I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last 14 years under very close supervision. If I tried to stay up too late, I was gently reminded it was past my bed time. Her displeasure was clear if I tried to snack too often. I was never allowed to sit at my desk too long before being reminded I needed to take frequent breaks. If I was down or upset she did her best to console me. When I was working from home, she started sleeping by my chair to actively prevent my wife or the dogs from interrupting me. Did I fail to mention she was a dog?
That omission was probably deliberate. Despite weighing only slightly over 40 pounds and being covered with black fur she had more personality than many people four times her size. Although the smallest dog in our pack, there was never a second question who was in charge.
She loved my wife but chose to spend most of her time with me.
Unlike most of my posts, I’m going to suggest you stop reading here. You already have the gist of it, Sundae was a very good companion and despite our three other dogs, her death leaves me binge snacking, sitting at my computer for long hours without a break and staying up way too late. Without her gentle guidance, my life is chaos.
Sundae was an exceptional dog. Her picture is used as the header for my blog. She’s been the inspiration for many of my posts. She joined our pack as an agility dog but quickly decided that managing my life served her interests and independent spirit far better
I’m sure that every dog owner has had to deal with the loss of that one special dog and could write their own story. I’m equally sure that I could turn to ChatGPT for a very dynamic post. None of that matters, this post is for me to say goodbye to a close friend.
When I would get up in the middle of the night to work on a story, she would follow me out to my computer and then flop down on her bed with a loud grunt to display her displeasure with my behavior. She would give me about 30 minutes before she would rest her head on my knee. The longer I resisted the heavier the head became. It was amazing Just how heavy her head could become.
She grudgingly accepted that I would go to work each day but quickly learned to recognize what my suitcase represented and would actively try to interfere with my packing. If I persisted, she would shun me for the rest of the evening. I started doing my packing in the morning.
Sundae demanded order and routine. On weekends, when I came out of the shower she encouraged me to dress faster so we could go outside and play ball, The Sundae Style of Management. I was allowed to eat uninterrupted. Not only did she leave me alone but she also ensured that other dogs and my wife left me alone. No aggression but she never hesitated to push. Once I finished my meal, it was her time. She would jump into my lap for tummy rubs and a discussion of her day.
True to her nature, she limited these interactions because she had a schedule to keep. If I had experienced a rough day she would give me extra tummy rub time but I was still obligated to play ball with her.
Sundae had nothing against my snacking but unlike dinner, felt that as her companion I should share my snacks with her. There so many human foods that can be harmful to dogs, I never wanted to risk her health. She never barked or grabbed but her soulful brown eyes would immediately fill me with guilt. I cut way back on my snacking.
For thirteen years she ran the household. We had order, routine, exercise and lots of love. Ultimately it was cancer that took her from us. I’m not going to discuss her final days. Cancer robs dignity from all of us. I’ll only say that she did her best to stay true to her rules.
We live in the most highly photographed period in history. My wife and I have several hundred pictures of her but there’s no way a picture or a video can do justice to her personality. I’ll never see a tennis ball or a cherry tomato without thinking about her. I will never lose that sense of disappointment when the dogs rushing out to greet me don’t include one very special black dog. Sundae wasn’t our first dog and certainly won’t be our last but she was one in a million.
Our loss is real but I count myself as fortunate that she chose to share her life with us.
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