Friday, November 13, 2009

FOR THE LOVE OF SUGARby Lauri Weinfeld When my dad, a bachelor, was admitted to a Florida Hospice Carefacility for his final seven days, his little side kick, a rescued ShiTzu, Sugar, was missing him a lot! Her best friend was not able to throw her toy, or talk to heranymore. So Sugar spent a lot of time with dad, sitting on his bed atthat Hospice facility. We kept her leash on, since it was a policyat that facility. And we moved dad's hand up and down Sugar's back,as much to comfort Sugar as to bring subliminal comfort to dad. One afternoon, near the end, Sugar got bored and decided to hop offthe bed. Dad was very sedated, very sick, and was no longer responding toanything, nor able to move any muscles. It had been that way for days.But when Sugar got up to jump off the bed, dad's lifeless hand suddenlymoved! He was grasping her leash! Eventually, while we were just down the road getting a bite to eat,we got the call. Dad had passed. We promptly returned to his bedside.As had been the case all week, I was holding Sugar in my elbow, just likeDad always did. Upon entering the room, I immediately knew that Dad wasgone. There was an indescribable yet conspicuous change in how he looked. Sugar also realized, in an instant, that Dad had died. Sugarpanicked! She scrambled and clawed at my chest, trying to leap overmy shoulder to run for the door we had just come through. I quicklyremoved Sugar from the room, and we sat on the veranda and gatheredourselves, together. In that week, Sugar and I had bonded. When I flew home toOhio, Sugar came along, to join our entourage of pets. At first shewas insecure, grumpy, aloof. She was used to being the only dog inthe house. This business of sharing a master was NOT her idea of howto live. When the other dogs tried to play with her, she would back away,then try, then quit, not sure of what it was TO play with another dog.(We have another Shi Tsu and a Standard Poodle.) Sugar hoarded food, got possessive of me -- growling at otherswho approached when she's near me -- and refused to leave my side. It's been over a year now, and Sugar loves her new life. She is theimp that instigates dog play, the one who purposely sleeps pressed againstour other Shi Tzu, who loves all of our family members equally, and who,no doubt, remembers her loving former owner, but wastes no time grieving,as there are chew toys to chase, treats to beg for, and kisses to give! Sugar is her own person in our new family. She's found her niche,as our clown, our cuddler, our little fog horn (what a guard dog!)She still follows me everywhere, but that's okay. She is my link to a very important past, and I am her link to asafe and fun future. -- Lauri Weinfeld

1 comment:

science akbar said...

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