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Suki Roth (2002-2018)

Friday, February 9, 2018 2:50
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Regular readers of this blog are familiar with my dog Suki, who I’ve mentioned in more than a dozen posts. Suki passed away this week. She was a wonderful dog and I miss her dearly.

Suki and I used to take long walks when I would listen to audio books, such as The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Musicophilia, Destiny of the Republic, Galileo’s Daughter, and First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin. This list just scratches the surface. On my Goodreads account, I have a category called “listened-to-while-dog-walking” that includes 84 books, all of which Suki and I enjoyed together. 

In my post about the Physics of Phoxhounds, I mentioned that a photo of Suki and me (right) was included in Barb Oakley’s book A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra). Recently I learned that Barb’s book has sold over 250,000 copies, making Suki something of a celebrity.

Suki helped me explain concepts from Intermediate Physics For Medicine and Biology, such as age-related hearing loss and the biomechanics of fleas. Few people knew that she had this secret career in biomedical education!

Thanks to Dr. Kelly Totin, and before her Dr. Ann Callahan, and all the folks at Rochester Veterinary Hospital for taking such good care of Suki. In particular I appreciate Dr. Totin’s help during Suki’s last, difficult days. As she said near the end, her focus was on the quality of Suki’s time left rather than the quantity; an important life lesson for us all.

I’ll close with a quote from one of my favorite authors, James Herriot. In his story “The Card Over The Bed,” the dying Miss Stubbs asks Herriot, a Yorkshire vet, if she will see her pets in heaven. She was worried because she had heard claims that animals have no soul. Herriot responded “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. You’ve nothing to worry about there.”

Suki resting

 Suki with her nephew Auggie
Suki with all five editions of IPMB
Suki (right), her niece Smokie (the Greyhound, center), 
and her nephew Auggie (the Foxhound, left), 
about to get treats from my wife Shirley
Suki and me, 15 years ago

 Young Suki


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