Our house has become a canine hospital this week. I am not sure that the other two girls (Maggie and Tess) realize that Sam is the only sick member of our family. They did remove Sam’s spleen, on Monday, and I was stunned when the showed me the size of it. She is only 22 pounds, which is a large Miniature Schnauzer, and I did ask them how such a spleen ever fit in there. I can only describe it as a cross between a banana and a burrito. Let’s just say, it has grown.
Waiting has been our game. With Sam on our bed, I have written, and watched documentaries that would make my husband gag. My big accomplishment of the week seems to be the laundry, and a magazine article (we can talk about that, later). Personally, I think my biggest accomplishment might have been stealing cuddle time while Sam is on pain killers. She is very independent, otherwise.
All of this alone time brought to mind a 23 year old, girl. I thought I was quite a woman. In a strange place, I had my first real job that was way over my head. I found that I did not have a friend, or a clue.
One of my employees took a fancy to me and, when his mom’s dog had puppies, he offered one to me...a gift. They let me pick her out. She was the most rambunctious one of the bunch...by far. She would take a running charge into her siblings, all of which could barely see. We ooo’d and aah’d over how adorable she was.
She was the one, my Sam.
My lonely nights were over. She and I would sit and watch TV on the couch, and debate the merit of playing in the middle of the night. Often, I would sit and tell her the stories of my life while she sat with that tiny head cocked to the side, ears at attention. I would cry because I was homesick, because I was scared, and because I was having to grow up. She would listen and then she would lick my tears.
Last night, I knelt down beside the bed. I had to tell her some news. “Sam, how could keep this from me? The doctor just called and told me that you have cancer.” She looked up at me, head cocked and ears at attention.
I was crying, again. I told her how sorry I was. We can’t fix it, only manage it.
She just leaned forward and licked my tears, like a hundred times before.
That is just like Sam.