Many people profess their love of animals, and some of these individuals even perform feats that prove their affection.
Susanne Loyd of Taos qualifies for the latter category, caring wholeheartedly for her recently diagnosed diabetic dog Baxter.
"I'm a dog nut. I always have dogs," said Susanne Loyd during a recent interview.
When Susanne and her late husband Harold Loyd relocated from Houston to the Turley Mill subdivision, a three-dog limit existed. At the time, the family owned five dogs and eventually negotiated for a larger number. Loyd recalled her husband driving the dogs around in the car and later admitting to leaving on the air conditioner whether he drove or disembarked the vehicle for a short period of time. He realized that the canines needed to remain cool.
At present, Susanne Loyd owns two small dogs. Baxter, the diabetic, is an 11-year-old Westie Terrier. Loyd takes the dog to Ted Schupbach twice a day for testing and later administers the canine's insulin. The second canine, a 12-year-old Bishon, was rescued from a puppy mill. One of Loyd's dogs had died, and a friend found Zoie and presented her to Susanne. "That's the most expensive free dog I've ever owned," declared Loyd in a fond manner.
The dog owner feels her place of residence remains ideal for her pets because of the ability to walk in the hills as often as possible. Every three months, Loyd leaves her pets with a sitter and embarks on a plane to Houston where her children and grandchildren reside. Her visits also include another important purpose. Loyd, a cancer patient, visits with doctors and staff at the famed MD Anderson Cancer Center.
While her cancer will always remain with her, Loyd considers the disease "manageable." After 11 years, the cancer survivor attributes her success with the illness to "good genes and a desire to survive. I love my life here so much," she stated.
Susanne and Harold Loyd moved to Taos in 1987. Prior to that, Harold Loyd worked as a civil engineer in Houston.
Before their marriage, Susanne Loyd worked as a third and fourth-grade teacher and a tutor at a reading clinic for special needs children for several years. When the couple wed, she left her teaching career but continued teaching Sunday Bible school in Houston.
The couple settled down with Harold Loyd's three children from a previous marriage and of whom he had custody. The union produced two more children. In total, the Loyd family consists of five children: Robin, Thomas, Philip, Alexandra and Ian. The Loyd children and three grandchildren all reside in Houston.
Eliza Palacious moved from Houston to Taos to help the busy family. Locals may remember Palacious, who frequently attended Our Lady of Guadalupe Church before relocating to Houston in recent years. Loyd referred to Palacious as "part of the family." Palacious currently works for Susanne's daughter Alexandria two days a week, thus continuing her affiliation with the family.
"When I previously visited Taos on a ski trip years ago, I told Harold, 'When you retire, this is where I want to be.' That day finally came," Susanne said. "Harold and I were raised in small towns, so Taos was very suitable for us. I love the country setting, and we bought a place where we can see Taos Mountain through the trees at our home."
Harold Loyd loved his home area so much that after his 2005 death, the family spread his cremated ashes around Turley Mill.
One of Loyd's favorite pastimes includes the daily feeding of deer. She has done so for the past 12 years. At times, the deer population thins out, but Loyd has continued to feed the deer.
Loyd enjoys many interests, include feasting on Northern New Mexico food. "One of my favorite times is when Alexandra and the boys come skiing. She and I take off to Michael's Kitchen to eat sopapillas. I'm happy to have someone with whom to do this," said Loyd.
In addition, she said, "Reading is my passion. I prefer historical fiction, and I have a long list of favorites. I recently completed "A Gentleman in Moscow," written by an American, not a Russian."
Other important facets of her life are enjoying movies at the Taos Center for the Arts, lunches at the many wonderful food establishments in this small town, nature and culture. In the summers, she enjoys listening to music in the open air at Taos Ski Valley.
Susanne Loyd loves to travel. During the time that she was single, Susanne attended school in Sweden. For three months, she traveled on a cruise ship around the world with her parents. After her marriage, Susanne and Harold Loyd traveled a great deal.
But now, "I don't like to leave Taos too much. I have a wonderful life surrounded by beauty here. I don't enjoy a big city. I have my beloved dogs and dear, dear friends here. There's something magical about this place," Lloyd said. "I just know that I'm in the right place."