Friday, March 17, 2017

PUPPY TALES: The Comfort of a Canine Companion

Meet Sam(antha)wise Gamgee. Chuck usually just calls his puppy Sam. I call her Sam-Sam or Sami.  She is one smart cookie. Of our two puppies, she has been quicker to master so many things: ringing the bell when she needs to go out, and the basic commands of sit, wait, and come. 

Sami loves to stretch out wherever she is with her long back legs stretched out behind her. Her jet-black coat is as soft as a minkie blanket. I could pet that amazing softness all day long. Sam is the dominant puppy at our house, bossing Bristol around, and pulling him by his leash wherever she wants him to go. She is so energetic, and very happy.

Ever since we adopted the puppies, Bristol has had a few medical issues. Between ringworm, an ear infection, and a urinary tract infection, he grown accustomed to being handled. Every day I've had to get pills down his throat, ear drops in his ears, and ointment on his lesions. Even getting up two or three times per night was not often enough. With Mr. Bristol's bladder infection, his blanket was often wet by the time I took them out. When the vet checked the sample I dropped off last week, she said there were still white blood cells present, and Bristol would need to spend the day at the shelter so they could examine him.

Can I just tell you how much I hated dropping him off to spend the day at the clinic? The first time a couple weeks ago wasn't so bad, but this last time challenged me. 

It seemed harder because Sami seemed affected by it, too. Our little ball of energy just did not seem like herself. It made me sadder every time I looked at her. She would look up at me with those big, brown eyes, and then just go to sleep. 

I'd gotten bad news that morning about a former student's wife who is battling cancer. They have six little ones under the age of nine, and she had just been put on life support. When I saw my student's post on Facebook, I just sat down on the kitchen floor, and cried. 

Sami climbed up in my lap, and just let me hold her. That is what Bristol usually does, not Sam. Sami isn't much for being held, but I think she knew I was sad. I'd forgotten how comforting a canine companion can be. 

After lunch, I was exhausted from the middle of the night potty trips, and I just wanted to take a nap. I put Sam in her crate, and I lay down in the family room, where Chuck and I have set up our temporary bedroom while we are house-training the puppies. When Sami began to whimper, I didn't even wait for her to soothe herself. I wanted her company as much as she wanted mine. I put her in bed with me, and she snuggled against my body. My usual seven minute power nap went into overtime; we slept for nearly two hours!

When it was time to pick up Bristol from the clinic, I took Sam with me. As soon as I put Bristol into the crate in the car with Sami at the vet's, her demeanor returned to normal. Her energy level went back up, and she was back to her old self. Just knowing that Chuck would be home from work soon, and that we'd all be together again made me feel so much better, too. 

Bristo's home, and all is right in our world, if only for awhile.

I'm so grateful for our puppies. There is just something special about the bond we develop with our pets. Our canine companions are truly a comfort. How have I managed to go this long without a dog to call my own? 


  1. Such a touching and warm post. I needed it after my week and hope Bristol is on the mend.

    1. So glad my words touched you. I hope that things turn around for you soon. Bristol is already doing better!


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