Suki was just a 5 pound peanut when we adopted her from Animal Control in Phoenix, Arizona. There was a bit of a learning curve for her when it came to being a desert dog – she fell into a swimming pool and ran face first into a cactus her first week home. (Once was enough for the pool, but she never did quite figure out the cactus thing as we discovered years later while hiking through the desert. Fortunately she was a good sport about getting needles removed from her face.)
Suki adored little animals. She played with our pet ferrets and helped us raise multiple litters of foster kittens. Some of those fosters became failures and Suki mothered those cats for the rest of her life.
As sweet as she was, Suki also had enough sass to keep us laughing. She once hid a huge, raw pig foot under a pillow on our bed. She loved to climb and when she got tired of dealing with her annoying little brother, she’d get herself up onto the dining room table to escape. (She also always climbed onto vet examination tables, which never failed to get a laugh.)
When Suki was nine we moved to Oregon. She finally got a yard with grass instead of rocks! (And a fig tree, much to her delight.) We took her on beach trips and on hikes through forests. She ran wild at Thousand Acres park, making friends and only falling into the river once. We were able to introduce her to so many wonderful things and even though her arthritis and hip dysplasia were getting worse she was able to explore everywhere and run around happily.
Then, in 2018, Suki was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. We were devastated, scared, and unsure what to do. She was almost 14 years old and already had so many orthopedic problems – was amputation the right thing to do?
We considered our options, went ahead with the amputation, and then met with Dr. Freeman and the staff at VCSS to begin treatment.
Despite our worries, Suki adjusted to life on three legs. She powered through cancer treatments with her usual sweetness and of course, a touch of sass. She sailed past one year post-op, still cheerful and willing to go on (shorter) adventures. Then two years! We celebrated her 16th birthday with a hot dog party in the front yard. Sixteen years of love and laughter with the very best dog we’ve ever known.
In June of this year we had to say goodbye to our precious girl. She went peacefully, at home in our arms.
We are so grateful to Dr. Freeman and everyone at VCSS for treating Suki like a princess and giving us so much more time with her than we expected. Somehow we were in the right place at the right time for her to have the best care in the world.
Suki was a once-in-a-lifetime dog and we will miss her, love her, and remember her forever.