Sugar is our greyhound/lab/other unknown breeds that we got from Dumb Friends League two summers ago. She was 8 months at the time and horribly malnourished. When we got to Dumb Friends League, the puppy we wanted to look at had been claimed. So had the next three we wanted to meet.
Sugar (although she wasn’t called that – they called her Zoe), was newly transferred to that location. They brought her out while we were standing there. She was so pretty, but thin. And we asked to see her. They took us to a little room to wait for her while they brought her out to us.
After a few minutes, we became impatient. We kept peeking out the door and down the hall. We saw her. She was walking so nicely on her leash. She came into the room and we sat on the floor petting her and talking to her. She gave me a kiss on the hand. She was so sweet. The boys and I were in love. We decided that we wanted to adopt her. She needed to stay at the shelter for another two days as she needed to be fixed and we weren’t going to be home the night that we could pick her up. But they wanted us to name her. Right then. We were having a tough time figuring out what to call her. We talked about things that were sweet – I remember suggesting Kiwi and the boys laughing – and we settled on Sugar.
Two days later we picked her up. She seemed so happy to be leaving with us. She sat in the van, in the middle seat, with one boy on each side of her. She was wonderful.
What we didn’t know was that she had been abused. She was afraid of the broom. She was afraid of strangers. She was afraid of going into the bathroom. She was afraid, a lot. Sudden moves that she didn’t expect and trying to physically move her were the worst. She would run away from you. Her ears would go back and her tail would go down. Sometimes she would shake, she was so afraid. When she was afraid, she never growled. She never snapped.
She didn’t know how to catch. She wasn’t sure what to do when we tried to play with her. It was very strange. I’ve never known a retriever that didn’t know how to catch. You could throw the ball and have it bounce on her nose and she wouldn’t open her mouth to catch it.
She made us laugh and she was ours. She seemed to know some basic commands like sit and get down. And she could walk nicely on a leash, if there weren’t rabbits around to distract her. I think that her favorite thing to do is to chase rabbits. I’m not sure that she would know what to do with one if she ever caught it, but she loves chasing them.
Chris took her for clicker training and she wouldn’t cooperate. She could care less about the treats he was trying to give her for doing what he wanted. She would just wait and take them when he would give up. She wouldn’t do what she was supposed to do for the instructor either. Chris was supposed to be responsible for her training (I was working on my Master’s when we got her) and then he was diagnosed with cancer. So Sugar never got properly trained.
She will be 3 in October and I’m not sure that there is any chance of her getting her trained. The time and energy required to train her is not available. She listens pretty well and she is very smart. Very smart. She can open her cage door
and close it (when it isn’t latched). She knows the command “Cage” and will go and open the door and get inside her cage. Yes, she is still in a cage. She seems to get bored when we aren’t home and gets into trouble.
She knows that when she is pacing at the door,
we will call David to take her out. This is usually after she has tried to walk from the door to his room several times to get his attention. As soon as we call David, she gets excited because she knows that he is coming to take her out. She jumps and jumps while she is waiting for him.
Sugar is happiest when all of us are home. She knows our routines and what we are all supposed to do when our schedules are consistent. When someone isn’t here when she thinks they are supposed to be, she seems anxious and won’t settle down. But when all of us are here, she climbs on the couch and goes to sleep.
She loves the water. I would love to take her to Barker Days (after the community pool closes for the season here in Parker, they open the pool for several hours just for the dogs to swim). But I am afraid that she would be overwhelmed and she would not be happy with so many other dogs. She sometimes does fine with other dogs, sometimes she doesn’t. I’m not sure why that is.
She has had many, many escapades in her 2 years with us. I expect that she will continue to have adventures, she is just that kind of dog. She makes us laugh. She loves to cuddle and she is sweeter than sugar. Happy Anniversary, Sugar! We are so glad that you are home with us.
Look for more about Sugar in future blogs.