Friday, February 15, 2008

Sammy—my second kid

Sammy was a Christmas present to me in 2006. I had been begging Jonathan for a Great Dane—they are such beautiful dogs. They are also big couch potatoes, very lazy. The lazy part was rather important because Jonathan and I work long hours. In an attempt to find me the present of my dreams - at a reasonable price, he searched the shelters. That is where he found Sammy and I'm glad he did. Sammy is a great dog. She LOVES people. She is NOT, however, lazy. She is the complete opposite in fact - but I'll get to that later.

The funny part of the story is that Sammy was being "marketed" as a great dane mix. She is more like a pit bull/lab mix. The other interesting tidbit is that Sammy was not quite a cute little puppy when I got her - She was almost 9 months old.

So how did it happen? Well, we spend every Christmas Eve at Jonathan's mom's house. This is where he had hid her. I walked into the house and this medium sized dog ran up to me. The first thing out of my mouth was "who's dog is this". Everyone had this funny grin on their face, making it apparent they knew something I didn't. She was my christmas present. I was so excited and completely caught off guard.

Because Sammy was already so big (40lbs when I got her), it wasn't exactly like connecting with a puppy. She came with me to my parents house the next day. Poor Murphy, my parents aging golden retriever, didn't know what to do.

Sammy, meet Franklin
Bringing Sammy home was interesting because if you remember I already have a kid - Franklin. I wasn't too worried about Franklin when I was asking for a puppy because I thought they could get used to each other while the dog was still small. This was not the way it was meant to happen. Luckily, Franklin is a pretty curious and brave cat, fearless I might say.

Of course, months after we had brought Sammy home, I read an article about how to introduce new pets in the home. It was very in-depth and helpful, but way too late.

If I remember correctly, Sammy bounded in the house and practically pounced on the cat. Franklin backed way up and puffed into a round ball of fur. To his credit, he did not run. The minute Sammy was disinterested, Franklin, always curious, would try and steal a sniff. Although Sammy didn't mean any harm, she was too rough, trying to paw at the cat with her giant mitts. Franklin surprised Sammy with a couple good swipes across the nose. He is not declawed.

Slowly, the two began to tolorate one another. Every once in a while you'll hear claws scatter across the hardwood as Sammy decides to chase Franklin into a corner. Franklin will tease Sammy too. He'll run right in front of her, making a little noise, practically asking Sammy to chase him. It's an interesting dynamic to watch.

The Fence
If you remember, I mentioned that Sammy is not lazy. The fence is a perfect example of her pent up energy. Our backyard is rather large and is contained by a privacy fence. This is something I had considered when asking for a dog. The fence is old and rotting in a couple of place, but still stable, that is until Sammy got bored.

Our neighbors have a dog as well. Sammy and the neighbor dog, who I'll call Coffee, became fast friends. We would let them play together whenever we were around to supervise. After a couple months - Sammy got quite bored with our backyard. Nothing was new to her anymore. So she decided to leave. Sammy is determined. She proceeded to dig under the fence until she could get her jaws around the bottom of a fence plank. She would lock her jaws and pull back with all her might. She proceeds to rip the fence down panel by panel. Luckily, she was typically only going through to visit Coffee, and that yard is also fenced in.

At first we were amused—proud our dog that was smart enough, and strong enough to do this. The amusement did not last long. We began systematically replacing our fence - panel by panel. Not to mention, Sammy found a way out of the neighbor's yard as well. Soon we were searching the neighborhood. Needless to say, Sammy doesn't go out without supervision any more.

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