Sugar is an example of the wonderful ways rescued pets can surprise us, how when given a proper chance, with encouragement and kindness, they can become so much more than anybody originally expected.
We fostered Sugar in 2007. She was such a shy dog that for the first day, she never left the corner of the room.
Sugar was wary of every human being when she initially came to us. Because of this, I considered her one of our harder to adopt cases. It would take a special person to welcome into their life a dog that seemingly didn't want to be there, and to have the patience to take things slow.
Sugar was eventually adopted. Despite the extensive interview, home check, and meet-and-greet to better ensure it was a good match, I was still anxious about how she would do in a new environment.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I heard years later that she had become an official service dog when her adoptive mom became ill. Sugar even took the bus and made trips to the hospital with her mom.
Sugar was a loyal, protective, and loving companion to her mom for over a decade, meeting and befriending a vast array of people. Even today, I still find her transformation incredible, going from the scared little girl who barely moved when I first met her to the confident, spirited dog that diligently served by her mom's side and who brought such joy to many people's lives along the way.
When her mom became too ill to care for Sugar in 2021, we welcomed her back into our home "for her retirement," as her mom liked to say.
Sugar crossed the bridge earlier in July at the age of 16 (at least), and remained a trooper to the end. I am so proud of her. It was our honor to have been part of her journey.
Every rescued pet we've fostered has inspired us to help more. In loving memory of Sugar, we will be donating all proceeds from our current sale to animal rescue, up to $10,000. There are so many wonderful dogs and cats in shelters and rescue organizations, just waiting for a chance to shine.