Sam Update: For Lori

Lori of Dotopotamus fame promised she’d give me an update on her life if I provided one on Sam.  Ok, she may not have worded it exactly that way or even close to that, but that’s how I’m interpreting it. My brain is a fantastical place!

Who or What is a Sam?

Since I may have magically gotten one new reader (hi, new reader!) I feel I should give you (all of you or maybe just them) a background on Sam.  Sam is our 11 year old beagle adopted 7 years ago from Hound Rescue. Some Sam facts:

  • She’s a girl, thus the use of the pronoun “she”.  I didn’t name her.  Blame her former owners.  If I’d named her, she would have had a great name like Piffles or Senorita Snogglekins – something classy that really says “beagle”.
  • Her photo on this page neatly hides bullets (yes, this is a Sam fact – well, it is now). Well, they did on the preview screen.  Now the website is just being sassy to deny me this fact.
  • She’s 11.  Did I mention that?
  • She’s bullied by our cat, Hodi – formerly “cats”, but Sage passed away which amounts to 50% less whimpering from Sam when she (she’s a girl) can’t make it down the hall.
  • She’s had two CCL tears, which amounted to her enduring two surgeries, and two bouts of rehab.  Sure, you might not do that for your dog, but we made a choice and now she bounds around happily in the house. Her quality of life is pretty great.
  • She also suffered from Horner’s Syndrome twice, which basically meant she lost muscle control on one side of her face, then she lost it on the other.  She’s a bit of a special needs beagle, but she’s worth it.
  • Since she’s a beagle and would eat until she couldn’t put her legs on the ground, she now gets carrots as a treat; she thinks this is pretty fabulous.  Raw green beans are fairly fine, too.

The Update

As you’ll recall, this whole post is about using you guys to get to what I want – an update on Lori.  I’m sorry guys.  In a pinch I will use you, but be glad it’s for your eyeballs and not a trade for cigarettes or to get out of being poked with things like car batteries.  I mean, I’d totally use you for that, too because well if I were in the pokey, cigarettes (facial scrub, toothpaste, or whatnot) is a fantastic currency.  I learned this on Orange is the New Black. And for the record, I’m adverse to being poked with electricity, so well… I like you and all (even you, new person), but hey… you should take one for the team.  The team being me.  You’re the best.

You can search for Lori on this blog, but in case you’re not the typing sort, here’s a brief bit on her –  I worked with her for years, and now she lives out in Washington State (my working with her didn’t cause the move, she moved on her own and then she met a boy!).  Lori is pretty darn fabulous (funny, fun, smart and she’s “got STYLE!” – and while very true, this is also an inside joke.  If you knew it, I’m sure you’d maybe smirk or perhaps snort in approval.)  You’ll note on her blog (linked above) that her last post was in 2013, so you now understand I’m behind on over a year’s worth of updates and truth be told, more than that.  Washington State needs to stop swallowing my friends and family.  Yes Tony, I’m looking at you, too – feel free to update me as well. A cousin could call a girl once in a while.

Right, About that Update

Sam is doing great.  She recently made it as the cover photo for Hound Rescue on their Facebook site.  She’s been on there now for 6 months.  I think they originally planned to change the photo out once a month, but hey I’m not going to point that out.  I like seeing Sam as the spokes-beagle.  Now the photo, should you venture there, is of Sam a lot chubbier.  This was pre-carrots and green beans – back when we thought her “I’m starving” thing was because she was starving.  Tricky beagle.

She’s become fairly bossy about food.  If I’m eating a salad, the whimpering will start and if I ignore her, she’ll hit something with a paw.  She will not be ignored! The love of lettuce is my fault, I may have taught her the joy of leafy greens. Her favorite is the crunchy spiny bit – not so much the leaf; it’s hard to lip off the floor. Have you seen dog lips? Anyway, when you have a “starving” beagle you have to get clever with your snacks.  I also found out that she’s tasted marshmallows.  How I found this out was from watching her demand one from Jay.  You know beagles, once they’ve tasted the blood of marshmallows, they’ll frenzy at the smell.  That’s what she tells me.

She’s still absolutely disgusted by her nerd parents who spend way too much time in front of a monitor.  If it’s past 7pm, we will get a warning whimper that will quickly turn into louder complaints followed by pawing various things in the computer room.  She’s also pretty insistent I get to bed on time.

I’m pretty certain that she hasn’t had a baby bunny recently.  I suspect either the adult bunnies got wise to the fact that the backyard was a bad birthing yard or it could be the early Fall-ness of things has made them less frisky.  Since I randomly decided they were my totem animal based on me seeing them all the time and well, I wanted to say I had a “totem animal”, it was disheartening to hear their squeaks as she gobbled one down.  No one should hear their beagles eat their totem animal.  I may need to find a new one that’s a bit sturdier and can’t make it down a beagle’s gullet in two-three bites.

We also learned she doesn’t particularly like other dogs.  While we’ve been good at socializing her with people, we haven’t been so amazing with other animals.  This lead to a very brief attempt at our fostering a super sweet dog this summer.  I still feel awful about this failure, because it was such a huge let down of a very good friend.  You know when your adorable dog turns into a slavering mess of teeth and rage… yeah, that was her this summer.  That incident led to my only bout with either gastritis or an ulcer; it wasn’t determined.  Good times. Good times.

That’s about all I have for now.  Nothing too exciting, which is great news since Sam has had way too many exciting (health-related) things in her little life.  Fingers crossed that this trend keeps going.

Soooo… Lori, about that update! Tony? Tony?!? Don’t think I forgot about you.

DeAnne’s Vote and a Sam Update

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.