Friday, May 18, 2007

Dogs Are The Best

I had dogs for the majority of my childhood, and I can remember in college wanting to get out of the dorms because they generally frowned on animals of any sort. It wasn't until a few months after I graduated college (May 2007) that I was able to fulfill my wish. I started visiting animal shelters in August, and it was a fairly lengthy search until I made my way to the Plano Animal Shelter that used to be on 14th Street out east of Shiloh Road.

There on Friday, October 17, 1997 I found a little dog sharing a run with three or four other dogs. She was a Chihuahua mixed with who knows what, and it was clear that she was intimidated by her environment. I took her out on a leash, and she warmed up quite a bit after getting away from the other dogs. I knew that I liked her, but then I got cold feet. I asked if they could hold her until tomorrow, but they said that they did not do that to ensure that as many dogs as possible were adopted.

So I left anyway not quite ready to take the plunge. Although through that evening and early Saturday morning, it gnawed at me that I needed to go back as soon as I could and get her before someone else did. So after practice for the men's choir, I made my way back to the animal shelter. I took her out again and sat on the curb for a few minutes. Finally she gave me the look that said, "What are we waiting for?" After that, I went in a signed the paperwork. We then made a trip to the local vet for shots and headed for Petco to get all the necessary supplies.

Many of you know this dog as Suzy. She was a special dog. After graduation, I did know a lot of people in the Richardson/Plano/Garland area, so I spent most evenings after work hanging out with Suzy. This might have something to do with why she wound up rather spoiled, but that's just a theory.

Suzy and I made many road trips together. If I wasn't flying, she typically went with me when I traveled to visit family. She was a good traveler - typically slept the majority of the time in the car.

Many things changed between 1997 and today, but Suzy was there for it all - until recently. She had become ill within the last 12 months, and there was nothing that the vet could do for her. So in February of this year, I made the difficult decision to put her to sleep. That was a very hard day for Christy and me, but we know that it was the right thing to do. I even consulted my pastor before making the final decision, and he reassured me that it was move loving to end Suzy's misery than to hold on and let her continue to suffer. So on February 10, we took her to the vet for the final time.

While it is sad to think about the end, I would have done things any differently. For 9+ years, she was a part of the family, and we had many good times together. I have a picture of her somewhere with our friend Amy. She was looking up at Amy after Amy had done something amusing - although I won't go into detail here ;-) That was Suzy. She loved to be with people and give them kisses.

While there won't be another Suzy, I knew that we had to find another dog. That is how we came to have Kassie, but Kassie's story is for another day. To Suzy!

Until next time...
PH

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Philip,
Iknow how much you loved Susy because Iloved her very much also. You did the right thing in putting her to sleep. Rocket&Cassy are very nice to and will give you lot of love and happyness. Tell next time.
DAD

ASC said...

You HAD to bring that up, didn't you?....at least you didn't mention WHAT I DID that was so embarassing....Suzy was a sweetie. We loved her so much. A good dog!

Anonymous said...

Yo P,

she never met a stranger. I remember the dog kissing me the first time I came over to your place. An independent dog who loved people. I was sad to see her go. Even when you and Christy moved away and I visited your home Suzy still had her customary kisses ready. I'm happy to have met and played with her. In fact, the only time I saw her mad is when she "met" Brandy. :-)

B

Vicki Gupton said...

I loved her too. I have a picture of her and me that I really like, taken in '98, when you brought her here for the first time. I just printed this to keep with my treasures. Mom.