Tag Archives: Samson

Pretty Thoughts for the Season

Yesterday was a glorious fall day in the DC Metro Area. DH usually does morning walk duty with Sadie and Dub, but yesterday I bolted shamelessly from my side of the bed to volunteer. And by shameless, I mean that I muscled through the shame I felt to get what I wanted. On days when I don’t have to be anywhere, playing with the dogs out while DH makes breakfast for Pebbles and Bam Bam is a mouthwatering luxury, and DH knows it. Add an overpriced cup of coffee, and the minivan practically drives itself to the dog run.

Right. I drove them to the dog run. It undermines one of my primary excuses for getting the dogs (to encourage exercise) but supports the other – the play side.

Nothing marvelous or extraordinary occurred while we played. Dogs sniffed and were sniffed, Frisbees were caught. But my three-dollar coffee tasted SO good between chucks of Dub’s slobbery, muddy tennis ball into the glinting sunlight. And all while Sadie mosied about sharing the love, as she as wont to do whenever friendly strangers are in her midst. Sadie is the Blanche DuBois of dog run visitors.

"I've always depended on the kindess of, well, you know..."

With all the unmitigated quiet in my head, I had the presence to ask myself why I loved this moment so much. I didn’t used to love this moment. Not with giddy enthusiasm, anyway. When we lived in Manhattan with Samson, and DH was traveling for work, I could be positively grudging as I buttoned my coat up to my nose while waiting at the coffee cart with our first Brittany. I’d spill half the coffee down my sleeve and curse a blue streak while I trudged to the run at Riverside and 105th. Then I’d drink what was left while Samson poked his nose through the iron fence and pointed squirrels on the other side. Feeling guilty for having a hunting dog in the city, I’d let him out of the run (after checking carefully for park police) to chase local vermin, and then inevitably, he’d gallop away and I would spend the next 15 minutes running about in a tearful panic, hoping he didn’t make it all the way to 96th street and try to cross….   

That was the worry of my life in those days — Samson getting creamed by the cars turning off of West Side Highway onto Riverside Drive. I was getting my MFA, and one memorable morning, Samson’s self-guided hunting expodition made me nearly late for a seminar where I would get to meet Arthur Miller, up close and personal. I thought I was going to KILL him. (Samson, not Mr. Miller. I almost leapt across the table and kissed Mr. Miller on the lips, so brimming with life and creative potential was I on that fall day…)

As I picked up a steaming pile of poop before we headed home yesterday, I drew the somewhat reluctant conclusion that Sadie and Dub inspire nostalgia for more carefree days. Once I got them loaded into the back of the minivan, I edited that thought. They help me be more care-free today.

It’s pretty to think so, anyway.

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Filed under Brittanys, literature, writing

summer hiatus?

You could call it a hiatus. Or you could call it being really fucking busy with two kids and two dogs during the hottest days of Summer 2010.

Sorry readers, for being MIA for a week.  I have a few bits of breaking news.  Or perhaps I should say, as we do in the biz, “lessons learned.” (The “biz” to which I refer is, unfortunately for my spirit and my soul, IT consulting. Information Technology consulting. Makes me want to light my hair on fire, but it does pay the bills.) 

Lesson Learned #1: Do NOT Leave Treats in Pocket of Running Shorts (see Figure 1)

Figure 1. My (former) best running shorts

I walked into my closet and surveyed the clothes in a heap on the floor, pulled on a pair of shorts thinking I would go for a run, and discovered them to be… wet? Odd, right? I mean, the sweat from 2 days ago would have dried by now… so I look down and… am immediately reminded of my grey fleece. Samson (The original Brittany, if you haven’t been following) ate both pockets of my grey fleece when he was about 2 years old, probably going after the cheddar cheese we used to train him. So having the reaction only a dog-lover could understand, I smiled and laughed and had my daughter take this picture. Silly dogs.

Never mind that this set me back at least one week of running — which I have to say, worked out in everyone’s favor. Kids went to the pool after work more frequently, and I wasn’t dragging one of the poor dogs down the Arlington bike path in 90+degree heat. (A week? A whole week? You don’t have any other shorts? Those of you asking these questions must not have children and may God bless you for taking time away from your quiet weeknight to try and understand, but I just don’t have the energy to explain it right now.)

Lesson learned, Sadie and Dub.  Lesson learned. 

I now have my eye on a new pair of lululemons.

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Filed under Brittanys, Dog Training, Humor

good that i only had 45 seconds

Yesterday evening around 6pm I had about 45 seconds to myself. I’d just gotten home from work, was sitting in the living room, and my daughters (let’s call them Pebbles, 5.5, and Bam-Bam, 3) were playing quietly in the kitchen with some frozen peas.

The dogs, the new dogs, now  just 48 hours away had been on my mind all day. I looked to the corner of the room where Samson’s bed used to be, and thought of how crazy but happy our home would soon be with two, healthy dogs in the house. This may be the best stupid idea I ever had! Or am I having a life crisis and don’t even realize it?  There’s still a coloring book page taped on the wall, near the floor, in Samson’s corner. Pebbles colored a bright red heart for Samson to look at during his last weeks, when he rarely moved from his bed.  “So he knows how much we love him,” she’d explained.

Samson, January 2010

How much indeed. Samson had been with DH and me since we got engaged, almost 10 years ago. In the first few moments after he died this spring, we looked at each other with wonder and sadness.  Samson had taught us to work better as a team, to exercise regularly, that it’s ok not to be in control all the time, and that you can induce vomiting with two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and a turkey baster. DH and I were losing the silent partner in our marraige.

And so in my 45 glorious seconds of “me time,” I marveled that it was happening again. Realizing that our sweet, pain-in-the-ass dog is not coming back.

Then Bam Bam ran in and grabbed my hand. “PEE PEE! I NEED TO PEE PEE!”

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Filed under Brittanys, Marriage

the home visit

Linda showed up at our house at 7:30-ish. That was our agreement over email, complete with the “ish.”  “Ish” is my way of warning that I have two children under six, work full-time, and am no stranger to adult attention deficit.  If you’re late, or early, I will understand. Time management is an oxymoron in my world.  Add “ish” and at least I’m self-aware.

Linda pulled her Camry right to our front gate and waved out the window.  I imagined the scene as she saw it — lovely daughters, just slightly dishevled, eating popiscles on the front porch swing and giggling. White porch dappled with light from the setting, summer sun.  Dear husband (DH) watering the new azalea bushes. My lipgloss? Fresh. Light.  I may have heard music.

“Hi there,” I called through  my most fabulous smile. 

Then, “you gonna shower now?” I whisper-hissed to my husband through said, sparkling smile. 

Linda is a volunteer for American Brittany Rescue. She conducts home visits with families interested in adopting, and oh, I was interested. At that moment there were only two forces driving my behavior.  The first — less force really, than prim old-lady voice inside my head —  was my maternal grandmother chirping, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  (Seriously, the man ran five miles and smelled like a hunk of cheese.  Expecting that he think ahead and be showered was not exactly an expectation on par with those of aStepford Wife.)

The second force, truly a force, was the deep hollowness I have felt for the last three months. We euthenized our Brittany, Samson, on March 5, 2010. He’d been suffering from cancer.

DH sighed his you-realize-you’re-being-ridiculous sigh and acquiesed to my shower request.  I responded with a slap to his behind. I’m-no-stranger-to-ridiculous. 

My two-year-old pressed her melting, half-eaten rocket pop into my palm.  “Can I watch a show? Pleeeeese?” 

And Linda — this ABR angel with perfectly separated Maybeline lashes who had the power to fill the chasm in my heart — crossed the threshold to our home.

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Filed under Adopting Dogs, Brittanys