Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sammy the Dog
My girls are remembering our dog Sam, who was the next picture in that old roll of film. Her full name was Samantha. She was born under the porch at what was then Ken and Alice Scott's house in Peshawbestown, part of a litter born to a stray black lab who took refuge there. Sam was a good dog, very smart, and very protective of the kids.
It was a tragedy when she died under the wheels of Mr. Hagstrom's school bus, trying to prevent it from taking Liz off to kindergarten. I was guilty of negligence, as she would have been obediently by my side had I remembered to call her in before the bus was due. But that day I had gotten our piano tuned for the first time and I dawdled to try it out as Liz nagged me to call the dog in.
Time heals. By the time Liz graduated from high school, the family tragedy had become a well worn black comedy. Liz feigned bitterness over memories of classmate Ellen laughing when Liz shared the news at kindergarten circle time. Ellen obliged by recreating the laugh. Abby's graduation announcement -- featuring a picture of Abby on her first day of school boarding Mr. Hagstrom's bus -- was hung on the wall as crime scene evidence.
Rose has been, in contrast, a not so smart dog. Perhaps that's why she lived so long. She never figured out how to open gates, climb the fence, or even how to walk over the fence when the snow drifted over it. (She did fall over the snow drifted fence a few times and couldn't figure out how to get herself back in.) Instead of having a dog who seemed to always know what I was thinking, I've had to learn to communicate with a loving, but slow witted dog. And now to be patient with a tired, smelly old dog.
So there's a picture of Sammy, my wonderful but short lived dog.