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How a Pet Inspires Children


WE LOVE OUR DOGS FOR THEIR UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. AND THERE HAVE BEEN MANY HERO STORIES THAT HAVE CAPTURED OUR ATTENTION OVER THE YEARS. LASSIE… BEETHOVEN… EVEN UNDERDOG. IN-DEPTH TONIGHT, BRIAN MASTRE REPORTS ON HOW THE NAME “SUGAR” RESONATES IN SOME METRO NEIGBHORHOO DS. “GIVE KISSES? MMM.” BARBARA FREEMAN WENT TO A SHELTER LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT. LITTLE RASCAL WASN’T IT. BUT HE PICKED HER. BARBARA FREEMAN, OMAHA: “THIS IS THE BALL OF HERE. WE’VE BEEN THROUGH ONE BEHAVIOR TRAINING CLASS. WE THINK WE’LL NEED TO DO ANOTHER ONE.” THE RETIRED OMAHA NORTH HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR KNEW IT WOULD BE TOUGH TO RECREATE THE MAGIC OF HER AMERICAN PIT BULL WHO DIED TWO YEARS AGO. SUGAR PAVED A PATH DOCUMENTS IN A SCRAPBOOK FEW OF US COULD HAVE PREDICTED WHEN SHE WAS BORN IN 2001. I FIRST HEARD ABOUT HER A YEAR LATER IN AN UNPREDICTABLE WAY. IT WAS THE EVE OF THANKSGIVING 2002. I WENT TO THE GROCERY STORE LOOKING FOR LAST-MINUTE SHOPPERS FOR A STORY FOR OUR 10PM NEWS. JAMES FREEMAN: “THIS IS MY WIFE’S LIST. SHE CALLED ME WITH THE THINGS SHE’S MISSING OUT ON. WE FOUND JAMES FREEMAN…WIDE -EYED AND UNFAMILIAR WITH THE TERRAIN. JAMES: “YOU CAN TELL I DON’T DO A LOT OF SHOPPING.” BARBARA FREEMAN HAD GIVEN HIM A LONG LIST OF THANKSGIVING ESSENTIALS. CLEARLY HE NEEDED HELP NAVIGATING THE AISLES. JAMES: “LARGE CAN OF LEMONADE. FROZEN KIND.” JAMES: “WHERE CAN I FIND SOME SAGE?” JAMES: “IF I CAN FIND ME SOME WE’LL BE ALL RIGHT.” 30-MINUTES OF SHOPPING LATER HIS LIST WAS DOWN TO TWO. JAMES: “I NEED A BOTTLE OF 7-UP. AND GUESS WHAT, I’VE GOT TO GET MY DOG A STEAK. STEAK FOR SUGAR. OUR DOG’S NAME IS SUGAR.” SUGAR WAS GETTING STEAK. BARBARA: “T- BONES WERE HERE PREFERENCE. SHE KNEW TO GO THE BASEMENT AND STAND BY THE FREEZER AND IF YOU SAW HER THERE YOU KNEW SHE WANTED A STEAK.” SUGAR EVENTUALLY GRADUATED FROM T-V NEWS TO THE BOOKSTORE. SHE’S BEEN PUBLISHED….TW ICE. BARBARA FREEMAN: “FIRST BOOK WAS FOR CHILDREN LIVING IN FOSTER CARE OR TO BE ADOPTED. SUGAR TAUGHT THEM ABOUT PATIENCE AND WAITING. IF YOU HAVE A GOAL AND WANT A FAMILY JUST BE PATIENT. SUPER SMART SUGAR WAS ABOUT THE INTELLIGENCE OF DOGS. ALL DOGS FIND A WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU” AND BARBARA FREEMAN PLANS TO WRITE MORE. BARBARA: “THERE’S A LOT MORE SUGAR STORIES TO COME. WHEN MY HUSBAND AND I WOULD GO OUT TO EAT, I THINK WE WOULD BORE PEOPLE WITH OUR SUGAR STORIES. IN A WAY, HER LITTLE SPIRIT LIVES ON. MOST OF MY STORIES ARE FOR CHILDREN AND THEY’RE VERY LOVING STORIES.” WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO LITTLE RASCAL THE NEW PET WITH SOME BIG FEET TO FILL IN THE FREEMAN HOME. ONE DIFFERENCE ALREADY THE GROCERY BILL. REPORTER: DOES LITTLE RASCAL GET STEAK? BARBARA: “NO, HE DOESN’T LIKE STEAK.” IN OMAHA WITH PHOTOGRAPHER JIM HINCHIK, I’M BRIAN MASTRE REPORTING, WOWT SIX NEWS. THE FREEMANS USED TO KEEP A “GEORGE FOREMAN” GRILL IN THE COUNTER FOR THOSE OCCASIONS WHEN SUGAR NEEDED A STEAK. BY THE WAY — JAMES FREEMAN STILL VENTURES TO THE GROCERY STORE WITH A LIST.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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