RIP Sugar Boyd

The bedroom seems painfully quiet. We miss her snoring…her breathing…even her pooting.

Around Christmas 2008, it was the first time we saw her in our neighbor’s yard. Roaming free around the neighborhood and scared to come close to anyone, she kept her distance from him. Duck built her a dog house…not just any dog house…one with double walls, insulation and a light to keep warm.

Sugar2009

He’d watch out of the window to see if she went in. He lured her in with food, water and a bed. She stayed safe and warm during the snows that winter, and she found a place in our hearts.

I went to talk to my neighbor one afternoon — hoping she would say “take Sugar” but that didn’t happen. Sugar had found a place in her heart as well, even if she couldn’t keep her inside. “We love her too, so if you ever need any help with her, please just let us know.”

The knock on the door came a few months later. Another neighbor had threatened to call Animal Services because Sugar was running loose. In March 2009, she became an inside dog ๐Ÿ™‚

Over the last 4.5 years we’ve had her, she trained us well. She would sit on the back deck and bark once — a special bark — and Duck would go running to let her in. She would follow us around when she knew we had food, knowing we couldn’t resist her big brown eyes. She’d even jump up and catch a chicken nugget in mid-air. You’d have to be careful wearing shorts around her too because she loved to give kisses. Anywhere she saw bare skin got a lick. She would sleep next to the front door to be sure she didn’t miss us when we came home.

SugarFletcher

I never once saw her get angry or mean or growl. Not even when the cat would come in and paw at her face, or when Fletcher tried to hump her head ๐Ÿ™‚

She had the spirit of a lap dog in a big girl body. She was the sweetest, most loyal dog. We will miss you Sugar!

Sugar

My First Valentine’s Day with Duck

I decided to share the story of our first Valentine’s Day together. We had been dating for 6 months and already I knew I wanted to marry him — it just took him a lot longer to figure it out. Duck had a cocker spaniel named Rio when we met. He had Rio since Rio was 6 weeks old — and at the point we met, I think Rio was around 2 years old.

Rio and Duck had a strong bond between them. Rio was very smart and would stay by Duck’s feet whenever he was home. So, on our first Valentine’s Day together, I had great plans to make it a special day. I bought balloons and a card. I took off work early and went to Duck’s home to pick up Rio. See my plan was to put Rio in my truck and take him to visit Duck at work. Duck worked at a huge local university. He had an office to himself — well, full of computers — on the bottom floor and close to an outside door at the back of the building.

It was all perfect in my head. I got Rio out of the house and into the truck, no problems. As I was driving to Duck’s work, I thought about parking. The few times I’ve had to go with Duck to his office, we would park in a loading zone because it was after hours. During the day, I knew I wouldn’t be able to park there.

I found a parking space and put Rio on his leash. We got out of the truck and started walking. I think I forgot to mention that Rio was not a very friendly dog — so every time someone would come up to us talking about how cute he was, I’d warn them that he might bite. Hundreds of people stopped and petted him along the way, and he didn’t even growl at any of them.

Now the only problem I was having was trying to find the building where Duck’s office was — and did I mention I was dressed nice? As in heels and all? Yep, walking a dog around a big college campus where all the buildings look the same. I didn’t even know the building name. So we walked around and never really found it. I was frustrated that my plan had not gone so smoothly.

We walked back to the truck and I managed to get Rio up there. I took him back to Duck’s house and parked in the driveway. You know how I mentioned that Rio was a very smart dog? Well, the whole way there I had been explaining to Rio that we were going to see Duck. I’m sure Rio was quite confused to have been back home and not seen Duck.

I opened my door and waited for Rio to walk across my lap and jump out (which he normally did). He stopped with his front paws on my left leg — looking out the door. His head was right in front of my face. I tried petting him and talking to him to get him down, but something I said must have made him mad. He bit me. My lip to be exact. He had caught my top lip and bottom lip — toward the side. Kinda hard to explain really — guess you had to be there and no, there are no pictures. I was very upset. I was not in the mood for pictures.

On my first Valentine’s Day with Duck, my busted lip swelled, bruised and abused, kept me from even getting a nice Valentine’s Day kiss. Not to mention all the questions at work for the next week about whether or not Duck smacked me around on V-day. It was definitely a memorable V-day. For those of you wondering if Rio lived past that day, he did. He died this past October at the age of 14.

Today’s Valentine: Duck read my blog post yesterday and actually listened — well, partially ๐Ÿ™‚ He did get me a card, but he didn’t get flowers! YAY! I am really blessed to be married to him. He did a great job with Callie too — he got her a stuffed animal (even though he thinks she has way too many!) and a cute card. She loved them both! Thanks for the card Duck ๐Ÿ™‚ I love ya!

Thankful Thursday

Rio Boyd

I came here with the intention of writing a post about our dog Rio — he died Sunday night. Then I realized it was Thankful Thursday and that I haven’t participated in quite awhile. So I decided to be thankful for Rio.

  • I’m thankful Rio was with my husband during some very troubling times before he and I met. He got Rio when Rio was 6 weeks old. When Duck and I started dating, Rio had just turned 1 year old.
  • Rio taught me not to leave my dirty clothes laying around. He bought me several pairs of panties for many Christmases.
  • Rio also taught me that Valentine’s Day really does suck. My first V-day with Duck: I thought I’d surprise Duck at work by bringing Rio to see him at his office. Only thing is, I got lost on the college campus. Rio and I walked around and around and all the buildings looked the same. I took Rio back to the house. He knew something wasn’t right. Here he’d gone for a ride and all I’d talked about was Duck. I opened my door as Rio came and stood on my lap. I foolishly thought he was going to jump down. Nope. He gave me a V-day kiss — well, a kiss with teeth. His head was in front of my face and yeah, he bit my lip. I couldn’t even get a kiss from Duck for a few days.
  • I learned from Rio that dogs really can be as hard-headed as their owners. Rio never backed down from anything. He bit my hands several times when I wasn’t looking. I’d reach down to pick up a ball or toy he was playing with to throw for him, but he didn’t want me to have it. We developed an understanding after the fifth or sixth time. Yes, it took me that long to give up and let Rio have his way. I can be hard-headed too ya know.
  • I’ve been at home for the last 7 years or so and we’d developed a system. Whenever he wanted to go outside to pee, he’d come into my office beside me and jump up on my leg. Not so much jumping the last year or so as he’d gotten older. Whenever he was ready to come back in, he’d come to the back door and paw it. I’d hear him scratching and let him in. So basically our understanding was that I was his slave ๐Ÿ™‚
  • One thing I need to learn from Rio is to meet Duck at the back door, excited, whenever he comes home.
  • I’m most thankful that we were home when Rio passed, and that Duck was with him, petting him when it happened. Rio wasn’t in any pain and went quietly — all answered prayers.

While Rio was mostly Duck’s dog, he was a big part of my life too. The house seems empty without him, but I’m most thankful that he’s not hurting any more. Tomorrow is our 11th wedding anniversary. It’s weird not having Rio around — he, afterall, has been part of Duck’s life longer than I have so far. That’s a long time!

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