A dog fills a big hole in your family, and leaves a bigger one when they die

Sully (2008-2021)

“The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.”

Martin Luther

I want to start by saying this has been one of the worst weekends I’ve ever experienced. My dog Sully, a West Highland Terrier, died on Friday. He was 13 years old. He died here, in my home, quite suddenly. We found out the day before from the vet that he had an undiagnosed heart murmur. We were supposed to take him back the next week for an echocardiogram, but his little heart couldn’t wait. He died so fast we never had time to react. My wife and I just had to watch him die. I could stop crying, begging for him to stay with us, but he was gone.

Sully was born on December 8, 2008, with a Westie breeder in Missouri. I found her online and, when I saw this adorable face, I fell in love. I bought Sully for $450 and he was meant to be a surprise gift for my wife, but like most wives, she found out I spent the money before I could pick him up. So, we drove to the airport with our kids and we picked him up. He was sent to us on a plane. When we went to claim him, we found this adorable little puppy trembling in his crate. My wife pulled him out and just held him the whole way home. We all loved him.

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.”

M.K. Clinton

Sully was, in my opinion, the best dog. He was obedient, took to training well, was not destructive, and did nothing but love us as much as we loved him. He gave kisses all the time, always waited by the door for you to come home, and kept the squirrels in check year round. He always knew which shopping bags his treats were in and loved to play soccer with his wibble-wobble ball.

He loved long walks, belly rubs, and playing in the snow. When we lived in Newport News, VA, Sully loved to run out in the yard. During our time here in Alexandria, VA, we lived in an apartment high-rise, but that didn’t phase Sully. He loved going in our walks outside, meeting dogs from the other buildings, and playing in the dog park. He was a playful, loving dog who never barked or bit at anyone. He only gave love to everyone he met.

My apartment seems so empty now. I look around and he’s not there. His bed is gone, his toys packed away. We kept his collar and his two favorite toys as keepsakes. We gave some of his other toys to my children as remembrances of Sully for them. The hardest part is our daily schedule. It usually revolved around Sully… feeding, walking, and bedtime. That is a hard adjustment to make.

I woke up the other morning from a dream where Sully was walking between my wife and me. As I woke up, I thought I heard the jingle of his collar. That’s when it hit me. He will always be with us, our little guardian angel.

# # #

Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.

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