Tribute to Gayle Sutton

Gayle Sutton, wife, mother, friend, and PUP family member, passed away on March 28th after a long fight with cancer. Cancer didn’t win every battle though, Gayle did. Cancer was supposed to take her life years ago, but she wouldn’t allow it. She showed us what it really means to fight. I asked her once what she hated most about cancer. She didn’t say the pain, the time spent in treatment, or feeling sick from treatment.  It was the loss of time. Time yet to be spent with her husband Max, her two sons and their families, and all of the dogs she had yet to save.

Gayle lived her life to the fullest, taking care of all those she cared about and loved. She was, as one of our volunteers put it, a PUP icon. She represented all we stand for as a rescue, and more.

Gayle fostered over 80 dogs here at PUP. She was the first to raise her hand to foster a dog off of our shelter transport list. If there was an old dog, a medical needs pup, or a mom and puppies waiting to get in, she’d raise two hands. She took care of each and every one with the love and care she showed to all of us.

As she walked into adoption events, I’d stand back and watch the faces of other PUP volunteers light up around her, hugs and hellos all around. Initially she was also our PUP greeter at events, ensuring the visiting public had what they needed.  She’d answer their questions, representing PUP and what we do here to the highest of standards. This was all done with that warm glow she had for all of us. Toward the end she would still come, even for a short time, to say hello and make sure her latest foster pup got exposure at our event.

As Gayle continued to go through more treatment and become weaker, a few volunteers asked if she should still be fostering. I’d tell them they could tell her she shouldn’t be fostering as I sure wasn’t going to. We’d laugh. Gayle had expressed her wishes and we weren’t getting in the way of that. We knew Gayle was aware of her capabilities and limits and that she would let us know when she wasn’t able to do it anymore, and she did.

Throughout her years with PUP, Gayle shared her wisdom of dogs and life, either through personal time spent with us, or through what we refer to as our “Gaylisms”. We’ve saved and treasured all her quotes. You will see her love, wit, and wisdom shine through in each of them.

As we process this great loss, both personal and to PUP as a whole, we will be ensuring her life as we knew it and that her legacy lives on. Gayle will always remain a part of PUP. She and we would have it no other way. Truth be told, I’m guessing she is already watching over each of us, our dogs, our cats, and the rescue she loved.

Welcome to the amazing woman we were blessed to know for so many wonderful years.

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Our Gaylisms:

On PUP and fostering

Welcome, welcome!  You are joining a great group which has the ongoing hope that we, as a rescue/foster group, will no longer be needed in the future…. However… until then, the howling and loud chorus you may or may not hear in the background is the happy greeting from the various members (I’ve kinda lost count) of the Sutton ex-pen. 

Welcome, welcome, welcome to our slightly off-center group.  We do great things, make each other smile (and sometimes even laugh out loud) and do our dangest to help all the dogs we can to live out their lives in good homes as you already know, having had Olive by your side for a year now. 

As with all rescue groups, PUP is always needing to find “just one more best friend” for our foster dogs.  The work is ongoing, sometimes difficult but, without fail, so very rewarding when you see the rescued one go off with tail wagging, head high into the adventure of a new, loving forever family.  Hope to meet you soon. Gayle, Max and the mighty wonder mutts of the Sutton ex-pen.

We are adding our chorus of welcome from the Sutton ex-pen.  Delighted to have you join us in little dog rescue and a doxie lover to boot!  Two hoo rahs! right from the start.  We are a dedicated group with a slightly off-center sense of humor generally and an undiluted dedication to what we do…..  help the little ones and have a danged good time whilst we do it.  Looking forward to meeting you soon!

We’re not fabulously wealthy “ladies who lunch” and “gentlemen who muse”?  Well dang!  Another image shattered.  I have been calling myself a slacker with only a business to run, grandchildren to watch, a house to keep together and, of course, a rowdy buncha fosters and resident pets.   And I am betting there are many of you who are even busier than I am…… Gayle, from the Sutton ex-pen which is always busy with various and assorted little dogs, permanent family members and those “just passin thru”. 

Max and I are already calling him Chris or Kringle….LOL…. we always mess with stuff and never leave anything alone but then, because we are old, we are allowed a little latitude…. Reference Foster Manual, Page 86, para 3, line 5.  LOL

You are in for a unique treat with the little ones.  And I am talking about the dogs and the rescuers!  We are a goofy group with a firm goal of rescuing and saving as many abandoned and neglected dogs as possible.  The medium and/or larger dog every once in a while slips into the population, knowing what wonderful things PUP can do. 

Welcome and we hope to meet you soon. Paws, feet, tails and hands shaking an enthusiastic welcome!  Max, Gayle and the assorted cuties from the Sutton ex-pen

Since we have a spot open and an extra food dish, one more is manageable. Noting the empty corner in the Sutton ex-pen….

Welcome to the PUP “inner circle”. You will have a great time and reap great rewards from snuggling up with our little guys (as Charlie has already amply demonstrated. LOL).  Hoping to meet you soon.

Welcome, welcome, welcome – sung with much enthusiasm and gusto (but just slightly off tune) from the Sutton ex-pen, represented by the human components, Gayle and Max Sutton, and home to the Sutton furry friends, oops friends. This is a great group, doing great work and having a ton of fun along the way.

Hummmm, first time writer here.  My name is Seamis and I would very much like to meet William because he looks like he would be a fast racer…..I have noticed that one of my foster mates is packing his bag to be ready to return to his real foster mom (Sue) and that would leave a place open for William to stay for a little while until he finds his furever home.  My mom sez I would have to ask because you guys are worried about her but she is fine…at least she never forgets treats for tricks….and there is always room on her lap for ennyone who wants to snuggle.  With head down and eyes everted, I remain… Seamis, racer doxie from the Sutton ex-pen.

You are joining a great group which has the ongoing hope that we, as a rescue/foster group, will no longer be needed in the future…. However… until then, the howling and loud chorus you may or may not hear in the background is the happy greeting from the various members (I’ve kinda lost count) of the Sutton ex-pen. (new foster)

Laura – if you need hospice for the little doxie lady, Max and I can provide……

Ahhhh but it works and we always manage to squeeze “just one more” don’t we?  When my mind is balanced again and I am no longer being lit up with RT, I will be ready to take “just one more” myself.  If your transport foster goes missing this upcoming weekend, don’t be looking in my truck…… LOL.

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On dogs

“I continue to believe that dogs are one of the best species on earth. 

The best we can ask for is the love of a dog.

Humanizing them brings us comfort but in reality compromises their welfare.  My dogs don’t get gifts, they get treats; they don’t get clothes, they get protection from the weather; they don’t get human food, only human-grade food appropriate for their best health. What they do get is my uncompromising respect and love because that is what I am getting in return.

Rules and boundaries are the watch-words here.  We are still apex predators who have chosen to allow dogs (and cats and some other selected domesticates) to accompany us through life.  The price they pay for our company is accommodation to our world within their limitations. Our ultimate responsibility is to make that accommodation worthwhile for them by teaching them the rules and boundaries — balance.   

 Giving of “human” names, trendy haircuts and the like are fun for us – the dog doesn’t know the meaning of his name, only that it summons him or her to a trusted companion.  Trendy haircuts don’t matter a whit and other than acting as an irritant, clothing for any reason (much less fashion) is totally out of their comprehension. ”

On transports

It was a great time.  Everything was so well organized and despite the occasional bursts of “opinion” from Mother Nature, we had a great response from the crowd.  One of these days, John and/or Chad will let me sit in the display pen and play with the puppies….. BTW:  Sorry I called you John, Chad….  an old age moment.. but you were gracious and skillfully overlooked my momentary dementia.  Gayle, peeking through the wires of the ex-pen….

Methinks I will have to hook up the famous Chihuahua pulling team as the designated transport. 

I used to have a burro when I was a kid (my dad smuggled him out of Mexico – loonngggg story which should be told over tequila shots ) 

Wow! Now that’s a J.O.B. for the truly brave and insanely organized! Many thanks from the corner of the Sutton ex-pen. (new transport coordinator)

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On adoption

Heartfelt thanks for all those warm, soft, beautiful souls safe in their forever homes —

Man o man, my eyes are really leaking now.  What a marvelous Christmas message.  Coupled with the granting of my personal wish for Christmas (which happened tonight!!!) that Max (The Pom) find his perfect forever home, I am at peace and feeling truly blessed by knowing all of you. 

This rocks!  Eyes are leaking and heart is soaring……

Happy dancing happening in the Sutton ex-pen

Goes to show that, eventually, the ideal match happens and all will be right with the world.

Happy feet dancing around the Sutton ex-pen!

One more off to heaven on earth….. Dang we (PUP) are good! The rest of the day will be warm and fuzzy…..maybe even have some chocolate in the background……  (on Bullit’s adoption aka Fred now)

On heaven and animal abuse

It is always such a sad time when one of our beloved companions walks across the Rainbow Bridge. Please take comfort in the knowledge that she is resting in the lap of Dog now and preparing for a marvelous reunion with her loving family when the time comes. 

I absolutely believe Dog is waiting for all the bad people and justice will be levied in a righteous and frightful way. (In regards to Maude)

Dog is setting up a fantastic reward for you guys…… unlimited, chocolate- and caramel flavored human-sized Nylabones!   Man o man…..

Please know that Pepper will be remembered by many, loved by all of those who felt her life force and will be waiting for you to resume a wonderful life with you later on in the scheme of things.  All of the Sutton ex-pen

Dog will see that justice is done, no worries. 

Circe and Thalia were two examples of this same type of treatment. They were victims of a Canadian puppy mill. They were beaten, tortured, left with dead puppies in their boxes and finally abandoned. Circe was totally psychotic and obsessive compulsive, fearful of everyone except me. Thalia was a tiny bit more balanced but she had had her teeth forcibly removed with untreated jaw fractures and abscesses which resulted in massive holes in her sinuses so that when she breathed, the skin on her stop rippled in and out and she had chronic infections all her life. She was a bit more calm and bonded to me. They were pathologically bonded to each other and could not be separated for any length of time, ever. Thalia made the choice to trust me and gave me her entire heart and soul. Circe loved me as best she could because Thalia pledged her troth. They found as much peace and levelness as they could absorb while they lived with us until the days each of them died and I was with them then, always comforting them. 

Their memorial stones say it all. “Circe, Circe, Circe, You did the best you could” and “Thalia. Semper Fi”.  (her love and compassion knows no bounds)

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Notes from Gayle 

I have always been credited with (or accused of) having a vacuum cleaner mind – suck up any odd and sundry tidbits.  Words and names are a great source of amusement for me.

Ducking and scuttling across the floor in a pancake posture, cackling evilly.

From the pillow cases and quilting scraps in the Sutton ex-pen, we wish all a very big BOO!!

Dodging the slings and arrows raining down upon the Sutton  ex-pen from the politically correct

Wandering aimlessly around the Sutton ex-pen, dodging the flaming orb rays coming in through the windows.

Geriatric tango —- touch noses, back up, advance, circle each other a few times, pause for a drink, repeat.  Too funny to watch. Ears in the full upright locked position and tails curled over the back…. cue the castanets and flamenco guitars….

Something about sometimes forgetting where you’ve been in the rush of life. All you have to do is look at the path/steps of love. All those pups and all their people!

We will continue to endeavor to persevere.   Rock on, folks!

Curling up in the Sutton ex-pen with my rowdy bunch.

Sweet dreams all.

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