My current baby is Sugar, and she is as sweet as her name implies. She is a Bichon Frise and a fluffy little lap-sitter who loves to be petted. She is also not the first Bichon I’ve had; she is the third and every one of them has held a special place in my heart.
Sugar’s predecessor was Katie, a rescued Bichon. When we adopted Katie she was ten months old and weighed less than eight pounds. I don’t think she was abused but I do believe she was ignored. I think she spent long hours in a cage and began barking for attention.
When we brought Katie home, we gave her a comfy bed and more toys that she would ever need, but she wandered through the house like she was looking for something. Afraid that she might get into something harmful while we were asleep, we went out and bought a crate for her to sleep in. When she saw Dick putting the crate together, she all but danced for joy. She knew the crate meant she was staying. After a few weeks of sleeping in the crate, she discovered sleeping on the people bed was much better. And that’s where she slept for the rest of her life.
Unfortunately we lost Katie after only nine years. She developed a squamous-cell carcinoma on the underside of her tongue and it was inoperable. I can’t even begin to count the tears I cried over losing her. That loss drove me to write Cupid’s Christmas, a novel that features Katie’s picture on the front cover. We donate a portion of the proceeds of that book to the Treasure Coast No-Kill Animal Shelter in her memory.
A dog is loyal, faithful and true. A dog will love you when you are unlovable, curl up beside you when you are sick and make you smile when you are sad. Leave a dog alone for five minutes and when you return, she is overjoyed to see you. You will never have a better friend than a dog. Sugar is more than my friend, she is my muse. She sits in my lap all day while I am working and forces me to take go-for-a-walk breaks every now and then.
After Katie passed away, we waited for about four months before buying another dog. I can honestly tell you that those four months the days I spend in my office were a lot longer and lonelier. It’s very hard to let go of a dog you’ve loved and it’s not all that easy to let another one into your heart. For months, I compared Sugar to Katie, but little by little she worked her way into my heart. I will never stop loving Katie, but now I will never stop loving Sugar also.
It’s a funny thing about your heart, the more love you give… the bigger it grows.