Sam Update: Revelations

For you Sam groupies out there, here’s an update —

We recently learned Sam loves chicken. Sure, as a beagle she lives for her nose and all the neat things it can snuffle out (rule of paw – the smellier the better), but food is food is food to Sam (and sometimes food can be clothing or backyard deposits – she isn’t particularly picky, but she can be gross). So, eating chicken one night and having her chase the cat out of the room was completely unexpected. See, the cats still scare the hell out of Sam. If the cat is in the hallway and is blocking Sam from one of us, Sam will cry until we get up and stand between her and the offending beast. (She hasn’t worked out that the whole barking thing horrifies them or that the pitiful whimpering never makes them move – only cackle and drum their claws while eyeing her with that particular ennui cats reserve for just about everything.)

Since Sam has discovered that chicken is definitely worth a fuss, she now readily defends all forms of chicken from the furry tailess ones – food that a few months ago previously went unnoticed – from grilled to fried chicken, sandwich meat to Chik-fil-A – she’ll bay and snap until the room is cat free, then she’ll proudly pad back and fling herself down on her dog bed.

Since Sam doesn’t get table scraps, our best guess is some little chicken loving synapse fired her beagle brain.

I can’t wait to see what other surprises our little goofy beagle will reveal.

Sam Update: The Beginning of the CCL Saga

Well, it’s the crack of dawn and I’m wide awake so instead of tossing and turning or drinking warm milk, I thought “what the hell, I’ll poke the Big Blue Mess”. Plus, warm milk just sounds gross. I mean, does that really make you fall asleep or does your body throw up a white flag and offer a truce, “you stop drinking that and I promise to make more seratonin”?

Anyway, this is mostly for Charla and mostly an update on Sam.

Sam, our little special needs beagle, just can’t seem to catch a break. We noticed her limping last week and after she spent 24 hours limping and had the pads of her paw checked more times than she’d care to, I took her to the vet. The good news is she has a tear in her crutiate ligament. The reason that qualifies as “good” is that it could have been completely torn. The bad news is that we’re supposed to keep her confined 24/7 for a week in her crate. I don’t know how many of you have tried to keep a special needs beagle confined for any amount of time, but it’s about the most miserable thing you can do. As hard as we try, Sam doesn’t quite have the vocabulary for “you’re injured and you need pet bed rest” – her vocabulary is limited to “uh uh”, “cookie” (which is a dog biscuit), “outside” and “go to your room” (aka the crate)” I suppose we can work on “you need your bed rest”, but I’m already having my doubts as to how well that will work.

What I got to aid us along are dog sedatives, which are just like dog placebos except Sam naps for about an hour before deciding some things are just too exciting to let a little tranquilizer hold her down. – like food. (And as an aside, she’s added a few new items to her food favorites – lettuce spines, green beans and homemade uncooked spinach basil garlic pasta that explodes all over the kitchen when you open the wrapper. Of course, broccoli is still disgusting and inedible – it’s up there with medicine, because it fails her refined “is it as good as poop” litmus test.)

On Wednesday she heads back to the vet to see if there has been any improvement on the tear. There will doubtlessly be a lecture on how we failed to keep her confined and her healing progressing much more slowly thanks to bad parents. Thankfully, Jay is taking her in. Of course, I personally think we should get a few kudos, because we mostly keep her bouncing in check (yay sedatives), which is quite the feat if you know Sam.

Anyway, that’s kind of the Sam update. I suppose I’ll see about falling back to sleep. I see a load of caffeine in my future.

Update for Charla

Since my step-mom uses this blog as an update on what’s going on (or what I’m thinking about) and I’ve been really bad about posting lately, I thought I’d update her. My apologies to the rest of you who probably are a couple of seconds from yawning if you go much past this sentence.

Sam – A few weeks ago she had a set-back. The right side of her face became paralyzed (previously it was her left side). Fortunately, since we’d been through this on her left side with visits to the neorologist, cat scans, spinal taps – all that kind of fun, we got her to the vet immediately and the recovery has gone a lot faster. Sam still can’t blink with either eye. So poor Sam, four times a day we try to convince her that sitting patiently while we smear goop in her eyes is fun. Of course, the peanut butter covered pills help. Although, she’d prefer those to the eye full of goop. Sam’s left eye now blinks more regularly, but it’s not consistent. Despite all of this and the added trouble of the cats popping her every time she looks at them wrong, Sam is one of the happiest and goofiest little dogs around.

Bowling – April is the last month of bowling and I plan on ending as the worst bowler of the year. WOO HOOO! You see, we get a ranking list once a week and there’s my name right there towards the bottom. “Suckiest Bowler in the History of Our League: Beth”. The handout used to include a “Least Improved” listing, but someone thought that was a little mean and they removed it. Still, I know in my heart that my name is there in the software.

Work Stuffs – I’m in the process of working towards a CAPM certification and should have it by the middle of the summer. This is the first step to me eventually getting a PMP certification (I just need the hours). Basically, I’ll be an authority on acronyms and will have a lovely piece of heavy paper with my legal name on it (yippee). I’m hopeful it will also include one of those little gold embossed thingies to make it look all official like.


  • Anna lost a bet and will be treating me to a fun-filled vacation day in the next couple of months. YAY!
  • It’s still not too late to get your Dragon Con tickets (Aug. 28-Sep. 1) for my 40 1/2 birthday. Guests are signing up and so far it looks like a decent BSG turn-out. I’ll be the one cheering madly in the front.
  • Lance’s Band the Killer Crocs of Uganda is performing at Momo’s on April 5, 11pm
  • Colt, April & Jonathan celebrate their birthdays in April. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (Now I don’t owe you cards.)
  • I still need people to come help me design a garden and give me lawn advice!!! HELP ME PLEASE! (I’m not kidding.)
  • …and I’m plum out of updates

How is Sam?

As you’ve all probably guessed, I’m running low on blog ideas and the ones I’ve typed out just seem kind of “bleh” at the moment. So, since I get asked about Sam a lot, I’ll give you the Sam update.

Sam is doing MUCH better. She’s regained complete control of her mouth and ears and her little face no longer droops. In fact, I’m pretty sure she’s over-compensating, because she now seems to smirk at us more (could be something we did). Sam’s eye, however, is a different story. Sam can close it (if we’re coming at her with artificial tears) but she cannot blink it. The closing is still a major improvement. Sam may never be able to blink again, but then again we were told her face might never return to normal, so we’re both thankful that she’s regained the control she has and hopeful that one day we’ll see more than just that third eyelid flash across her eye.

For the most part, Sam’s life is pretty good. Her major obstacle are our two grumpy cats who try to cause her to implode by glaring at her. The cats are fairly sure they just haven’t got the right angle. When they’re not glaring, they’ll charge at her and much yelping ensues. Sam hasn’t quite put it together that she has about 20 lbs. on the cats and that her barking makes them nervous. Instead, she’s figured out that if she stands behind me and points at them, I’ll protect her. This makes for some fun times since Sam will not cross their path and they’ll occasionally block her from coming in the house, going into a room or down the hall. She’ll start whimpering, which is a signal for one of us to stand between her and whatever hellbeast doesn’t want her in their space (aka the house).

So there you have it – Sam’s update.

Sam Update

Since I had such a beautiful rant about what Sam meant to me, I thought I’d post an update.

Sam has had a tough week. She’s been to the neurologist, had a CT scan, had spinal fluid drawn, and cultures done of her little ear. The diagnosis: Sam has one heck of an ear infection. Her ear canal is so inflamed it’s pressing against the nerves that control the left side of her face. But after a couple of days of being groggy, she’s back to bounding around, holding parades in the backyard, chasing down those phantom rabbits and just being a good natured little beagle. She’s now on a regimen of antibiotics for the next 4 weeks that should hopefully knock that infection down. Although, the doctor said she may never fully regain control of that side of her face.

Sam’s new favorite trick is the pfft. That’s the sound we make when I try to disguise her pill as a bit of hotdog or a lump of cheese and we pfft that little pill back onto the floor. Then we wag our entire body because it’s kind of funny to watch mom get so frustrated AND we got cheese! (Sam isn’t allowed people food, so this is a pretty big deal. Little does she know that the pfft means we go straight to the pilling. She’s cute, but not always bright.) These are the same pills our cat had, and let me just say that I’m glad I’m pilling Sam and not Hodi. Those pills are about as big as Hodi’s head, so she was never too pleased to be forced to eat one. Sam doesn’t like it either, but she’s got more mouth to work with and she’s less likely to hit me or bite me. Hooray for small favors!

I have to say, we were really worried about Sam and prepared for the CT scan to come back as “brain tumor” or discover she had an epileptic seizure and had injured her brain (epilepsy is very common in beagles, though very treatable). Of all the possibilities, we got the best news and were able to breathe a gigantic sigh of relief. We now know what’s wrong, and it’s being dealt with.

So I say again, Sam is worth it. She’s worth every cent. She’s worth every worried tear and every wag that takes over her entire body.