In July 2005, the Sutherlands announced that they were retiring to Cyprus and were going to hand over Sutherland's Kennels to Kirk and Maria. This news pleased Kirk but infuriated Maria - who was intent on selling the business and splitting the proceeds of the sale 50/50 in order to buy a hair salon. Eric and Dot were not happy and stated that they wanted the business to stay in the family so were handing the whole business over to Kirk.
The penultimate visit from the Sutherlands was in October 2008 following the death of Maria's husband, Liam. Maria was initially angry with her parents for going on a cruise instead of attending her wedding in February, but Dot explained that they were hurt that Maria hadn't considering postponing the wedding until they had got back. After an emotional farewell, Dot and Eric urged Maria to come and stay with them for a while.
Eric and Dot attended Kirk's wedding to Beth Tinker in January 2015. In October that year, Eric contacted Maria to inform her that Dot had broken her hip. Maria and son Liam flew to Cyprus to help look after her.
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