Thursday, May 21, 2009

Constant Companion

I always knew that I wanted a dog but never knew how much I needed a dog. Our 55-pound yellow bundle of lab energy has done more for me than painkillers or anti-nausea drugs ever could during all of this and I know that her gentle nuzzle and wet kisses will be healing me all the way through. 

The timing could not have been more right for Craig to finally cave to my whinings for a dog, and it's truly kismet that we found Sammy, a beautiful pup stuck in a crummy situation hundreds of miles away in Tennessee. She's only a year-and-a-half and we're her third family. From abandonment at a kill shelter to being scooped up by a loving family with the unfortunate luck of a son allergic to her and therefore many days and nights spent alone in a garage, to a
n impulsive adoption by a crazy couple in Connecticut (us.) We've had her only three months and can't imagine our life without her. Sammy has my husband, Mr. Anti-Dog, wrapped around her paw and they are truly the best of friends. 

For me, her companionship has meant that I never have to be alone. I get constant love and friendship. I don't have to talk about how I'm feeling or explain why I doubled over or 
can't get off the couch. She just knows and nuzzles up next to me wherever I am. She'll nap with me for hours; she'll sit by my feet outside in the warm sun; she'll wait patiently for me to get my shoes on to take her outside to play. When I'm working on my laptop she shimmies her way under my arm and rests her head on my leg while I type and design. Right now it's 3:45 a.m. and where's Sammy? Not in her dog bed but downstairs with me cozied right by my side (you can see her snout under my arm in the photo.) She's up with me all hours of the night checking in to make sure I'm okay in whatever bathroom I might be in, nosing her way through the door, following closely at my feet as I shuffle like an elderly woman around the house. 

And the most important thing she does for me is gives me purpose and forces me not to mope. Cancer or no cancer Sammy still has to eat, go out, she still craves a good session of tennis ball toss and a belly scratch. She doesn't ask for much and I couldn't be happier to please her. A million ear scratches, pig ears and organic doggie treats could never pay her back for the way she warms my spirit and makes me forget the pain. 

I had come across this New York Times column several weeks back, before I had any clue about the cancer growing inside me. It struck me so deeply that I started bawling and forwarded it to Craig at work. Maybe deep down I knew that me and Sammy would also be learning to live in the moment together just like the author and his Bijou de Minuit.    


  1. So, have you given her permanent couch privileges yet? You know I'm on her side on this one. Rie

  2. Agreed....All dogs deserve permanent couch privileges!

  3. Sammy rocks...and so do you! Go girl! Kate