Sully Ann Gustafson
April 21, 2000 - Dec 28, 2011
I got Sully in 2004 as a kind of "trade in" deal...I had gotten Abbee, who has since left for the Bridge, and she proved a little too high strung for our lifestyle at the time, so I asked Brenda if I could return her and adopt Sully. She was a gorgeous, buff, blonde girl. A bit timid, but a sweetheart right off the bat. Kimme immediately bonded with her and they had a ball together chasing each other around the pool, making a track out of our nice lawn. They hunted rabbits in the yard together, barked at every squirrel trying to make its way across the back tree line, and were in their glory on their walks and rides in the car. They slept next to each other, ate together, went to the greysitter together, to meet and greets, and just basically loved each other.
Sully wasn't overly open with her affection, though she enjoyed getting attention at the M&G's, she would often be the one to lie down while Kimme was still getting affectionate strokes at the fence. She did, though, have the most "soulful" eyes. It was like she looked at me and just "connected." She was a tough girl, too, nothing like her sister Kimme, the "drama queen." One evening before I was about to leave for work, some scuffle broke out between them just for a second. I hollered something like, "knock it off," Kimme went to her bed. I looked down and saw blood on the floor; Sully was just standing there. Then I noticed that the top of her ear was gone!! I looked over to the path Kimme took to her bed, and on the ground she must have dropped the ear. So much for work, we were off to Henrietta to the emergency vet (because these things ALWAYS happen to us on a weekend night!!!). I ended up missing the first 4 hours of my 12 hour shift. She had all kinds of battle scars from the track already, what's one messed up ear?! She used to always come to the door after playing in the yard with some sort of scratch, gouge, skin tear or ripped off nail, and never a peep out of her. What a trooper she was, my sweet girl.
She let me cut her nails, scale her teeth ,bathe her, lay on her, suffocate her with hugs...anything without a fuss. Besides all the first aid treatments, she had to be the most maintenance free, easy dog I've ever had the privilege to love. (Oh, I forgot about her digging holes to lay in, and escaping from the yard for a neighborhood chase...ok, besides that!!!)
My life will never be without the gentle presence of a grey, but it will never be the same after being touched by such a gentle soul as Sully. Over the past year, she began to lose weight, and all of those finely defined muscles just began to atrophy. Her hair began to come out in scattered patches and on her tail. Her thyroid wasn't working, making her hungry ALL the time. She made it her mission to try to eat her little sister Bailee's food whenever she could sneak under the dining room table. Thirsty all the time, which led to peeing all the time. When she began to bleed from the mouth I had to make the decision that I had never wanted to, or kept putting off. I took her in to the fabulous staff at East Ridge Animal Hospital, to make her trip to the Rainbow Bridge. I want to thank them so much for their patience, understanding, and sincere kindness that day. They were absolutely wonderful. I helped Sully up onto the big scale on the fluffy blanket they put there for her, and helped her lay down. She didn't move, she just lay there and let me pet her, tell her that I loved her, and cry, just as I am doing now as I write this. Only when I was ready, which probably would have been never unless her mouth didn't begin bleeding again on their blanket, did they come in and send her to sleep. It was very peaceful.
My heart has a hole in it, and she will always have a piece of it with her. I am glad that she will not hunger or thirst anymore, and will be able to run free with God and all of his creatures that have gone before. I have her to look forward to, to greet me when it is my time. How I long to look into her beautiful big brown eyes again. Rest in peace my Sully girl, my angel.
“It came to me that every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart.... If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”—Unknown