The Love of My Dog

06/20/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

For those of you who are devout viewers of The McLaughlin Group, you may have noticed something different about Dr. McLaughlin and the panelists during the show this weekend. And if you did, it is completely my fault. Let me explain:

During the last sixteen years of my life, I have been blessed by a precious toy poodle named Peaches n' Cream, a/k/a Peaches, Dolly and Lovie. I have owned other poodles and dogs during my lifetime, but I have never experienced the love, warmth and joy that my little 12 pound baby always gave to me. Living in the television world, a setting varying between cold hard reality and complete make believe, you can easily forget or become aloof to the most pure and simple joys. For me, that joy has always come from my family and friends, of which Peaches has been a huge part for almost two decades.

During the last seven months, Peaches has been battling kidney disease. My veterinarians (who are some of the most caring people on the planet), told me that Peaches had lived a long life and that her life expectancy was unknown. To say that I was crushed would be a gross understatement. While I could never imagine the loss of a child, the potential loss of my "baby child," was something I could not contemplate, although reality always told me would happen one day. The death of a pet is the only downside of having one. While it has been said before, the unconditional love of a pet, especially a dog, is beyond words that I am capable of writing, especially right now.

Peaches was with me everyday I woke up and would wait for me whenever I was out without her. She was always happy. She always smiled. And no, I'm not crazy. Any dog lover knows when their dog is smiling. Peaches always brought me happiness, never sadness. Devotion and loyalty are the key qualities of a dog. I have heard a lot of people say that Tiger Woods is a real dog. Well let me tell you; from what I understand he is the farthest thing from a dog. A dog would never act like Tiger Woods.

Peaches was always a companion of mine outside the home, and would even accompany me to various television studios and remain a completely good little "girlie." Peaches is the only dog that I am aware that talent and floor directors would allow on the set. And never a "word" did she ever peep. I will never forget all of the guys from the former local sports shows "The Redskins Report" or "Full Court Press" making a fuss over Peaches when she would accompany me to do makeup for the show. The vision of the late great sportscaster George Michael in his three piece suit on his hands and knees in the makeup room baby talking to Peaches will always be in my mind. Although they did not get on the floor, Sonny Jurgensen, John Riggins, David DuPree, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon would all shed their tough guy bravado, just to try and get a little tail wag from my girl. And I will always treasure those memories too.

On Thursday night, Peaches became very sick, seven months after her original diagnosis. She was in excruciating pain and it was destroying me to see her in agony. I took her back to the veterinary hospital and they asked me to come back at the end of the day. It was Friday, the day we tape The McLaughlin Group.

Before I arrived at the studio, I received a call from my vet advising me that Peaches would not survive and it would be best to let her go. I was hysterical. John McLaughlin and the other panelists, who are great people and pet lovers. were upset, some crying (that's why things may have looked different). Dr. McLaughlin's production company is Oliver Productions. Oliver was his loving dog of many years, who coincidentally died on a Friday afternoon before a show was taped. Dr. McLaughlin, under dire emotional pain completed that taping years ago. And for some reason, it seemed that I would be doing the same.

Peaches is now in doggy heaven and something has been forever taken from my life. My only solace comes from my belief that she is pain free and making new friends and spreading the love that was her very being. I will love you forever Peaches.

PS If you would like to see a movie about Peaches made a few months ago you can visit