Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunshine - Our Dear Dog and Friend

Today we had to make the hard choice to put our sweet friend, Sunshine, to sleep. We had been struggling with this decision for several weeks due to her declining health. We think she probably was having renal failure as she was becoming incontinent and was drinking lots and lots. She was sleeping much more, but BOY when she went outside, she was like a puppy again for a while.
Sunshine "found" use back in September 2000 just a few days after we went to a shelter and got Bear. We posted "Found" signs everywhere but had no one to claim her and she just became ours. We felt like she had been abused because she was very skittish and walked around with her tail in between her legs. Poor girl's teeth were worn down in the front as well and occasionally she would have "episodes" that reminded us of mini epileptic seizures. We decided to name her Sunshine so she would have a happy name to live up to. And, she did.

She LOVED the kids that I was keeping at the time and they loved her. She played with them all the time. She mothered them to death, but I never had to worry about them when Sunshine was around. She allowed us to put all kinds of things on her: reindeer horns, sunglasses, I think she even had a skirt on one time way back when. She never complained about any of it -- as long as she was getting attention, she was happy.

Through the years she was terrified of storms, lightning and loud noises. It was the only time she would come in the house -- she really preferred being an outside dog. We knew that she was beginning to get older when she decided to move inside the house back during the summer of 2008 while we were in Kyrgyzstan and never really went back out again to stay.

This is what we were seeing more and more of from Sunshine.

It's so hard to make the decision to euthanize an animal. There is the guilt that you feel as if you are "killing" them, but then there is the pain you feel watching them feel so badly day by day. Regardless, we felt we made the most humane choice for her. I felt badly for Kevin because he was the one who had to take her and bury her.

This is the last photo we took of Sunshine this morning. We will miss our friend terribly.

This has been a hard, hard year for us. I'm ready to move on to a different year.


Lori said...

I saw your post on FB and had to really gear myself to read this because I knew how much it would hurt...knowing how much your heart hurts! I totally, absolutely and undeniably know just what you are feeling with the decision--especially when they seem fine one minute and then the next, like they're trying so hard to stay with you but really just don't have the energy. You've obviously done Sunshine the justice she deserved with the love and care she got, and I'll send a little word up to Raleigh to maybe look for her and hang out for a while so she can get the hang of things.
Lots of hugs and love...

Written By Mary said...

Hi Maria,
I was so sad to read your post about Sunshine. Didn't you just loose your other dog Bear recently? I am so sad for you. has been a hard year for all of us.

We have friends that lost their dog a few months ago...looked a lot like Sunshine too. They just adopted a puppy today that had been thrown out of the car. Can you imagine? The dog broke his leg. This dog was actually from MO and a friend of ours that volunteers for the humane society drove to get him so he could have surgery here. He was then adopted by our other friends. They will pay for the surgery to fix his leg. Otherwise they were going to take the leg off.

Oh...I got a job finally. God's timing...not mine.