The Norman Transcript

September 15, 2013

September has always been full of sunshine for me

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — September has always had a special place in my heart.

It’s not only because the temperatures are starting to dip and as everyday closes I know I’m one step closer to wearing a sweater.

It’s not because September is usually the time when stores start stocking Halloween candy, although that is a big perk. And it’s not because it’s the beginning of football season for my husband and the beginning of unsupervised shopping season for me.

The last nine Septembers have been especially meaningful to me because it’s the month we adopted a 60-pound ball of fur and energy, Sunshine Marie. To most, Sunshine looks like a dog, but to her parents, she is a blessing we never expected to have. Her adoption fee was $10, since she had all of her shots and had been spayed — a small price to pay for a best friend.

Sunshine’s adoption was the first major decision my husband and I made together. Well, I made the decision she was going to come home with us, but the real work was convincing him of that. It didn’t take too much effort, as he also fell in love with her the first time he saw her.

I always say that Sunshine adopted us. I had the opportunity to meet her first as I was volunteering at the shelter she just so happened to land herself in. I always think back to the day I first saw her. She was in the worst place possible but was just as happy as she could be.

She didn’t care that she was confined to a small space. She didn’t care she had to spend her days and nights on a concrete floor. Her energy and her overall happiness truly were an inspiration.

Soon, we found out that Sunshine has a personality all on her own. She lets you know when she’s happy with her big, sweeping tail. Many a picture frame has become a victim to that tail. One happy swoosh, and it’s to the ground with glass breaking and a human scurrying to find the broom.

She lets you know, a lot, when she is not happy. And lately, she lets you know when she doesn’t feel well.

Unfortunately, those days are happening more and more. Since she was a rescue dog, we never really have figured out exactly how old our Sunshine Marie is.

Some days she acts older than other days. Some days we look at each other and I can tell she and I are feeling about the same way. It’s hard to get up. It’s hard to stay awake, and sometimes it’s just hard to get to the places we want to be.

As we both age, I’ve started a morning tradition with Sunshine. Every morning, I wake up, roll over to see if she’s still in bed — she usually is — and I give her a pat on the head and a kiss on the nose.

She seems to always have a worried look on her face in the mornings. She knows for the next eight hours or so, it’s her responsibility to take care of the house and get all the rest she can before I get home in the evening so she can make sure she follows me everywhere I go. I always tell, her that she has nothing to worry about as long as I love her, and I’ll love her forever.

I also remind her that God has blessed us each with another day, so let’s feel grateful — which isn’t hard to do when you have a great friend like Sunshine.

Shana Adkisson