Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cuddle Bug

Often when I sit down to write, my inspriation comes from the silly things Sammy does that makes me laugh. The stuff I want to tell everyone that helps show Sammy's happy, energetic, cute and unique personality. Many times I just don't want to forget that moment, that silly and strange, never to happen again (probably) time; I want it available to me at any moment. (It doesn't hurt he has so much, I don't want to forget it.) The best part about talking about those times is reviewing that moment again and again trying to write it out to the best of my ability, I can think of how lucky and blessed I am to have those times, and Sammy. I can really think about those funny times and replay it, take the time to smell the roses, and catalog it in my memory. It adds new light to those special times.
When I sat down with a little bit of extra time to talk about my latest adventures with Sammy, the first thing that came to my mind was not that silly moment. Although there was no shortage of those funny times, it is not those I want to reflect upon. This past week was a very difficult week for my small little bubble, for many reasons. Mainly work and school dominated the week portion. Overnight on Monday, World Civ 2 test on Thursday and my big scary paper rough draft due Friday. Erik also had two papers to work on and changed departments at work. In anticipation of this week and the stresses it held, we put Sammy into a day of doggie day care on Wednesday. We got up bright and early, 6am. Ok, it wasn't bright and Sammy was unhappy about the time of day, but it was early. We got up, threw some clothes on and fed the Samster. We were off to Bone Jour. We could drop him off as early as 630am, so we aimed for 7am. We were right on time. We made it to the door before we had someone estatic to see Sammy. He knew right where he was, and he was excited! We went to the small dog room and found the Sammy "yard." (I choose to call it a yard because it makes me feel better. They have the pens set up with a picket fence as the perimeter of each crate. The floor is astroturf like material, the base is painted with grass. Then there is a sky painted with clouds and a plane.) The picket fence had his name and the "yard" had a bed for him. I brought a blanket, his bunny stuffed animal and a couple of rawhides for him. We put him in and had to walk away. I cried. Yep, I imagine it was like leaving your kid at daycare. I know that is probably offensive to people with kids who have done this, but I'm sure the feeling was similar. I just wanted to let him know I was coming back and see what he did, how he responded to the other dogs and what dogs would be his BFF's. I just couldn't voice it to him, well I could and he would try to understand and he might even, but you never know.
All day I looked at the clock wondering what he was doing. Between school and work, I couldn't brave going home to an empty apartment, so I went to work an hour and a half early. I watched and watched the clock at work just waiting for 6 to roll around so I could go get Sammy. Boy did I speed down 72nd! I got in and the lady called for Sammy. He stumbled out of the door about half asleep, I called his name and his ears perked up and he put as much energy as he could into running to see me. It was a beautiful moment! I grabbed his report card and we went home. He passed out in the car and the only way I could get him out was asking him if he wanted dinner. We went in he had dinner and slept for the next 14 hours! It was a pain to make him potty! His report card said he played with all the dogs and "wasn't shy at all" (underlined twice). It said he played ball and enjoyed playing outside. His best friends from the day were Charlie and Chloe. I am unsure of who Charlie is, but Chloe was the retriever/lab mix puppy from the previous time. I was so happy for him, and that he got to play with his old BFF.
Thursday was a sleepy day for him but he went on a 3 mile walk with us, so it was good. I came home from work that night and I had to get going on my paper. He wanted attention, so I couldn't get much done til after Erik got home. We had taco bell and came back and they were both so sweet and stayed up with me while I panicked about my paper and how crappy it was. Erik went to bed and Sammy stayed with me. He stayed with me ALL night through my all nighter. He was so sweet. He stayed next to my leg or climbed up on my lap! He curled up in the blanket next to me, anything to stay with me. I put him in bed with Erik, and he went to the corner and whined to come out. I couldn't believe it. It was one of the cutest things I had ever seen. He was exhausted and uncomfortable, but it didn't matter. I went to class and came back and he bounded to see me. After all the staying awake and dissappointment and stress from the paper, it was wonderful to have him so excited to see me. I had our whole day planned to. We were planning on heading back to Axtell, Erik's home, for the weekend after Erik got off work. I was gonna come home, take a nap, get up hit petco for travel rawhides, get him a bath and brushing, pack all three of us up and ready for Sammy's first road trip!
Unfortunately that isn't quite how it worked. It proved to be a very difficult day for Erik and I and Sammy was not comfortable with it. I felt bad for him, he saw alot of emotions he hadn't seen before. He wasn't sure of what to do, but he was quick to curl up next to me. It was very comforting to have him right there. After everything worked out, we quickly assembled our stuff and hit the road early. Off for Sammy's first big road trip!
We barely made it out of town before he was passed out. He slept the whole way! We drove into the sun, so it was probably good, hard to see anything. As soon as we got there, Erik had to say hello to his pup there. They have a shar-pei mix with lab or chow or both. Very pretty dog. She has a sad story, and for that she has a unique, stubborn personality. With her personality, as the story goes, she gained the same Shithead. Over time the name had to soften, so as it is spelled the same it is pronounced shith-eed. Allow it is quite a funny and witty story, I always feel bad using her name so I usually refer to her as Erik's pup. She is very sweet and very loyal to the family. She is not easily persuaded to allowing strangers, or acquaintance, or even friends to allow petting her. We were unsure of how she would feel about a bounding, little (respectively), playful puppy running around. Also, just how Sammy would react to all the room he could want. We knew he would not run away, or if he did, come back quickly, I was just curious to how much room he would use, how far away from people he would be comfortable, what he would find the most interesting, all of those things. The dogs got along, actually quite well. We knew they would be fine since they were both good natured dogs, but we didn't expect her to want play with Sammy. He got her to run a little! It was so much fun to see.
Upon arrival, they were introduced. They were allowed to run around and do what they need to do to meet. Us, people, went in and had some pizza. We fed Sammy, watched them play a little, and then we sat to watch a movie, "Changeling." Sammy did very well until about 1 hr, 45 min. Then he had to go to the bathroom. Erik and I kept thinking the end is just a couple of minutes away, but it wasn't. Not until 2 hrs, 15 min was the end complete. I made it until 2 hrs, 10 min before I took him out. After the movie, the real challenge came. Bedtime.
Although we have moved, Sammy has always had us and out sheets and smells for bed. This time, we had us, but a new enviornment, new bed, smaller bed, new sheets. It took a few before Sammy figured out it was time to calm down. Then he and Erik had to figure out how to get comfortable. The next morning we got up and had breakfast and went to our day. Sammy had no idea what he was in for! Erik's mom, Sue, wanted to take us into town (Kearny). We were there to do some Christmas shopping and furniture shopping. I was able to finally see the infamous Herbergers (or as I call it The Huntzbergers). We went to many Christmas decoration stores after that. It was alot of fun. As for Sammy, he got to stay at home with Tom, Erik's dad. He was at home finishing up a project. This entailed going back and forth from workshed to workshed. Nothing could have made Sammy happier. He got to follow and watch what people do. He got to do it without a collar and leash! What a lucky pup he was. Sammy is very inquisitve. He wants to know what people do and why they do it. So he just followed, I assume being diverted every now and then by a leaf or animal or smell. We came back and he looked like those photos you see of older corgis that are doing their purpose of herding and such around the farm. It was amazing to see! I made him come play with me. He found Sneezy, the cat. Sammy hasn't had much luck with cats, and Sneezy isn't much of an exception. Sneezy has back up with Erik's pup, and Sammy frequently gets outnumbered. He found Sneezy alone and chased him! Chased him right up a tree! (I had never actually seen a cat run up a tree before, that was cool!) But Sammy was quite content yet, he stood at the bottom guarding it in case Sneezy was going to make a fast one! I was so proud of him! Probably a silly thing to be proud of, but he was playing with the cat and was being a good farm/ranch dog. He didn't just let Sneezy get the best of him, but also wasn't a mean dog about it either.
Later we had dinner and watched the Nebraska game. In that time Sammy also stood up to Erik's pup then also. Although it isn't necessarily smart to act bigger than you are to a dog much bigger than you, I was proud not to see him just roll on his back or cower at all. It was good for Sammy to get pushed around a little, so he doesn't just think he is my baby, but it was also good to him not just take big dogs either. I think both dogs grew from it, gained a respect for each other. I think both were a little sad to split later that night. We hit the road after the game. We, all three of us, were very tired. I would have preferred to wait til the morning and just leave extra early, but Erik preferred to just go now, and he was the driver. We hit the road. I tried to stay awake, I really did, but I was just too tired. I got comfortable and drifted away. Originally Sammy had had enough of the commotion in the front seat and jumped to the back on his pillow before we even made it to the highway. Erik later told me that after I curled up on the pillow, Sammy curled up with me. He tried his best to sleep with me. All day today I kept thinking about how lucky I was to have my little cuddle pup. A puppy that is perfectly happy to sleep by himself, but also curls up with me when he senses I need it. A puppy, who just shy of 7 months, can win over older dogs, little pups at doggie day care, petstore employees who see tons of dogs, open "dog people," skeptical "dog people," and who always amazes me in a new way.
This a moment, a weekend, a feeling that I don't want to forget. This is a special dog and a special week, I just want to remember all of it!

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