but I know that each year that passes we get closer to it. That day will be an incredibly sad day for me.

  3. My dog died few months back :( ... but then we got a new one... its kind of difficult now to live without one...wonderful post...


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