Sundae’s Life is Short: Vegas Bright is on Indefinite Hiatus


UPDATE: On August 2nd, the day this article posted, Sundae took a turn for the worse. She was no longer able to get up. Although we helped her up, she wasn’t able to stay up for more than a couple of minutes before collapsing. We knew it was time. Sundae spent most of her last day surrounded by her people, her family, cheeseburgers and Christmas lights. She went peacefully at the vet’s office on a warm blanket with some of her favorite stuffed animals while Angie and I cradled her head, petting her, telling her we loved her and thanking her for all the joy she has given us. We’re glad we were there right up to her last breath as our final gift to her. Sundae never made a lot of noise as she got older, but the silence she leaves behind is so very loud.

I wish I didn’t have to write this post.

It isn’t so much the post, but the reason behind it. Sundae is my dog. As she has gotten older (13 years old, the typical life expectancy of a Siberian Husky is 12 years, and in rarer cases, 15 years) she has lost some of her spark but has always been happy and independent (as Huskies like to be). She had developed arthritis earlier in the year which means she walks a little slower; she pivots instead of turning while walking, she’s a slow riser. But for the most part, happy as can be. Last week my wife and I noticed she was more sluggish and had a sudden unusual swelling around her neck and other parts of her body. This warranted a trip to the vet. Late last week we received word from Sundae’s vet that Sundae has a very aggressive lymphoma. Yesterday, bearing in mind Sundae’s advanced age, and the advancement of her arthritis, the vet advised against chemotherapy. He said Sundae has “days, not weeks, not months” to live.

My wife and I know it will be in the best interest of Sundae’s quality of life, to send her across the Rainbow Bridge when the time is right. Her vet said that Sundae would let us know when that time is. She’ll stop eating; she won’t get up, she’ll have no interest in anything (even people food). That is when my wife and I will bring her in to the vet and we will be with Sundae until her last breath.

Back in California, in 2009 (two weeks before my very first Vegas trip) I met Sundae (then, named “Star” by the pound) at a doggie adoption day at Petco. That’s where my housemate Eric, (who also owned the house) and I first met her. After spending the day at various dog adoption fairs looking for a suitable playmate for his dog (Dakota) we were headed back home empty handed. I remembered that Dakota was running out of dog food so we stopped off at Petco on the way. Unexpected to us, Petco was also having a Dog Adoption day.

As we walked in the place was littered with loud yippie dogs in cages, and then there was this quiet, sweet Siberian Husky just minding her own business. She was initially found by a rescue group after she was hit by a car. They contacted her owner who didn’t want her back. She was put in a pound, and the pound folks did everything they could to give her a fair chance at adoption. The rescue group paid for treatment of her broken leg, the pound trained her in various skills. However, adopters were only interested in puppies. That same rescue group picked up Sundae to bring to Petco for adoption day. Sundae had four days left before being euthanized at the pound.

Sundae and Dakota seemed to hit it off, so we asked to take Sundae out of her cage. We walked Dakota and Sundae together outside to see how they would behave; they were fast friends. Eric was still on the fence, as he wanted a Golden Retriever. I said something to the effect of  “You’ve been to four doggie adoption fairs today strictly for Golden Retrievers and came back with nothing. Meanwhile, there’s a perfectly good dog right here and you’re willing to let her be euthanized in four days because she isn’t a retriever?” Eric signed the papers and Sundae came home that day. Although, Sundae didn’t seem to pay any attention to Eric. It became clear to him that Sundae was only interested in listening to me and following me everywhere. Sundae chose me. Eric said, “Well, I guess this your dog then.” I did the feeding, the walking, the picking up of the poop on said walks, all of it.

From 2009: Sundae following me around.

At that time, my life was not anywhere near what it is now. I had a lot of walls up (emotionally). I had been through a lot of crap. But Sundae showed me that I did indeed have a lot of love to give. Sundae taught me responsibility, that it was ok to come out from behind my walls, and that it was ok to open up my heart to love again. A few months after I adopted Sundae is when I started dating Angie (now, my wife). Some would say that I rescued Sundae, but in a way, she has rescued me too.

I wish I could write everything in this post about how great Sundae has been to Angie and me. All the goofy little things she does to make us laugh. The way Sundae will hold our arms down so she could lick them. Her sweet howl, the funny noises she makes. All those moments she sensed that one of us was having a bad day and came over to us and looked at us with those soft blue eyes of hers like she completely understood, and would then shower us with licks. If I did, this post would go on forever.

She had to have ALL the balls lol

Starting today, Vegas Bright is going on an indefinite hiatus. Our writers and contributors were told last Friday, and they all graciously understand. They as well as myself are all volunteers. Right now I need to be unfettered from time-consuming responsibilities outside of my day job to devote my free time to things closer to the heart. My wife and I need time to be there for each other, and for Sundae in her final days. We will need time to heal when those final days have run out.

Some would say to use Vegas Bright as a distraction. Though Vegas Bright is a hobby, it’s a lot of work (about 18 hours a week of my “free time”); and not truly my passion. Remember, I thought I was going to just be the tech guy, not the Chief Editor. I don’t know when Vegas Bright will be back, and, honestly, part of me don’t know if it will because it’s hard to imagine the future from here. The future that I can imagine looks sad.

The house is going to feel so empty. The holidays are going to suck. Sundae loves Christmas; she loves all the lights. So much so, that she would come and get me to turn the tree on if it weren’t lit yet. She’d howl at me and herd me (like a sheep) out to the living room. Then she’d look at the tree, and then look at Angie and me. As soon as I flipped the tree lights on, she would do her “smile-pant.” Then she would lay down with her head on the ground and just stare up at it because to her eyes; it’s magical.

The only silver lining to Sundae’s prognosis is that my wife and I are mentally preparing for Sundae’s departure. As always, every day we tell Sundae that we love her. And now, after being given this advice (thanks, Chris from Faces and Aces LV) my wife and I are sure to thank her every day for the time that she has spent with us, the many years of joy, and for teaching us so much. She definitely taught us a lot.

Before I got the news about Sundae, I was already burnt out from VB. But now with the added emotional toll in my life… I just can’t Vegas right now. I hope you understand.

Stay Vegas and Stay Bright.

-Michael Movestro

About the Author

Michael Movestro

Michael Movestro founded Vegas Bright to continue the tradition when Vegas Chatter cashed out. Michael pays the bills, maintains the site, writes articles, hosts the Vegas Untz podcast.

59 Comments on "Sundae’s Life is Short: Vegas Bright is on Indefinite Hiatus"

  1. So hearbreaking!!! We appreciate EVERYTHING you and all of the writers do on a daily basis. You have filled such a void after Vegas Chatter. Thank you opening up to us during this time. We know it cannot be easy. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. You have out full support.

  2. ChrisinNashville | August 2, 2017 at 7:09 am |

    God’s blessings on you and your family. My dog Gus went to Heaven after 15 good years. It’s tough, very tough. Pet that pooch for me.

  3. CousinsAPlenty | August 2, 2017 at 7:12 am |

    There are few things more difficult than the decline of an animal family member. You have my sympathy. I know Sundae’s final weeks will be filled with love. Take care as you help Sundae travel to the other side. Hope to see Vegas Bright again.

  4. Roberta MacLaren | August 2, 2017 at 7:27 am |

    Michael, take your time. Thanks for bringing us Vegas Bright. Take care of yourself, your family and sweet Sundae. It’s amazing the impact that pets have on our lives.

  5. It was a good ride, my brother! Best wishes to you and your family.

  6. Bawling my eyes out….
    You do whatever you need to. We understand.

  7. Having just gone through this a few years ago, I totally understand. Go be with your furbaby. The special bond is something sometimes unexpected and always magical. The kindness of a dog will never be something forgotten. Grief is a process and one only you and your wife can determine the length. Remember to turn to one another for the support you both will surely need. My heart goes out to you, but also know that with time, the memories will make you smile again. Hugs to the three of you. Good luck Sundae…you will fly across the Rainbow Bridge pain free and waiting on the other side!

  8. Understand where you’re coming from – we lost our beloved Cubby last summer from an aggressive lymphomatic cancer as well (he was only 9), and I still think about him every day. Best advice is to treasure each minute you have until you say goodbye. Hope to see VB back soon, when you’re ready!

  9. Doublemom1998 | August 2, 2017 at 8:05 am |

    So very sorry to hear… it sounds like you have given Sundae a lovely life. Your friends here understand.

  10. A beautiful tribute to a wonderful friend and family member…….my eyes are red and watery now ……

  11. So sorry to hear, Michael. Thanks for being a contributor to the scene and, more importantly, giving a good life to a good animal.

  12. I don’t think anyone wouldn’t support what you all are doing. You’ll never regret spending time with your furbaby :-(
    You all take care!

  13. So sorry to hear such sad news. Take care

  14. SORRY my friend. a pet is only part of our life, but we are ALL of our pets life.we have been in ur shoes with our 16 chow mix. sounds like u have many Great Memories.

  15. Delta Dave | August 2, 2017 at 8:48 am |

    I totally understand, the last days of a family member and best friend are gut wrenching at best, and yes, Sundae will let
    you know when it’s time, and no, it won’t be easy, it will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. As much as I enjoy VB, your choice is the correct one. Thank You for sharing and for the pictures (the first one tells the whole story).
    Sundae shared a small part of your life Michael, but you were ALL of hers………..Take Care…

  16. I’m so sorry to hear the news. Take all the time you need. Sundae is what’s important right now.

  17. Cindy Keehn | August 2, 2017 at 9:09 am |

    Michael thank you for sharing this with us. My heart breaks for you and Angie. You do what you need to do, we’ll all be here if and when you come back. Godspeed Sundae

  18. Having been through what you’re going through, I totally understand. Unfortunately, our furry besties don’t live forever, but they do leave us with wonderful memories.

  19. What a beautiful, beautiful post, Michael. Thank you for so graciously sharing these memories with us. As I mentioned to you directly, I can empathize with what you guys are going through, as I went through it twice only a few years ago after 16 and 18 years respectively. Continue to make wonderful memories for as long as you can, and spend all the time that you can with her. Afterwards, take all the time you need. We, both contributors and readers, will be here when you are ready to return.

    Personally, please let me know if there is anything I can help with, either now or in the future. Beyond that, give Sundae a heartfelt pet for me, look into her eyes and make her smile, and above all, I hope that all of you together can help each other “stay bright” during this time.

  20. Hugh C. McBride | August 2, 2017 at 10:15 am |

    Sending warm thoughts & positive vibes. Wish I had more to offer than that. So very sorry for what you all are going through, & I appreciate your willingness to share some of that with us here. Vegas Bright is a definite must-stop on my daily lap ’round the Intertubes, and a primary reason for that is the ability of you & the other writers to share not just your reviews, but parts of yourselves through the articles that you write. If you decide to return, I have no doubt that you’ll be welcomed with warmest virtual smiles & wide-open virtual arms – and if you opt to let VB fade away, you’ll have our deepest appreciation for what you did here & how you did it. Thank you for this post, for VB, and for giving that sweet puppy a life so obviously filled with love.

  21. Michael, take your time and make those days that remain the best they ever could for you and Sunday and your wife. I think everybody who, at one time in his/her life, owned a pet will understand that you need this time.
    Don’t pressure yourself to come back earlier because you have the feeling you should. Take as much time as it needs to heal the wound that will be there.

    You wrote that you didn’t want to write sabout all the good things that Sunday has brought to you and your wife, but i feel that this is not true, as the deep love and the bond that you share resonates through every single word in this beautiful post.

    I admire that you had the power to write this loveletter to a very special dog and from everything it tells me I can see that Sunday is great, and had a wonderful life as soon as your both paths crossed and you saved her from an uintimely death. Please give her a big hug and some nice treats from me,

    She will never be forgotten and always will be a part of you. If I ever manage to see you, I’ll gladly invite you to some nice cold beers to speak about the good boys and good girls that travelled together with us on this path called life, and who left a huge paw imprint in our hearts.

  22. I know. 1 year ago I began the journey you are on. Take care of everyone and for those who don’t understand what is written here (or who has never had a beloved family member pass) please be kind.

  23. Here crying as I’m reading this post. Thank you so much for setting this up and take care. Tell Sundae you love her give her a big hug from all of us… thanks again

  24. I’ve never really owned a pet. My 11 year-old daughter who lives 5 hours away with her mother (we’re divorced), however, is fanatical about animals. She loves her cat and recently got a dog. Admittedly, when I pick her up for a weekend every two weeks, I get more and more attached to the dog. We all love him. So although I can’t say that I relate, I read your entire post and was tearing up. You did a great deed by saving Sundae from an early death and the rest is gravy for all of you.

    That said, my deepest condolences from Ontario, Canada. I very much appreciate your service and hope you’ll be back. In the meantime, take all the time you need to heal. This is a sad time and you and your wife deserve that and much more. My thoughts are with you.

  25. the Christmas Tree story is especially touching.

  26. Cathryn Carter | August 2, 2017 at 2:13 pm |

    Michael, I’m so sorry to hear about your beloved pup’s ill health. I suspect that has led you to recognize the stress Vegas Bright has caused you. Thank you for all your work.
    My thanks to your contributors as well. Take care n

  27. Take your time with your family, Sundae & bereavement. Your Vegas Bright Family will be here when you return. You have our sympathy & support. By the way…My first dog was a Husky. Loyal reader of Vegas Chatter & Vegas Bright. Take Care.

    Rob

  28. <3 What a lucky dog to have found such a great home/life. And what a fortunate family to have such a cool, smart pup love you. We had a red huskie named Nayo, she was the smartest, sharpest, biggest hot mess we've ever had through our many years of dogs. She would open the backdoor and let herself out, take all the bowls, including the water bowl, to the middle of the yard…so the other dogs knew who they belonged to. And ohhhh the talking back….and yup, always loved the happy face pant.

    FYI-your site brings me joy every week, and I appreciate you and your crew. Sending you peace, love, memories, smiles, healing, rest.

  29. Thomas Campbell | August 2, 2017 at 5:31 pm |

    Maybe you should put the Christmas tree up for her to enjoy one last time.

  30. Minnesotaphats | August 2, 2017 at 6:02 pm |

    Mike – We’re very sorry about Sundae’s illness. You have our sympathy and support.
    Take care.
    Minnesotaphats & Kerrianne

  31. You & Sundae share a love that will shine on forever & brighter than the Luxor. Thank you for your hard work on Vegas Bright. Thank you for sharing your story, she is very beautiful and I believe it was fate that brought you two together.

  32. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, brother. Spoil her rotten.

  33. No problem – take it easy :)

  34. Lisa Houck | August 3, 2017 at 8:04 am |

    i don’t even know you–but read your web site daily. I am in tears. Believe when I say that for the most part, I prefer animals to people. I am just so so sorry. Our pets are our family. Take all the time you need.

  35. What a beautiful dog and a beautiful soul. I know the pain of losing a dog, having endured it several times. Be thankful for the time you had and know she loves you for the life you have given her. You will need to grieve, but in the process celebrate her life and remember all the good times. In time,. you will be ready to open your heart and give the love to another dog that is in need of it. God bless.

  36. My best wishes of strength to Angie & you… And, condolences to you, as well. You gave Sundae a special life, and that value will be a comfort as the day arrives to cross the rainbow bridge. I faced the same thing 3 summers ago, and it hurt… a lot. But, my girl developed cancer & the vet said the same thing. She let me know it was time, and I held her until her last breath. Sundae appreciates everything you’ve done, and I hope my words help, a little.

  37. Best wishes to you!. Sundae is the best thing to happen to you and you need to take care of family first. I thank you for you tireless effort on this site. They say its not what you remember about what people said, its how they made you feel that you remember. Dogs always make you feel better.

  38. Thomas Zufan | August 3, 2017 at 11:55 am |

    I read your blog everyday. So sorry to here about your dog. Non pet people wont understand, but we do. Take as much time as you want. This article made me think of my old dog shadow. It made me smile.

  39. GREGG H HOFFMAN | August 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm |

    Oh how I know. We have a 12 year old Husky (Kaci) with the hip problems and laryngeal paralysis. She is well into the back nine of life yet she still enjoys each day and smiles as only a Husky can. We will always have the most heartfelt of bonds even after she has stopped spreading fur everywhere she goes.

  40. Michaelpags | August 3, 2017 at 4:53 pm |

    Heartbreaking…we’re all with you. Not much I can add other than to echo the well wishes of everyone who has already posted above. Take care good sir and God bless you and your family.

  41. Pets are family, plain and simple.

  42. I’ve always loved the story of this site — big company shuts something down and a dedicated fan rebuilds it. As you can see, you have the support and gratitude of this little community in every way. If the passion returns, I look forward to coming back here. If not, we all owe you thanks for what you’ve done. All good thougts to you, Angie and Sundae. May there be royal flushes and cowboy rib eyes ahead.

  43. hattrick225 | August 4, 2017 at 2:16 pm |

    Mike- So sorry to hear about your dog. Best wishes to you and your wife, during this time. As a dog lover, I know how important it is to take the time to spend with your furry loved one. I love your blog, and read it regularly. I don’t often post on any of the vegas sites, but have followed you from your trip advisor reports days over to here. Best wishes!

  44. spikeygirl19 | August 4, 2017 at 9:21 pm |

    I read this blog daily and this post brought tears to my eyes. Our chihuahua Taters came to Northern Alberta in February 2011 and changed our lives forever. Pets are so much more than pets, they truly are family members that bring so much joy and heartache. Sundae sounds wonderful, take care. Thank you for your time and dedication to this site!

  45. Peter Machon | August 4, 2017 at 11:34 pm |

    Tears came to my eyes almost immediately upon reading your story. Please take all the time you need; some things are just more important.

    Pete
    Indianapolis

  46. stuart thomas | August 5, 2017 at 10:00 am |

    Give love each day people..life is precious.
    Stu wales uk

  47. Thanks for sharing. This story was very heartwarming. While sad, you can be thankful you get some extra time and have enjoyed so many wonderful years. Might I suggest a special Xmas in August? One last chance for a tree and the magical lights. I smile just thinking about it. Take care.

  48. Jenni McLendon Bouchard | August 6, 2017 at 6:45 am |

    Of all the columns and posts I have read on this wonderful site since Vegas Chatter shut down, this was by far your most meaningful. My husband and I lost our 14 year old pup a couple years ago at Thanksgiving and the sense of loss is far greater that I could ever describe. With no children, he was our world and my heart just broke reading your post. Rest assured you have provided Sundae the very best life possible and her gift to you in return has been persistent unconditional love. It is a gift not given to everyone and she clearly chose you. I know I’ll reverberate numerous faithful readers and fans of this site to tell you to cherish this time with your family and take as long as you need. I have never posted previously but felt compelled to do so on this one to simply THANK YOU for all the dedication and extra time it took to write/organize/contribute/design this site for Vegas junkies everywhere over the last few years. It provided us the opportunity to have a vicarious taste of Vegas when we can’t be there in person and gave us numerous ideas of fun new things to do/try. I know you didn’t intend for it to take over the way it has but that’s a testament to your talent and the talent of all the contributors of this site. Your hard work has been greatly appreciated by so many.

    P.S. When the time comes…I can’t recommend the group Lap of Love enough for you. We had a vet come to our home and our little man got to fall asleep on his blanket in his own home instead of some sterile stainless steel table at the vets office which always made him horribly nervous. Hopefully they are located in your area or a similar service is available. It’s a gracious ending to an incredible story. Best to you.

  49. I would be the same way

  50. UPDATE: On August 2nd, the day this article posted, Sundae took a turn for the worse. She was no longer able to get up. Although we helped her up, she wasn’t able to stay up for more than a couple of minutes before collapsing. We knew it was time. Sundae spent most of her last day surrounded by her people, her family, cheeseburgers and Christmas lights. She went peacefully at the vet’s office on a warm blanket with some of her favorite stuffed animals while Angie and I cradled her head, petting her, telling her we loved her and thanking her for all the joy she has given us. We’re glad we were there right up to her last breath as our final gift to her. Sundae never made a lot of noise as she got older, but the silence she leaves behind is so very loud.

    • Again, thank you for being open with us during this time. Sorry for your loss. The love you have given to Sundae is the same time of love we feel through your dedication to this site. We appreciate it all you have done for us die hard Vegas lovers. Please take all the time you need and if we do not see you again THANK YOU!!! You are appreciated.

    • My condolences, Michael.

  51. Toni in DFW | August 7, 2017 at 10:28 am |

    Losing fur babies is so hard. I’ve been there many times and it never gets any easier. Little paws leave huge marks on our hearts.

  52. Thank you so much for sharing your story. About a month ago our beloved Max, which was a rescue dog. Started to have trouble walking, his hips were not working the same. He had been to the vet recently due to his eyes, going deaf and having bathroom problems in the house, the vet said he was getting old. He was 11. I understand all to well the day you make the appt, the drive to the vet. When its time to say goodbye to a life that loved you unconditionally. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, even now I sit here and cry about our `Maximus Prime.“ Let us comfort in something I read “the one last gift we can give our pets is letting them go when the time is right.“

  53. Michael, I am so very sorry. My “Mr. Leo” sits beside me every day of the week. Always there. Your entire story resonates so clearly to me. Thank you for sharing these very difficult moments.

  54. Fancypants | August 8, 2017 at 9:17 am |

    I’m so sorry. Even though you and Angie are technically strangers, I feel heartbroken for you. I’ll be keeping both of you in my thoughts and hoping you find comfort and peace. Take all the time you need.

  55. So sorry for your loss, pets add a dimension to life that can only be understood by fellow animal lovers. Thank you for all the hard work you have put into this blog, as a Vegas fanatic it’s been an invaluable resource.

  56. Wannaberocker | August 10, 2017 at 10:17 am |

    So sorry for your loss.
    Vegas bright has been my number 1 website for Vegas news.
    Thank you for providing the service.

    Wannaberocker

  57. I have no doubt she is running thru a grassy field playing with all the wonderful dogs that have crossed the bridge, including mine. My deepest condolences.

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