1998: Bitter Dog Story Turned Sweet

Englands got Sugar back after eight months

Joanie and Katie England
Joanie and Katie England hold up an old photo of Katie and her dog, Sugar, that was taken the night the dog came home. The dog ran away after one night and was missing for eight months. Halfway through that span, the family’s search for Sugar was the subject of a front-page story in Park Cities People. Staff Photo: Christina Barany

By Chuck Cox | Staff Writer

Give Katie England some credit. For a girl who had lost a dog she’d had for only one day, she displayed one seriously sad look on the Feb. 12, 1998 cover of Park Cities People.

When the story was published, the Englands had already been missing their dog, Sugar, for four months.

“She had such serious abandonment issues,” said Katie, who just finished her freshman year at LSU. “Mom went to church the next morning, and Sugar broke down the back fence to get out.”

By the time Joanie England, Katie’s mom, got a phone call that summer informing her Sugar had been found, the family already had a new dog, Shiloh.

“I get this phone call at 9:30 at night saying, ‘I think I got your dog,’ ” Joanie said. “I said, ‘I don’t have a dog missing.’ It had been so long. Somehow, one sign was still up.”

Joanie and Katie EnglandAfter Sugar was found trying to score some lunch scraps at an office building, Joanie picked up her long-lost pooch at Catherine Corrigan’s house.

“Sugar was all cleaned up and pretty and happy,” Joanie said. “She [Corrigan] had her for probably four or five days, took her to the vet, and got her all cleaned up. It was amazing. I could never put a leash on the dog after that, because she would never leave my side. It was crazy.”

Joanie — who now has two dogs: Luke, a mutt, and Darby, a miniature Australian shepherd — said she was amazed Sugar was able to survive for so long away from home during an extremely hot summer, although she wasn’t completely lost. Joanie said Sugar returned home almost nightly for food.

“I finally got to where I tied a rope to my back fence that went around the tree and into my bedroom window,” she said. “I would sit there trying to catch her.”

Katie said she got plenty of response, particularly from her classmates, about her picture with her mother on the front page of the paper.

“I was in elementary school at the time, so it was definitely my big show and tell,” Katie said. “Looking back on it now, I realize that was such a big deal they did that for us.”

Sugar lived until March 2009.

“It didn’t make much difference to me until she actually came back,” Katie said. “We had a very long, happy life with her. I was extremely happy to have her back. Obviously, my mom was, too. She turned out to be a great dog.”

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On Feb. 7, a $76.1 million bond proposal was rejected as a record 11,839 ballots were cast, representing about 52 percent of the community’s registered voters. It was the first time a bond package was not approved by Park Cities voters, and it led to a rancorous spring campaign for three seats on the school board.

On June 12, the Scots baseball team, which featured future big-league pitcher Chris Young, capped a banner year by winning Highland Park High School’s 10th state championship of 1997-98.

On July 30, we reported that artist Greg McGinnis lost an oil painting as he was loading his vehicle in the 3800 block of Stanford Street. On Aug. 6, we reported that Anne Lewis picked up the painting, assuming that it had been purposefully discarded.

On July 27, Gloria McNutt became principal of Bradfield Elementary School. She replaced Janie Milner, who took a similar position in Plano ISD.

On May 2, Harold Peek was elected mayor of University Park, without an opponent, after Pete Goldman declined to run again.

Valedictorian: Stephen Ahnert
Salutatorian: Robby Higginbottom
Blanket Award winners: Tyler Ozanne and Nancy Turner

Allison Conway, Megan Etheredge, Kim Schlegel, Rachel Marie Stanzel, Phoebe Ventouras

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