My dog Samantha is an alumni. She came into my life shortly after I had put down Chelsea, another alumni. Chelsea had been a model
dog, so well trained when I get her, that when I walked her, I actually had people ask me if she had been trained by the Dog Whisperer.
Unfortunately, she was half Rottweiler. The half that came with bad hips. After a long painful battle with that and other health problems, I had to say goodbye.
One afternoon I was looking at the PHS website and saw a Doberman pincher had been brought into the shelter. I went the next afternoon during my lunch hour and was told that the Dobie had already found a home.
“Are you looking for a big dog?” one of the volunteers asked hopefully.
“Well, yes I am.”
“How about the biggest dog we have?”
“Let me show her to you.”
She was the same color as Chelsea and had a sweet face and even friendlier disposition. I was in love. She seemed, at best, in like.
When Chelsea first came, she ran through the house and yard, overjoyed to finally have come to a real home. Samantha on the other hand, walked through and looked around as if to say, “Really? I was hoping for something a little bigger, with a pool and a little boy.” ‘Her first night she slept soundly as if she didn’t have a care in the world and snored so loud, I couldn’t sleep myself.
Our first walk together, no one was asking if Cesar had a hand in training her. She dragged me down the street like I was water skiing. I came home several nights to find her not in the yard, but down the
street, apparently making the rounds to get to know the neighbors. Out of boredom, she chewed up door mats and took the dryer vent cover off the garage. Several times. The hardware store where I kept going for replacements, knew me by name.
I stared calling coming home from work, “the walk of shame”, because I would walk Sami around the yard and find everything she had destroyed that day. At the end, she would lay down with her face in her paws, as if to say, “I messed up again.”
She looked like Chelsea, but where Chelsea was obedient and aiming to please, Samantha was confident and sometimes downright stubborn. Chelsea was even keeled and Samantha had bursts of high energy and then wanted to just lay down and sleep.
I had said that after dealing with the sadness of Chelsea’s declining health, I wanted a dog with some spunk. The D-Man, my significant other, pointed out I had gotten exactly what I asked for. Problem was, her spunk was getting exasperating.
Then something strange happened. One night, very late, I heard the sound sleeper up and roaming around the house. It was unusual, since the one thing Samantha was extremely good at was
sleeping. She didn’t bark and she didn’t seem to have to go out, so I went back to sleep.
Samantha had never shown any interest in dog toys, but I had Chelsea’s in the spare bedroom on a stool. Chelsea had one favorite that she always kept with her. I had put it in the middle of the toy pile, but that morning, out of the clear blue, the toy was sitting in the hallway, right outside my bedroom door.
I felt a chill go down my back. Had Samantha had a night time visit from Chelsea? Was Samantha asking for some kind of forgiveness? I picked it up and put it back where it had been. I never saw it out again.
What was even stranger was Samantha’s behavior. After that night, there were only a few instances where “the walk of shame” yielded any damage and we eventually stopped doing it. She still got out of the backyard on occasion but she would be on the front porch waiting for me to come home from work. Not a perfect walker by any means, at least your shoulder stays in the socket.
So what happened the night I found the toy? There are logical explanations and some not so logical.
Like so many things in the lives of our pets, I will never really know. What I do know is I am glad the Doberman went home with someone else and I ended up with spunky Sami, the dog I was looking for all along.