It has been 2 years since my sweet Sugar passed away. She was a 13 year old mixed breed dog that I had rescued as a pup. She had a battle with cancer that she fought every bit of the way. It was so hard for me to let her go. She had been with me through so much of my adult life. When she passed, I started writing a book about her. I wasn’t able to get a good start on it because I gave birth to my 2nd son 2 months later. I thought I would share with you the basis of what I was writing: What we learned from Sugar. Some of them are self explanatory and some I just have to share more. Sugar taught me to:
1. Exercise daily
2. Eat like there is no tomorrow (ok for us humans maybe every now and then eat this way!)
3. Laugh often
4. When life gives you lemons….eat them!
5. Forgive and don’t hold grudges
6. Instead of living your OWN way in a family, BECOME part of the family. Then Mommy gives you whatever you want anyway!
7. Don’t ever pass up on opportunity (for her it was food or to run!)
8. Everyone can be a friend (she greeted everyone with a smile and her tail wagging.Ok- we humans need to use some boundaries! ha ha)
9. Greet your family members like they have been gone forever- even if they just ran out for a minute! It makes them feel so special!
10. Love unconditionally. Sugar did not care if I smelled, if I was grumpy, or had just accidentally stepped on her tail. She still loved me!
11. Live every day and every moment to the fullest.
#11 was Sugar to her last moment. I had to make the unfortunate decision to put Sugar down. I just knew it was the right thing to do. She did everything but tell me she needed to go. I sat with her in our back seat as my husband drove us to the vet. Sugar was so weak we had to lift her in the car. She could barely stand. It was also chilly that morning- probably 30 degrees. As we were driving, Sugar raised herself up and stood by the window. She wanted to hold her head out the car window one more time. I rolled down the window and watched her with the wind blowing on her face, enjoy every bit of the ride. I told my husband that she was living life to the fullest, up to the last moment. And that’s how Sugar lived every day- like life was wonderful and should be lived like there is no tomorrow. She lived this wisely, however. She knew there would be consequences to just run away with wild abandon. She knew not to jump out of the car. She knew to live it but live wisely. I will never forget that moment and what she taught me. There is so much more we can learn from our furry family members! I do hope to one day finish my book. For now, I remember her.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs. I appreciate you all!
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.