Sammy-boyWe’d been talking about it for a while, but it wasn’t until Sunday midday that I realised.  I’d just poured a glass of water and I looked up to the white board to see my dad’s sketch.

“He’s gone?”

“He’s really gone?!”

“I didn’t even get to say goodbye!”

Cue legitimate tears.

They took me by surprise; the drought had broken. I can’t even remember the last time. It was possibly my sister’s wedding in 2012 – but even then I fail to accept they were real. But as the rain poured down outside, warm tears rolled down my cheeks. Dad and Laura were speechless.

Sammy, or to some, Chester, was a pain in the butt of a dog, but dearly loved.

In his youth, he bounced – like my sister’s Tiger toy.  For the first few years, Laura couldn’t go outside without someone else present. Sammy could jump higher than Laura stood tall.
In his middle years, he barked – thunder, male voices, birds. He was always on guard.
In his old age, he cried. He ran and groaned at the birds who stole his food. He looked confused at Bella’s disgust as he stole another of her beds. He cried at night to let us know he needed to relieve himself.

I’ve never been a huge animal person, but there’s something special about your childhood dog. The excitement of choosing, then naming him. The joy of walking to school, knowing full well he set the pace and you trailed behind. The frantic times we ran down the street, around the corner and up the road after he escaped – driving the car and opening the door got him every time. There was even the time he bit the weird neighbour’s sheep at the end of the street – I got flashes of him being the evil dog in Babe.

But Sammy, SamSam, Puppy – right to the end. You were our little bitzer.