Earlier this week, I got a great email from my friend DeAnne. You should refer to her as HRH DeAnne, like we all do and if you could genuflect a bit or possibly approach on your knees, that would not only be a welcome gesture, but one that would be encouraged and save you from being royally thwapped. No one wants a royal thwapping. This email was one of the best I’ve received in a long time. You know how I crave a good story? Well, this email wasn’t just a story – it was an adventure! There were misread maps, weest (a combination of East/West), punching, stitches tearing apart, Lacrosse, chili, starving teens, a crazy woman wielding a Christmas gift card, and a surprise move to North Dakota. I’ve saved this email because it’s simply that great and it’s a reminder that writing has become a lost art. No one ever writes letters anymore – we just quip each other to death with what amounts to email tweets. Her email reminded me how I really miss well thought out letters (or emails). Of course, in response to DeAnne’s great email, I email tweeted a thanks. I completely failed to rise to the occasion and offer up my own real letter. Sorry Miss DeAnne! (Yes, I did use “Miss” when addressing her; you should still stick with HRH or something else that shows a proper amount of deference.)
DeAnne’s vote for one of the top posts was the one titled True Beth North; she completely empathized with my sad lack of direction. Well, it’s not a lack of direction. Everything is North depending on where I stand. As one of the smartest people I know, DeAnne confessed that she has sometimes struggled with direction, thus the term “Weest” was born – a term that will get you (or anyone directly related to her) punched if you dare speak it within earshot. Her next vote was for any post dealing with Sam.
Sam actually showed up as a couple of people’s favorite topics when I polled them about their favorite posts. Since there are a few of you who are fairly new to the blog, I’ll just give you some background. Sam is our 9-year-old beagle that we adopted 5 years ago from a local group called Hound Rescue. Sam has had a harder time then most of our pets having suffered from a condition known as Horner’s Syndrome (similar to Bell’s Palsy) and tears to both of her cranial crutiate ligaments. What I’ve taken from this is I’m a pet person. I don’t have a pet because it’s convenient or easy. I have Sam because she’s a great dog who makes me laugh. The next time someone suggests, as a co-worker did in the past couple of weeks, that it would be cheaper to euthanize Sam that pay for knee surgery, they should come with a figure on how much it would cost to euthanize them. I mean, with food and housing going up, not to mention health care I’m thinking a single shot would cure anything that ails you (or me), because frankly you’re more expensive to maintain in the long run than my dog. Oh, and I like my dog more. Truce? I won’t say a word about how you throw your money away on unnecessary expensive little toys and go on your vacation jaunts. In return, don’t suggest I kill my dog because she’s inconvenient. Last I checked, you weren’t in charge of my finances. Thanks.
To veer off that rant a bit, I’ll tell you a little more about her. First off, as a beagle Sam is basically a stomach with legs, soft ears and a very keen nose. The sound of a kibble plummeting off of the cat’s food perch will wake her from a dead sleep and send her running into the kitchen. Beagles are never satiated, which is quite awful if you think about it. Sure, you may have known hungry dogs, but anyone with a hound, particularly a beagle can tell you crazy stories about their appetite and the lengths they’ll go to in order to eat.. Sam doesn’t know how to play unless playing involves dancing around for food. The only way I could get Sam to play with a stuffed animal or a ball would be to wrap it in bacon and smear it with peanut butter. I tried talking to her about it, but I suspect she just likes hearing her name. According to Sam, she has three command driven names. They are “Sam”, “hey, Sam” and “I love you”. “Hey, Sam” knows to look at me and pay attention, there might be food or something interesting to sniff. While, “I love you” tells her to wag insanely, because that Sam is going to scritched from head to toe.
Sam is scared of our cats and our cats are aware of this. They like to set-up gauntlets in the hallways. If I hear Sam whimpering, it’s usually because a cat (probably Hodi) won’t let her come down the hallway or enter a room. However, this fear disappears if anyone is eating chicken, despite not getting table food, or when she’s enjoying her rawhide. It’s only under these circumstances that she will chase Hodi and Sage all over the house. Without the false bravado instilled by a yummy leathery chew; she’ll return to the whimpering mess we adore when faced with a kitty obstacle..
Sam Update: The Long Overdue Installment
I haven’t had a “Sam Update” in awhile, but that’s mostly due to things being fairly normal in the house. This is a good thing. Yes, I am knocking on wood. So, I’ll leave you with two recent happy moments. First, I came home a couple of weeks ago and released Sam from her crate. She was full of silly and dashed all over the house as fast as she could without pinballing into any kitties. She was the embodiment of joy, so I did my part to keep her going. Her final move was a dive under her blanket, which as I recall used to be MY blanket. She wiggled in one end and worked her way to the other finally kicking the blanket so her head peeked out. I declared, “you’re ridiculous!” which caused her to leap out of the covers and zoom around more. Where she doesn’t play with balls, she does love running at break-neck speeds that sometimes make me wince as I think of her knees (she’s clumsy and has torqued them performing this maneuver). Still, it’s hard to discourage her when she’s having fun.
From last weekend: There was whimpering from the kitchen so I got up and to make sure Hodi wasn’t pinning Sam in somewhere while cackling maniacally. I go in and find that Sam would really just like Hodi to hurry up and let her have a turn at the water bowl. (We have three, incidentally, but this one is deemed the best by all the pets. It’s a fountain where water pours constantly purchased because Sage wouldn’t drink from still bowls.) I looked at her and said, “no, you have to wait”. All of her nervous energy eventually drove Hodi away. Sam then asked to go outside, so I open the back door and there sitting against the fence is giant a tom cat. Sure, Hodi and Sage are horrifying, but that 20 lb. tom cat is clearly a big sissy and chose the wrong yard. Sam went tearing out sending the cat over the fence. (He’s sprayed our porch, much to Hodi’s great dismay that she vocalized in long mrrs and hissing one night.) Sam marched around proudly at having defended the yard, then came in and resumed her spot at the bottom of the pet totem pole. Hodi won’t tolerate uppity beasts and made it clear, “get any idea, Ears and I will smack them out of you.”
Thank you, DeAnne for inspiring a new Sam Update and for taking the time help me out on those blog posts. I know, I still owe you a real letter.