Oct. 13 1979 —- June 6 1993
Terrier / Mix
Suzie was a dog like no other.
My mom brought her home in a box from the humane society
in November of 1979 when I was just 7 years old.
From that moment on Suzie and I were inseparable.
Suzie was an incredibly smart dog and she was trained very easily.
She was always with me and everyone in the neighbourhood new
and loved her. Whenever I would go out to play she would come with me.
She played soccer and tag and hide-n-seek with me and my friends
and it was like everyone just accepted her as part of the group.
In the fall we would go on long hikes on the nature trails it was one
of Suzie’s favorite activities trotting along in the cool autumn air with
her nose to the ground exploring all the forest smells.
Every October we would have a small birthday celebration for her
so she really was just like part of the family.
She loved pancakes and whenever she smelled them cooking
she would sit by the stove and wait for hers.
This became her traditional birthday breakfast.
Suzie was quite patient with me as a child. She would always come
out for Hallowe’en with me and of course I would always insist that
she get dressed up too. I would put clown collars or bandanas,
or baseball hats on her and she just endured it all.
The neighbours would give her dog cookies or other treats as she
went door-to-door with me so it wasn’t all bad for her.
Suzie sure did have some moments over the years.
I remember one Christmas we had set out a large cheese plate on
the coffee table for everyone to snack on before the big meal was ready.
Before all the family came over my mom my sister and I were busy
getting things ready setting the table etc.. Well I remember suddenly
hearing a shriek as my mom went to put something in the
living room – Suzie had eaten ALL the cheese!!
We expected she would later have a tummy ache but she was fine
and very content with her full little belly.
You can bet we never left appetizers on the table after that though.
When Suzie was a little over 4 years old we had our first scare with her.
It was winter and she ran out the front door one morning to go
‘help’ my mom put out the garbage. She slipped on the icy sidewalk
and then she couldn’t get up again.
My mom rushed her to the vet right away and we were told Suzie
had slipped a disk in her back. The vet wanted to keep her
overnight and see if she would improve but there was
only about a 50/50 chance.
I was worried sick about my best friend and I remember praying for
her that night with tears in my eyes. Luckily the vet called the
following afternoon and Suzie was okay to come home but she
would need to be careful now for the rest of her life.
It didn’t really slow Sue down too much though and although we
were more careful with her especially in the winter she was still as
happy and active as ever.
She came on all of our family vacations with us and never minded
the long car rides or being left in hotels while we went sightseeing.
She loved camping and swimming and she even went swimming
in the ocean in Prince Edward Island on one vacation much to our dismay.
She was on antibiotics at the time for Bronchitis which she
suffered from often in her life.
We had left her wrapped in blanket on the beach while we
went for a quick swim.
When we turned around there was Suzie swimming after us.
What a dog!
When I was about 13 years old I became very ill.
I had to do my school year at home with special tutors and I spent
a lot of time at the hospital. Suzie was always by my bedside
throughout my illness which lasted nearly 3 years until I had
2 major surgeries to remove my large intestine.
On those long days while I was alone unable to go out and
play with my friends she kept me company and followed me around
the house watching me to make sure I was okay.
I don’t think I could of got through it all without her.
One of the funniest incidents I remember with Suzie was on one
of her Fall hikes. I was 16 at the time and my boyfriend and I decided
to take Suzie for her walk one afternoon.
We drove to a nearby nature trail and started off on the hike.
Now one of Suzie’s most annoying habits was that despite the
fact that she was never on a leash she always ‘heeled’ literally!
She would walk so close to your feet that you would often trip over her!
Well she was doing this to my boyfriend and he got a bit frustrated
and firmly told her to stop it.
Well Suzie lived a pampered life and no one ever raised their voice
to her so this put her out a bit.
She stopped dead and then turned and ran faster then I’d ever
seen her run in the opposite direction.
I called to her and ran after her in a panic afraid she would get lost
or hurt but she was going so fast I couldn’t catch up to her.
When I got back to the parking lot there was Suzie sitting by the
car door with her back to me and her nose in the air.
She was mad at me!! I was being snubbed by a dog.
I picked her up and gave her a big hug I was just so happy she was okay.
She forgave me in a heartbeat and licked my face until I had to
finally push her away!
In October of 1992 we noticed a lump on Suzie’s ‘knee’ joint on
one of her front legs. She was due for her annual vaccines so when we
took her to the vet we had them check out the lump at the same time.
They did a biopsy and a few days later we received the worst news possible.
Suzie had cancer. The vet felt that at 13 years old Suzie was too
old to undergo surgery to remove the affected leg.
We were told she only had about 3 months to live.
I cried for days knowing that I was soon going to lose my best friend.
I was 20 years old and was getting married but it was so hard to be happy.
I spoiled Suzie rotten from that day on.
She got so many treats – I would even make her her own steak
for supper some nights.
In late January I found out I was expecting my first child.
Suzie’s lump was getting bigger but she was still active and otherwise healthy.
She went to the vet about every month so they could monitor the growth.
By late spring her leg was beginning to weaken.
She had already well surpassed the 3 months the vet had predicted
and I was beginning to wonder if maybe this amazing dog would have
survived the surgery. Unfortunately by this time it was too late even to try.
The cancer was spreading.
On June 6 1993 the decision was made to have Suzie put to sleep.
It was the hardest decision I have ever made but she was starting to
show signs of being in pain and I didn’t want her to suffer.
I was 6 months pregnant at the time and it was a very emotional
time for me. I cried for a week after her death.
I still love Suzie very much to this day.
I have a wonderful black lab now named Sydney and although I
absolutely adore her and treat her like my baby there will
never be another Suzie.
I miss you little girl.
You will remain in my heart forever.