My Sammie-pie. The love of my life, my soulmate, my teacher of unconditional love. I will never forget the first night you came to live with us. You were two years old (I wish we'd brought you home as a baby) and my friend was going to be a travelling nurse. She loved you very much but couldn't take you with her. She knew you would have a good home with us because we were "black and white" people. Black and white tiled floors, dalmations (stuffed and porcelain) everywhere, and daddy had even carved two dalmations (life-sized) named "Spot" and "Ditto". We had a red collar on Spot's neck and daddy liked to tell people that taking him for a walk was a "real drag". We even took him for rides in the porsche. He sat between us of course. But enough about them....YOU were the real deal! And your first mommy knew we would love you to pieces. And we did. But....back to that first night. (You know, it has taken me a long 3 1/2 years to be able to write this all out.) That first night you sat there staring at us...your new mommy and daddy...with an amazing intelligence in your eyes. We looked like "nice people" but who the heck were we and why were we in your new living room?? We had to call your first mommy to see if we were missing something, some ritual you needed at bedtime. She noted that the time was 11pm and told us that she usually went to bed around 9:30pm. "Sammie is probably just wondering why you guys are still awake. He's usually asleep by now." Well, that answered that question. So we situated you in your new bed, turned the lights off, and you were a happy camper. At least, we hoped you were. It didn't take you too long to get used to us. We just loved you so-o-o much. A few days later, however, you got out the front door (we didn't know you had gypsy in you) and took off as only Dals can take off. Around the corner, down the street, and out onto Highway 101 going South. With Daddy hot on your heels! You Dals are known for your speed and endurance...daddy can attest to that. I don't know why you slowed down, because he would never have caught you if you hadn't. Maybe you took pity on him. Maybe your feet hurt? Anyway, he managed to bring you on back home and you never left again. What wonderful memories. And, incidentally, your feet DID hurt. They were pretty scratched up and bloody. Took a while to heal, didn't it? I'd give anything to see that happy, smiling face of your's again. I have picture memories, and heart memories, but I miss the touchy-feely memories. Thank God I've got your "sisters" with me, Gracie and Holly (one in September the year you left, and one the following year in December)or I'd be a total loss. I learned so many things from you. I truly wish I could be the kind of person you thought I was. You managed to adjust to a household with 3 children (who left before you did), and grandma...she was really special to you (she left before you did by only a year), and grandma's best friend whom we took care of, and you loved her too. (She left right after you...just 3 months later). All these special people that you loved unconditionally but I know that I was number one. And everyone else did too. They called you my Shadow. I read somewhere that a Dal will follow his person around to be at his side at all times. That's just the way they are. And they will do that until their joints can no longer meet their need to do so. When, after 13 years, you could no longer be at my side, I came to your's. My life revolved around you, sitting on your bed with you, doing my checkbook on the bed with you. Hand feeding you, if necessary...I know, you weren't very hungry. Helping you outside to toilet by using a towel though I think that became painful and somewhat degrading. I don't know. I just loved you and wanted you to get better. Selfish, huh? Even with the pain pills, your eyes still held a certain misery. I loved you so much, Sammie-pie. It was so hard to let you go. You were a perfect specimen. Maybe a few too many "dots" by AKC show standards but WHO cares?! You were my perfect Sammie. You always will be. I know how much you loved kitties and even helped "raise" a few litters in your first home, so I'm sure you are enjoying the kitties at Rainbow Bridge. There's lots of other Dals up there, Sweet Pea; I visited a lot of their "sites" today. There's some that even resemble you quite a bit. But you're the most handsome, of course. I love you punkin. I can't wait to see you again, and to see you flat out run like you used to. Daddy used to ride the skateboard so you could run top speed. Amazing that he never fell and broke his neck. I'll write again. Love and hugs my sweet boy.|
3-2-08: Hey my sweet boy...I've met a few of your friends' mommies. Sounds like a nice group up there. I miss you...I love you lots. I've been sick and I miss your cold, wet nose nuzzling my face or hand and having you right next to me in bed. Have you found the peanut butter yet? Your cousin Riley just got there, Sweet Pea. He's black but has a chest that matches you. With him in Chicago and you in Oregon, well...you never got to play so have yourselves a ball now. I'm sure he's missing his mommy...give him some extra loves, okay? I love you my Sammie-pie.
3-3-08 Hi Sweet Pea. I miss you talking to me although your sister comes pretty close to sounding like you. There is something sad in her eyes when she looks at me...do you know what that's about? She sure has been hanging close these last three days. She puts her head on my lap just like you did...makes it hard to type, ya know? But so what. You's a lot more important than some old keyboard. I love you and miss you. Blueberry season just isn't the same without you. How my friends marvelled at your ability to pick and eat blueberries without harming any of the other bunches. And my sister, your Aunt Carolyn, said you came the closest to talking of any dog she'd ever met. How's Riley doing? Remember those extra loves. He's gonna need them. He's used to running near the shores of Lake Michigan so find a good sandy spot for him and then cut loose. I bet he'll catch you pretty quick. I hope you found Ruff and Fru-Fru. They've been there way longer than you but I bet they can sniff out family. Take care my special one. Mommy loves you bunches and bunches.
3-10-08: Hey Sweet Pea...next week is your birthday. Do they have parties up there? Remember, no chocolate, but you can have peanut butter. I love you and miss you. You are my screen saver ya know, plus all your other pictures. Well, not ALL of them. You are always in my heart, my sweet boy. Hugs to you and Riley...and Ruff and Fru Fru. Hey is Denver up there? The sweetest green parakeet you'd ever want to meet. He'll talk your ear off but would love to ride around on your back. Thank you for your love, sweetie. 3-19-08 Happy Birthday Sammie-pie. Mommy loves you lots and lots. Hope you're doing okay and playing with all your friends. Give loves to Riley and Ruff. I think of you all the time.
4-14-08 I hope you are having fun with all your playmates. The rain has let up a bit and we've had some really nice days. You'd have loved just laying around outside. I know how you hated to go piddle outside in the rain. Can't say as I blame you. No rain now...right? I love you sweet-pea. Love and hugs and neck kisses.
5-14-08 Hey Sweet Pea...how's ya doin'? I miss you. I talk to you every morning as your little box of ashes is right here by the computer. I heard from Spooky's mom...she's a beautiful black cat. I'm sure you've met her and have had lots of fun with her and all the furbabies. Give Riley hugs and kisses from me. Take care sweetie-pie. Mommy loves you lots and lots. Such a special beautiful boy. I'll see you someday...sooner than you think maybe.
8-20-08: Can it be 4 years?? Impossible. You are as fresh in my mind as if it was yesterday. I can still remember your last moments. Oh sweet pea....I miss you so much. I am so thankful you lead me to Gracie. Without her I would be a lost soul. I hope you and Riley and Ruff and FruFru are having a great time; plus all your other new furry friends. I'm sure you have met some new arrivals and I know that you are helping them "adjust" to Rainbow Bridge. Be happy and know that I will truly "always love you". I am very thankful for a loving God that has entrusted you gentle souls to us and will certainly reunite us someday. I love you Sweetie.
8-20-09: Hi Handsome.....my sweet Prince. I'm asking again, can it be 5 years? How is that possible? I thought of you so many times today. Tried to remember the really good and fun times and not the end there where you were just not feeling yourself. Even though you didn't know your sisters, Grace and Holly, I talk to them about you. And guess what?....I was going through some old calendars and found a month with 3 dals lined up in front of a fire engine. The bigger one looked just like you; the one on the right looks exactly like Gracie; and the Dal in the middle looks like our bulldozer Holly. All in one picture. Isn't that cool? Because there is no way I could have ever taken a picture of the three of you together. I love you so much sweetie. I hope you are happy and well-fed and playing to your heart's content with all your friends. But I know you're watching for me....because I know you. How's Riley? I hope he's doing okay. I'm sure he still misses his mommy. Well, my Sammie-pie....we'll talk again. I love you bunches.
8-01-10: Hi Honey Bunny. I love you and miss you so much. Well....VERY SAD NEWS....Gracie left us yesterday for Rainbow Bridge. I'm sure she has found you by now. Your sweet sister that you never knew and can now meet and run and play....and show her around. She and I were awfully tight and she has struggled so long with her heart problem. It must be wonderful for her to play without getting short of breath. Gracie was the one that helped the ache in my heart after losing you. Holly is still with me. She was with Gracie when she passed on and I know she sensed the difference. We wanted Gracie surrounded by family and she was. Her poor little heart that had struggled for so long...finally got to rest. My God this is difficult. I can't wait to see you and her again. Also Riley and Ruff. My grandpuppy, Ruby Girl, is starting to fail and that's going to be tough also. How are YOU? Are you having fun? Patiently waiting (more patiently than me) for the day we are all together again. My loves. I miss you. Hugs and lots of kisses. Mommy
8-20-10: Hi my sweet boy. I could really use one of your BIG hugs right now. Love you lots and miss you. How's my sweet Gracie? Holly is sort of adjusting to "only dog" status right now. She wanted to be #1 for so long and now she doesn't know what to do with it. She misses Gracie mostly at night. I can see it in her eyes. They spooned a lot and kept each other company while I work. I hope and know you all are playing and happy and helping the other "new arrivals". Love you honey bunny. Hugs and kisses. Mommy
10-1-10: Hey Sweetheart, how are you? You will never guess but I have acquired my grandpuppy, RubyGirl for awhile. Her daddy is having job issues/travel and can't have her right now. It broke his heart when I drove away with her. I felt SO bad for him. But Ruby is cautious around new dogs. I wonder what she'll think of Holly the bulldozer??? Love you lots honeybun.
4-21-11: Well, the girls are doing pretty well together now. Holly is happy as a clam with Ruby; Ruby "tolerates" Holly. She's a So. Calif. red-headed princess who is NOT happy with Oregon weather. Poor sweety. She's used to her only-puppy status. She's 13 years old, Holly is 12, and the vet calls them 2 cranky little old ladies. I love it. Hugs and kisses to you and Gracie-pie. I miss you both terribly. Love you, Mommy
8-20-11: It's been 7 years. I miss you so much. Gracie has been there for a little over a year now. I've called Holly and Ruby both by her name several times. I must be getting old. This world is pretty crazy....maybe we'll all be together before too long. Hugs and kisses to you and Gracie especially. Ruby has settled in pretty well. Seems pretty perky but didn't want to eat this morning. Wonder what that's about. Love you LOTS my SammiePie. Mommy
12-21-11: Merry Christmas Sammie-Pie. I love you so much and miss you lots. Ruby is still hanging in there with her cancer. Doesn't seem painful (of course I give her pills). The Prednisone makes her hyper hungry. You'd think I never fed her! Holly put a holly plant there for you. She's doing okay. Spunky little steam roller she is. All my love and hugs....Mommy
1-8-12: Our sweet Ruby gave up her fight with mast cell cancer at 0040 this am. God bless her sweet soul. She will be greatly missed. It upset Holly quite a bit....she didn't want to go into the area where I had Ruby's sick bed for quite a few days. I know you will welcome her with open paws, even though she doesn't have any spots. She's family. I miss you Sammie-Pie. You are the best!
4-2-12: Holly has diabetes:-( Started her on insulin today. It would be nice to just do diet-controlled but I guess her pancreatitis messed that up. Hope this helps! Love you and miss you hunny-bun and I hope you're doing well. Lots of play time and peanut butter treats.
8-20-12: Another year. I still think of you my sweet boy. Miss you and Gracie and Ruby SO much. Holly is hanging in there. Someday.....we'll ALL be together again.
10-22-12: Hey my sweet boy. Hugs and kisses. Holly went to the vet today because her right ear was badly infected. She has SO much trouble with that ear and I know it has been hurting her. Also her hips are giving her grief, and the growth on her right hip might be a mast cell CA like Ruby's. It looks different but, you never know. At her age....she's almost 13....I am not going to put her through surgery. Her diabetes would complicate everything from anesthesia to healing. I just want her comfortable. So now she's on an antibiotic ear med as well as some pain meds. I love her so much and I miss you and Gracie and Ruby so much. There was a couple at the vets today, the man was sitting in the back seat with their dog and I just had an overwhelming feeling of grief for them. There was just that air about everything. I don't know the dog's name but he was a lovely Lab mix and apparently in pain with a mast cell CA. Today was his day to go to Rainbow Bridge, so....if you all see a new guy who is so happy to be pain-free at last, welcome him with all you've got, and give him lots of love. I'm sure he misses his people greatly. I love you. Someday.....
3-13-13: Hi my sweet boy. I love you and miss you still.....always will. Hope the gang is doing well. Holly's ears are totally cleared up. So happy about that, but old age is giving her grief when it comes to stairs. Poor thing. Also, the ulceration on her right hip is NOT a mast cell just a benign tumor. Had it needle biopsied. Hooray! And it is clearing up with topical antibiotic ointment as well as good diabetic control. I've switched her to homemade diabetic foods and she is doing SO much better. Now that I'm retired I have much more time to devote to all of this. She is worth it. So, we are just hanging in there day by day. This world is nearing its close I do believe and I look forward to the second coming and being reunited with family....human and furbabies alike! Love you sweetie pie. Hi and hugs to Gracie and Ruby <3
4-18-13: The worst has happened. Holly passed away today, waited for her daddy to come home from the road. She had a bad episode last weekend but then rallied and I thought we were out of the woods but then she started having trouble sleeping, breathing, not tolerating her food (upchucks almost daily). Just no fun. Life was becoming a chore. Well, she waited until her daddy got home....was just relaxing, almost sleeping but aware of his presence. And we just petted her, stroked her, and loved her until she went to sleep. Sammie....I positively ache. This is so painful....just like when I lost you. I had Holly when I lost Gracie and Ruby and she was such a source of comfort, it helped me SO much. Oh my goodness, I miss you all so much it just hurts. I want to see and love on all of you, stroke your velvet ears, and watch your happy smiles and tails wag. I can't wait to see you all again. I love you so much. Watch for Holly Baby. She'll probably be her bulldozer self again and run right into you but she's a lover. Another one of God's gifts. Take care my sweet Prince. Mommy loves you so much.