Born into a two-puppy litter in Salt Lake City, Sunshine Barusch left her loving family on a sunny Saturday in June after suffering from the chronic problems of age: arthritis, loss of hearing, partial loss of sight, lack of balance, and sleep difficulties. Despite this, she never lost her deep-seated optimism, her cheerful resilient disposition, or her confidence in the fundamental goodness of mankind.
Sunshine joined her family when it had two children Ariana, age 7, and Nathan, age 10. As a puppy, she loved to play chase in ever-tighter circles around the lawn until one of them fell down and she could jump on a giggling tummy and lick lick lick the squirming face. As a youngster she never seemed to tire, despite walking and running at least 5 miles a day, chasing balls up and down the hills of Bountiful. She was a good fielder in family games of baseball. She knew how to open cupboards and raid garbage cans, and so taught her family to keep their garbage on top of the kitchen counter.
When Sunshine was about two years old she adopted a kitten, which nursed at her breast and caused her to lactate. On several occasions she found parakeets who had gotten loose in the house, retrieving them so gently in her mouth that none was ever harmed. She once rode in an airplane to California. Not a great fan of air travel, she howled vigorously as the handlers loaded the kennel onto the plane.
After her home, Sunshine’s favorite place was the Big Sandy Opening in Wyoming, where she frolicked behind the horses that carried her family across meadows and mountains before taking a dip in an icy lake. Though she never did, her family worried that she would chase sheep and irritate shepherds, so they carried a leash on these adventures, dismounting to restrain her whenever baaah’s and bells were heard. Sunny returned from these rides cold, wet and dirty to enjoy a night-time snuggle in Connie’s flannel sheets. Yes, she slept on the bed. Always.
Sunshine was a great comfort and at times a great challenge to Larry and Amanda, who liked to imagine themselves in charge. She brought energy and determination to her many pursuits and did from time to time ignore their requests. Nonetheless, she was a touchstone whenever they needed a bit of unconditional affection and she did her part to keep them fit and active. She tolerated their eccentricities and lapses with patience and good humor. She will be sorely missed as she was indeed the Sunshine of their lives.