Monday, February 18, 2013


Every time I drive north on I-5 and pass McCord Air Force base I think of our dog Sue.  Every time. For seven years. West of the freeway, in the flight path of planes returning to McCord, is the veterinary clinic where we said good bye. Sue enriched our lives for  12 years. She was bred in California from working stock. She had distinguished lineage, a direct descendant of a legendary Welsh herding champion. She spent most of her life in Alaska where she roamed the forest trails and rode eagerly in skiffs and fishing boats. She was smart and fearless. She knew when to turn back from danger and took a stand in the face of it. She learned the dog sport Agility with ease, and had a clean run on her first competitive trial. Long after her hips weakened she would still run through a tunnel with the joy of a puppy. She loved her toys, playing elaborate games with her people and demanding our full participation. Sue never met a person she did not like. At the end of her life, when she was totally deaf she would wiggle her way through any crowd of dogs to find the human with them. After 14 months of surgery, chemotherapy, repeated blood draws and urine samples she still pulled forward on her leash into the clinic to greet the staff. Sue told us when it was time to go. Her kidneys were failing. She did not prolong the inevitable. She was a champion to the end.

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