Tag Archives: Samantha

Sam’s Song

Father’s Day, 1994
(It really was June 19!)

Back in 1994, when Samantha and I first began living with each other, during our long walks together, I composed this little bit of “doggerel” (to the obvious tune of)…

This little dog, she’s a pup.
She’s got big paws and a tail.
With an arf, arf, sniff, sniff,
chew a rawhide bone.
This little dog came running home.
This little pup, she’s a black lab.
She likes running in the park.
With an arf, arf, sniff, sniff,
chase a tennis ball.
This little dog came running home.
This little lab, her name’s Sam.
She’s getting bigger every day.
With an arf, arf, sniff, sniff,
run around the yard.
This little dog came running home.

(I got a new laptop, so I’ve been going through a lot of old data deciding what to archive and what to transfer to the new machine. Among all those files I found the little dog ditty I wrote 24 years ago. (And I still miss that dog! One of the best I’ve ever known!))

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Be Whiched?

A question for a Monday:

Sam Witch Shop

If Elizabeth Montgomery had owned a Subway franchise, would that make it a Sam Witch Shop?

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A half-life in three acts

new years eveThe end of the calendar year: a time for a rambling look back at what was and wiping the blackboard clean for the scribbles of a new year. It’s been thirty years (and some change) since I moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. That was roughly half my life ago.

I realize the former is a city while the latter is an entire state, but L.A. is so much a place unto itself (call it a state of mind) that I really do think of the move that way. It took years to shed my West Coast cloak — that Los Angeles state of mind — but now I’m a full-on Minnesotan.

Looking back, those three decades form three distinct acts.

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Dog Tales: Games

SamanthaLast time I gave you the final chapter in the Story of Samantha — the repose of her ashes. Two years ago, I gave you an early chapter, the Tale of the Perfect Day (in part, a tale of a tail). This time, somewhat like a (long-delayed) wake, I’m going to share some random memories from The Life of Sam.

Actually, she was Samantha II. The first Samantha was a puppy I shared with a roommate. That Sam died very young when she lost in an attempt to take down  a passing bus. My roommate, who’d left the gate open, was utterly devastated. We buried her beneath a stand of Joshua trees far out in the Mojave Desert.

The puppy, that is; not my roommate.

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Sam’s Final Walk

trail leavesThe autumn leaves that litter the trail crunch beneath my feet, and dozens of flying insects — grasshoppers I think — flee the oncoming giant tromping through their domain. The late morning sky is a lovely cerulean broken only by lonely scattered cloud wisps. The October air is crisp — like a chilled white wine — dry, bracing, invigorating. I am given a perfect fall day to accomplish my task.

The trees that surround me, mostly oak and linden, a few scattered elms, give way to pines. Now the trail is covered in long pine needles and pine cones. Large birds — falcons perhaps — watch my passing with avian alarm. A brave one flies directly overhead to get a closer look at the encroaching human.

I’m seeking the “Cathedral of Pines,” the place I’ve chosen for Sam’s final rest.

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Four Days of the Dog

Rosie

Rosie The Dog

I cried a bit after she was gone. I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect to miss her at all, let alone so intensely. The place seems much emptier than it did four days ago. You wouldn’t think a long weekend would be enough to form such a strong bond.

But dogs are simpler than people and much more honest and open. You always know how a dog feels about you, and the dog is never two-faced or a hypocrite.  And I think Rosie brought me back to Samantha (I even called her “Sam” a couple of times).

Monday night I found myself wandering aimlessly around a place that seemed too empty.

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Sad Day; Perfect Day

Today’s date, 10/11/12, is one of those dates that’s numerically fun. (For my European friends, I guess it was yesterday.) And, of course, in one month and one day, we’ll have the last “golden date” of this century, 12/12/12.

But for me, October 11th is a sad day, a day of mourning. Eight years ago today, in 2004, my dog—who brought me as close as I have ever come to having my own child—took her last breath. Her name was Samantha; she was only ten.

That she died a couple of years after we moved into a new place I’d bought in part to provide an ideal home for her was tough. That she died a bit over a year after my divorce was final was really tough. That she died only months after the first time my job at The Company was eliminated and I had found a new position two days before my end date was just icing on a shit cake.

Today I choose to commemorate her passing by writing about the perfect day.

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