I was looking through Drs. Susan and Craig’s computer when I found this letter they wrote about Newton, their Golden Retriever.  I have the big job of following in Newton’s footsteps.  Read their letter below.


Wardrip, Newton


Some of you may have noticed that our dog, Newton is no longer hanging around the clinic.  Unfortunately, we said goodbye to him on December 2, 2010.  It was an extremely difficult decision but he let us know without a doubt that it was time.  He lived a long and wonderful life.  He was 16 years and 8 months.  I would have never thought when we got him over 16 years ago that we would have him that long.  We have been with many of you when you said goodbye to your pets.  We lose a little piece of our hearts with the loss of each of your pets.  I will have to say that the loss of Newton was like a major heart attack.  It felt like my soul was ripped from my body.  Newton was not only my constant shadow at home but he was my constant companion at work also.  We were together almost 24/7.  I was rarely out of his sight.  If I even went to the mailbox without him. I would find him inside the door upset that I left him for a minute.  He did have a mild case of separation anxiety when it came to me.

I would like to say that he was the perfect dog (he was of course).  He did have a few minor flaws.  Newton did manage to peel the drywall off the laundry room wall when he was confined as a puppy.  Once he had free rein of the house he was fine.  The laundry wall was never repaired.  Craig calls it Newton’s art work.  And there was the time that he ate the top off of my chocolate chip muffin (the best part) off the kitchen counter, the only time he took anything off the counter.

He did have some memorable moments.  I used to take  him to preschools when I talked to children about what I do and about pets.  I had a group of four year olds in a circle around Newton on the floor.  They were taking turns listening to his heart with a stethoscope.  I looked down at Newton and one little boy had his fingers up to the second  joint in Newton’s nose.  Newton just laid there and didn’t move, always the gentleman.

He was known to protect us also.  One morning I took Becky to school, and when I returned home to get ready for work they had blocked off my street.  Newton was riding shotgun.  Unfortunately I rolled down his window to speak to the supervisor.  The supervisor came up to the window to talk to me.  Fortunately I was extremely quick. because mild mannered Newton decided the supervisor was a threat to me and tried to tear him apart.  Nice to know if I ever needed protection he had me covered.

As he got older and younger dogs joined the family we had to sadly watch Newton get herded to the back of the pack.  Rocky, our Mother’s dog, and Hudson, our son and daughter-in-law’s dog, always wanted to be first out, first in the car, first to get a cookie, etc.  Newton always rode shotgun in the car and he never gave up his seat to those youngsters.  I loved that he held on to his seat.

He got a little grabby with cookies as he got older and didn’t see well.  We were worried a little about Newton with our first grandchild, Marissa.  He was always the great dog we knew he was.  Marissa fell on top of him and he just looked at her like that’s what babies do, it’s okay.

When we adopted Newton, the kids were all ready and had been for months.  Our dog, Lo, that we adopted from vet school was over seventeen when we lost him.  Newton came into our lives and I was a little hesitant.  I didn’t think I was ready.  By the end of the afternoon, I was a marshmallow, totally in love with him.  Our daughter, Jean, named him Newton, as in Isaac not fig.  We all agreed we could live with the name Newton.  It fit him perfectly.

So my heart is slowly mending but there will always be a big chunk missing.  I can occasionally talk about Newton without crying but it is difficult.  The next dog in the Wardrip house has some very special paws to fill.

Sue (& Craig)

As you can tell I have a difficult job ahead of me but Sue whispers in my ear all the time that she loves me and that I am a great dog that is just as special as Newton.

                                                                                     Jackson Zebulon Xanthus Wardrip

P.S. You can go to our website to the In Memoriam page and send a flower, send love or light a candle in loving memory of a special pet.