Thanksgiving Eve I lost my last and most loved dog.
She was named Sunshine after the song 'You Are My Sunshine' because she lighted up my life.
Sunny was my first little dog. She was about five weeks old and weighed two pounds when I found her on Petfinder and sent in an application to adopt her.
Her mother and two siblings had been found abandoned in a ditch. Breed was a total mystery, even in the mother's generation.
A few weeks later we took a trip to Big Rapids and brought her home.
When she was three months old Sunny and I started doggy school together. She loved obedience from the very beginning and learned quickly. We won the award for best in the class and continued obedience for the next six years until her arthritis got so bad I couldn't let her jump hurdles.
This is our graduation picture from puppy class.
Whatever her genes, she had a strong kill instinct for her favorite toy, a green rubber turtle. She fetched them and shook them until they were dead. I bought all I could find and kept extras in a drawer for when replacements were needed.
She loved to sit and bask in the sun.
Sunny had a strong herding instinct and didn't play well with other dogs. She tried to herd them.
People would ask what breed she was and sometimes I would tell them 'at least a third generation designer dog.' (That means unrecognizable mutt.) This went over most people's heads, so when I didn't want to explain I would answer 'I don't know but definitely something that herds.'
Her curly, unruly coat collected ice balls in the snow so she wore a jacket for winter walks.
Sunny had many orthopedic problems and got through the muscle spasms and pain taking strong steroids which eventually resulted in serious biochemical problems. She rarely whined and she didn't let her problems get in the way of what she wanted to do.
About five years ago her long time veterinarian told me, 'She can't walk, but she's a dog and doesn't know she can't walk.'
Even though she was mostly blind, she moved into our new house, learned her way around, and settled in like she owned it.
Rest in peace Sunny. I'll see you at the Rainbow Bridge and you can herd me in.