#156 Sugar

GSRNE #156
8/2/2001 – 4/17/2015 


We’ve all heard of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but what do you call a Labrador retriever in German shepherd’s clothing? We call her Sugar! That’s the name she came with and it fits her so very well. She is as sweet as sugar and has never met anyone that she didn’t like.

Sugar came to live with us when she was 15 months old, a few days before Thanksgiving in 2003, which was very appropriate. With Sugar at our house, we had much to be thankful for. She was totally accepting of us from the start, embracing our home and extended family as well as all the grandchildren. She also came with a few infirmities.

At 8 months of age, while running loose in her neighborhood, she was hit by a car and suffered a broken left hip and cracked pelvis. The only saving grace was that she was turned over to the Animal Control Officer by her owners as an alternative to euthanasia. She received much-needed surgery and was left to recuperate in a local kennel. After spending several months in different kennels, she eventually came to the attention of GSRNE who evaluated her and found her to be a happy-go-lucky, eager to please adolescent who loved life and everything in it! She went to live in Penny & Stephen Cooper’s wonderful foster home and thrived on their devoted attention and care. At 15 months of age, it was now our turn to welcome her into her forever home.

Sugar has lived up to her name in many ways. Even though a year later, she had to endure another surgery and long months of physical therapy and chiropractic care, the ordeal has never quenched her sweet nature or her indomitable and loving spirit.

At home Sugar is crazy about her large plastic ball that she maneuvers with the dexterity of a soccer player. One of our sons enjoys coming over with his son to have a brisk game of soccer with her, much to her everlasting delight! In the morning, if she is outside by herself, she will scratch at the door, but not to come in. She will stand and wait, with a quizzical look on her face, asking for her big red ball. Unfortunately we have lost a few wooden picket fences and lattice work to her eager play drive. If the ball rolls up against them, and we’re not there to stop her, she dismantles the lattice into pieces or takes off the pickets one by one in her excitement.

She also enjoys trying to launch a surprise attack on squirrels. Every morning, as she is let out onto the deck and yard, she sprints out the door just in time to see a wily squirrel disappearing up a tree. Sometimes I will find her sitting on the deck in the rain, patiently waiting for that squirrel to reappear.

Sugar has brought so much to our lives; she is our fourth shepherd out of six dogs. Each one has been a love affair and has stolen our hearts. We would like to thank GSRNE so very much for taking the time and expertise to find us our forever match.

Gail & Ken Van Hoesen


It is with a broken heart that I let you know that our beloved Sugar, GSRNE #156, went to Heaven last Friday. I had to make the awful decision not to prolong her life any longer as she could hardly get up off her bed many times and her quality of life was not acceptable, even though she remained stoic with her injury, had a good appetite and hopped around a little when I went out with her to play “soccer” with her favorite large, hard plastic ball. It had been 16 months since she injured the discs in her back in an accident during a car ride. She held her own for a little while but then began the long dark slide to infirmity. Once a week, all during that time, I took her to laser therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture (alternating), and they were able to provide some level of comfort but not enough to stay the inevitable. She remained a loving, happy and all-round sweetheart of a dog until and through the end. Even the vet said she was the sweetest shepherd she had the privilege of treating. We were honored to share our lives with her and thank GSRNE so much for trusting us with her. She would have been 14 years old on August 2.

gail & ken

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