Friday, February 19, 2010

CR: A Week With Sam (My Dog)

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 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.

Sam, last night at my canine hospital

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.


  1. Oh Tracy you're going to make me cry!!My parents just got the news about our dog too... canine lymphoma. I cried for at least an hour. I still cry off and on if I think about it. I will be praying for you because I know just how you feel and it's heartbreaking.

  2. My parents dog, Delilah, just passed away (my childhood pup!) and it was so sad. My brothers were just heartbroken. I'm so sorry. : ( Pets become so dear...

  3. Oh Tracy. My heart breaks for you. Sweet Sam. I am so sorry.

    Dogs are such a gift. Now every time I look at my Sami girl I will pray for your sweet Sam.


  4. My heart is breaking for you and Sam - I'm so sorry. I would never have understood before this past summer, but now that I have my Maggie, I get it. (((hugs)))

  5. Oh my. I'm so very sorry to hear your sad news. I thought my Abby was sick in December and it was a tough night. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you. Hugs and prayers for you and your precious Sam.

  6. Tracy, I'm crying for you right now; I can hardly see the computer screen (and you know I don't cry!) I'm so sorry that you got this kind of news. I'm praying for you and Sam. I know your heart is breaking!

  7. Oh, Tracy. I am so sorry. You have moved me to tears as I write. I have a little canine baby, too, and love her so. I can't imagine. I will pray that sweet little Sam is mostly pain-free and for a miracle. Oftentimes those who don't have dogs (or any other pet for that matter) think we are crazy for being so attached to our canine babes but let me tell you, I get it.
    They are always so loyal, aren't they? When our third was born, our precious Ellie just seemed to add more than we could handle. JJ dared to utter the words "Should we find a new home for her?" to my utter horror. It would never be that bad for me to ever release her from our care! I adamantly told him that would never happen because oftentimes, she is the only one who really cares if I cry (JJ does too but he is not always around!). She follows me around and watches me with a nervousness that tells me she will not be settled again until her master is OK. And she cuddles and nudges when I am this way, too. JJ has never uttered that horrid sentence again.

    Prayers for healing of sweet Sam and prayers for peace in your heart.

  8. How wonderful to have all of these hearts pouring out for my little friend. I am being fed by your compassion and your tears. I am so appreciative that you took the time to tell me. We are using the weekend to get our heads together. Thanks, again.

  9. tears in my eyes... again, nothing like the unconditional love of an animal. i will keep Sam, you and your family in my prayers... ((H))


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