So I’ve been going through old photos, and apparently this habit of mine of taking boat loads of dog pics is nothing new. I say that to simply warn y’all that I really don’t know where I’m going with this post, but it might be full of photographic memories — a tribute to my beloved dog of almost 13 years, Sammie Sad Eyes.

I first want to say I called her Sammie Sad Eyes for an obvious reason … her eyes often made her look sad. She was kinda sad in the above pic cuz she was stuck in those leaves and couldn’t get up! Funny thing about the nickname is when I’d walk her, I can’t tell you how many times strangers would just look adoringly at her and say, “Oh, she’s so happy … she’s SMILING!” Wait, what?! She never smiles at me! Don’t get me wrong, I know she was happy and loved me, but really, I’d never noticed her smiling at me. Anyway, I’ll start by telling the story about how we rescued her.

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By we, I mean my late husband, Don, and I. It gets old cuz I say it all the time and maybe have even said it on this blog, but Sammie was Daddy’s girl. She simply tolerated me after he passed in 2010. Truthfully, she and I had a very special bond, but I know she missed her daddy terribly. In 2005, we lost our little Bichon Frise and decided we would wait at least a year to get another dog. Fast forward two weeks and we were on our way to a flea market, turned off to grab some cash from an ATM, and instead of turning left into the bank parking lot, we turned right into the Walmart parking lot because we saw a sign for a doggy adopt-a-thon being put on by Macon Friends of Animals. There were two 14-week-old puppies left from a litter of 10 that had been abandoned by someone in a cardboard box. Don chose Sammie because of her calm nature.

Howzabout a photographic break … Sammie loved hiking, but it’s been a couple years since she’s been physically able.

Why’d we name her Sammie?! Funny story really. Don figured since we got her in a Walmart parking lot we should name her Wally. I was like, “Um … Wally is my first husband’s name (good guy by the way but probably not cool to name our dog that). Plus it’s a BOY’S name.” So we fiddled around with Walmartisms and Sammy came from Sam Walton. Don said, “Um, but Sammy is a BOY’S name too.” I replied, “Uh-uh … not when you spell it SammIE … besides, we’ll just tell people it’s short for Samantha.” Yea, that’s the ticket.

Sammie loved snow. The cold didn’t faze her; it made her quite frisky and playful. We spent 2013 in my home state of New Hampshire so she got to see a lot of snow.

Sammie loved dat dirty water. She loved to drink it …

And she loved to wade in it …

 

She loved the farm, the Greenway, and Coweeta Lab …

And she loved me … it was hard to say goodbye. I hope the Rainbow Bridge works both ways and that her daddy was waiting to greet her.

A few more photos …

Ok, this is it I promise. I love you SSE …

Thank y’all.

Do I look. a little harrowed?! Motherhood ain’t easy, ya know. I’m kidding … but I have come to the conclusion that when I say, “Let’s take a selfie,” that ALL dogs think I said, “Why don’t ya kiss me?” So it took a few takes to get this goober to look straight ahead. It gets a bit awkward on the Greenway when there is an audience, hence my harrowing facial expression. In light of the fact that I’m not sure when the shelter dog struts will resume, I thought I’d do a post updating y’all on Patch and Sammie. For those who do not know, Patch was a shelter dog I featured here on the blog and then adopted! Here’s that post: Patch the Loverboy

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In a nutshell, Patch E. Poo (I haven’t decided what E. stands for yet) has been a total blast. He loves to hike, he likes big sticks, and he becomes very playful in the water. I can let him off the leash and do his thing for miles. He’s incredibly athletic and loves to run, jump, climb and descend, and he often disappears for a few minutes. But like a boomerang he always comes back. Sometimes he brings a buddy …

Patch is a great watch dog and very protective of me … so much so that he’s not very accepting of others at first, i.e. he’s not much of a people person — I mean pooch — and that’s kinda ok cuz I ain’t gots no people! It does present a problem though when we are approached. I’ll hear “Is he frien- ROO ROO ROO ROO ROO ROO RUFF -dly, oh I guess not.” We will continue to work on socialization.

 

He fancies dirt and laying in mud puddles. Unfortunately, I did not have my phone with me when he jumped into what appeared to be an epic mud puddle, but it was WAY deeper than he expected — more like a mini mud pond. He’s a dirty dawg, but I love him to pieces. And that eye being sewn shut … I have noticed nothing to indicate that it affects his abilities in any way, shape, or form.

On the home front, I’ve taken things very slowly. We have, however, progressed quite a bit. Poor Sammie-girl is a little embarrassed about how dopey her little brudder can be, so I’ve reminded her how she acted when she was younger. She likes to steal stuff out of his cage, like chew bones that she hasn’t shown interest in for years! Patch tells me that even though Sammie seems to ignore him at the house, when I am gone she makes him tell her all about our adventures. When I am home, Patch is out of the cage and can roam as he pleases.

When I leave, he goes into the cage quite willingly upon command. He a very obedient blessing of a baby boy. I’ve tried him outta the cage and on the bed at night twice now, as Sammie sleeps on the floor beside the bed. The first night, he was a restless pain in the bottom, so I didn’t sleep much. The second attempt about a week later lasted 10 minutes. It was obviously not going to work again. I don’t feel badly about keeping him in the cage overnight, as he seems very content and is quiet til morning. Each morning while Sammie is outside doing her business, I let him out of his cage and he gives me the tightest, longest-lasting hug … every single day. 

Now if I can just get Sammie to let him hug HER! I will tell you a secret … sometimes Sammie sleeps in the living room near Patch all night long … baby steps!

 

I noticed this “intake” photo of Patch at the shelter the other day. It certainly encompasses him in all his adorableness (if that’s even a word … I dunno … adoribality maybe, hehe). Oddly, with all the pics I’ve taken of dogs over the years, I have zero of Sammie when she was a puppy. My late hubby and I adopted her at 14 weeks of age in 2005, and I’m guessing our cell phones at that time did not have cameras? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Sorry Samster. BTW, SSE in the title stands for Sammie Sad Eyes … I’ve called her that for many years. Here’s why:

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In a nutshell, Sammie and Patch have very different personalities; they are opposites in many ways. Patch is a velcro dog to the max, and Sammie … well she is very independent. For instance, this is how each rides in the 4-runner …

As far as integrating Patch into our household, I’ve been taking baby steps. Very. Small. Baby. Steps. There is a chance I’m being too cautious but better safe than sorry. Patch still stays in a very large cage overnight and most of the time while in the house. Due to Sammie’s ailing health, she just isn’t in the mood for much interaction with a younger dog. The wonderful thing about Patch is that he senses that and is very respectful of her space. Or maybe he’s scared of her. Either way … it works. I did have them out on the porch at the same time the other day. It was funny, Sammie “asked” me to lift her up onto her chair. I guess she could be described as “aloof” … 

Sammie to the left of me and Patch to the right. Again … baby steps. What I have found comical is that for years Sammie has not been interested in such things as treats, toys, and chewies … but suddenly she has quite a fondness for them. In fact, while Patch and I were gone one day, she went into his cage and took a few items. So now everything I do for or give to Patch, Sammie gets as well. It’s a win-win for both doggies!

Patch is all about hugs and hikes. The first photo above is an example of the hug part. Many times during our hikes, he turns around and gives me a huge, tight, long-lasting hug. It’s the sweetest thing. In this photo, he is telling me he wants to start writing his own blog. He sees how much his mommy enjoys writing and claims he has a lot to say as well. Hmmm … something to ponder.

Sammie, while never into hugs at all, has been my hiking buddy for many years. She is now retired. The photos above were taken last summer in Central VA. While she is not able to hike anymore, I often took her with me, as she preferred that than to be left alone at the campground we were staying. I hiked early in the mornings when it was cool enough for her hang out in the car. She was just happy to come along with me.

All in all, we are doing just fine. Having no experience bringing a new dog into a senior dog’s home, my attitude, as with all things in life, is adapt and overcome. Oh, and patience … which is a virtue I am now grasping strongly! I love both Patch and Sammie. They both bring such joy. I do believe it’s gonna continue to be a great ride.

 

Well, this actually should be titled the next 48 since my last post was about 48 hours ago. Anyhow, things are going so great! I was concerned the first night, leaving Patch in this cage out in the kitchen while my Sammie-Girl and I slept in the bedroom on the other end of the house. The past, younger, sympathetic me was like … “Oh the poor puppy wuppy, I better dwag his cwate into the bedwoom so he can seep right by us.” And the more recent, cranky old lady me (I must have caught the cranky part from Sammie) was like … “No. I ain’t draggin’ that thing across the house. Let’s just see what happens if we leave him be. It sure beats where he’s been spending his nights, and he seems quite content.”

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Sho’ ’nuff, Patch handled hanging out by himself all night long like the big boy that he is. I did not hear a single peep out of him. I was so, so, so very pleased and kinda surprised. Last night, I heard some peeping around 4 a.m., but Patch was not the direct culprit. He was playing with a squeaky toy for a bit and then dozed off again. My fear of him whining and crying due to separation anxiety at nighttime was put to rest. Say amen right there. And yesterday, I left him alone for a couple hours. I was a bit on edge and worried about how he would handle it, but it seems clear that Patch does will not have any issues with separation anxiety at all. Here is how I found him upon my return.

I took the picture from outside in the driveway.

I wanted to keep this post short, but that’s not working. In the briefest possible terms, Sammie is still not 100% thrilled. She has changed a few of her habits, which I find quite comical. She now eats her food as soon as I put it down. There were times she would wait 5 or 6 hours to eat her breakfast. Also, she would only drink from her outside water bowl or lick from puddles. Yea, I dunno what that’s about. Now, after several months, she has resumed drinking from her inside water bowl. I guess she wants to be sure Patch is clear which water bowl is NOT his.

Patch and I put on about 4.5 miles yesterday and 7 today. He’s gonna be the perfect hiking buddy. He even alerted me to a. white-tailed deer today. I’ve not started any formal training with him yet, as I first want to form a bond with him and be sure he’s completely comfortable in knowing he is now “home.” That said, he seems to be learning stuff anyway. For instance, at first he would try to jump outta the car or step outta his cage without letting me put his leash on. Now he lays there and waits for me to hook him up. When we come in from outdoors, he goes straight to his cage without my even prompting him. The only issue thus far is he has growled at two people, both of whom had thick heads of pure white hair. Interesting, eh? It makes me wonder if there is someone in his past that fits that description.

So tomorrow, I will go to Appalachian Animal Rescue Center and officially adopt my Patchy-Poo. Did I just call him that?! I will also be resuming the shelter dog walks on the Greenway. Some of the dogs at AARC are going to be sent to New Jersey Friday in hopes of having better luck finding their furever homes. It is another no-kill shelter, and I’m told they fetch (pun intended) around $350 each for these pooches up there while AARC gets $65. Apparently there are stricter laws in NJ regarding pet ownership — I’m not sure the details. Please pray for these down-on-their-luck doggies!

And I reckon he’s quite comfortable since he laid on his back and asked for a belly rub. He might just be channeling a little bit of my old girl, Sammie, who isn’t ever afraid to ask for a belly rub … in fact, that’s how she greets people — belly up! So I wanted to bring her to the shelter to meet Patch, but she has been unwilling to go for rides of late, I reckon due to her ailing health. But I only had to ask her once today. I think she knew sumpn was up.

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Ok, she doesn’t look thrilled but I was happy she came. Rides used to be her favorite! At the same time, I felt sorta bad cuz I know it takes a lot of effort for her to help me help her get up into the 4-runner. Anyway, she came, she met Patch, she showed her teeth a little. She has always loved other dogs; I believe she is just old, tired, and cranky. I can certainly relate, hehe! It’s ironic because when my late husband and I first brought her home as a puppy, the neighbor’s yellow lab, June, was an old gal like Sammie is now and Sammie would drive her nuts trying to get her to play.

Does this boy not look happy to be coming home?! I did a little research and read that when introducing a dog to his or her new home, take him or her for a walk through the ‘hood before bringing the pup inside your house. I reckon that’s for NORMAL ‘hoods. Not ‘hoods that border a 4-lane highway with two vicious dogs wearing no collars that dart across the road and terrorize people and puppies alike. Now I know why I was always hearing horns honking. These dogs think the highway is their playground.

Long story short, it was terrifying. Patch broke free of his collar while I was screaming and cussing at these dogs to get the frick away. I thank the good Lord above no blood was shed, cuz for a brief moment I thought these two would try to maim if not kill us. All I could think of was Patch was going to run away or get run over on the highway. That smart boy ran up the hill and up my driveway and tried to get in my vehicle. The ‘hood rat dawgs went back where they came from. Oh, and I think I mentioned yesterday that Patch has already lost an eye to an aggressive dog. I was very proud of how he handled himself during today’s trauma.

Shortly after all the chaos, a neighbor came down and told me he’d seen what happened and said he and his wife have to drive their new rescue dog somewhere to walk her. How messed up is that?! I will be filing a report with Animal Control. I hope something is done.

This is where things stand right now. Sammie is snoring and ignoring the fact she has a new brother. It’s probably hard to make out in the photo above, but Patch is in a nice big cage chillin’ like a villain in front of the window. But he’s no villain … he is my hero. The cage is temporary til we all adjust. I have not officially adopted him yet, as the shelter peeps recommended I take him home, let him spend a day or two, and make sure all will be well. I’m feeling quite positive that this is going to work out just fine. My motto has always been adapt and overcome and we shall.

This. Boy. He’s a lover — loaded with kisses and eager to bathe unsuspecting humans with them. Y’all might remember I didn’t walk a dog last Sunday because Appalachian Animal Rescue Center is closed on Sundays. Well lucky me got a special invite to come in and grab a dog today. Just because the place is closed doesn’t mean the work stops … it’s never ending for the selfless folks who work there. Tony said he’d like me to take Patch, an owner surrender who lost an eye when he was just a puppy. Because it’s the eye surrounded by dark fur, you really hafta look to notice that anything is amiss.

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See what I mean? I’d also never have thought based on his behavior and abilities that he only has one eye. 

Patch was very light on the leash. In fact, he’s the first one I used a retractible leash with for the whole adventure. He was very friendly and playful with other 4-legged balls of fur. I did not get this one’s name, but he looked like Benji with some extra fluff. After we got way past him, he suddenly ran back to us off leash and introduced himself. He’s not the only one that found Patch irresistible! Perhaps “he” was actually a “she!”

Patch is very treat motivated and super smart … I bet it would be fun and fairly easy to teach him all kinds of tricks. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to put my money where my mouth is … that is IF I can get this silly Loverboy to stop kissing me!