Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sammy, Small but Big-Hearted: Goodbye is Temporary

Sammy was never planned. But we loved him like he was an important part of the family. We always had big dogs in the past like Labrador retrievers. A little dog was not in our plan though I grew up with a poodle as a kid and tried to convince my husband that they were smart and great companions. At first he wasn’t excited about Sammy but he quickly stole his heart. After a few weeks, Sammy was part of the family.

Photo by Mary Heston

So you may wonder how we acquired this adorable toy poodle. One Friday night we went to a Spartan Booster Auction for our son’s high school. They were raising money for sports and extra curricular activities. We knew that we would donate to this cause but little did we know that our good friend would be the auctioneer. 

Somehow we left that night with a 3-4 pound 2 month old toy poodle! I guess I raised my paddle and he said, “Sold to the Hopkins!” 

He was keeping us up during the night at first, but soon he was potty-trained and sleeping in the middle of our bed. Sammy had won our hearts and was the center of our home. He even bossed the other two Labradors we had and they were very endearing to Sammy as he became the “alpha male” dog in the house.

So what did I learn from Sammy that I will take with me?

  1. Though you are small, you can make a big difference. Sammy didn’t really bite but he would steer the other dogs in place. You could never underestimate his ability to get them moving where he wanted them to.
  2. Sammy wanted to be where you were and whatever part of the house you were in. So when it was night time, he would make sure that he would be the first up on our bed anticipating that we were right there with them. He also loved to be the “sheriff” watching out for whoever passed or came to the door. Boy, couldn’t we learn to be “more present” in our friends' hearts and lives? We could all learn from this. Also, to watch out for those at the door and alert others about who might “prowl” about.
  3. Sammy was there when I wasn’t feeling my best. When I came home from the hospital after being there for 3 weeks, Sammy and Oscar were right by side.
  4. Don’t forget to cuddle and in Sammy’s case, show those you love that you love them. He did that a lot. Couldn’t all of us have a little more TLC and cuddling? I know I could.

  5. Dogs will be in heaven! It may sound strange but I feel confident that we will see Sammy again. After reading Romans 8, I believe that God’s “creatures now alive will be swept away” and I feel I will see all my beloved dogs. I believe that according to Genesis 9:9-15 where God spoke about the animals and he even talked about the covenant he had was also with the animals. When he spoke about Noah and the animals and “all living creatures” being part of a convent that God made when the rainbow appeared and that the earth would never be covered with water again. Most importantly, since God cares about “all his creatures,” and he gave us animals to love and have dominion over, to me I know I will see my Sammy, Oscar, Nellie, Sadie and so many other of my canine friends in heaven.
  6. Goodbye is not forever. Some day I will see you again Sammy along with all the dogs I’ve loved before… a Willie line that I used in my new dog song.

We miss Oscar and Sammy but know we will see them again some day.

Darcie was making her “sheep” puppets for our TV show but we had to put Sammy in there. What a great sport he was to always be up for whatever we did with him. As long as we paid attention, he was pretty content.

Gonna Be a Friend — for Sammy and Oscar

Gonna be a friend
Gonna be a friend
Just like my dog knows I am!
Gonna Be a friend
Gonna Be a friend
Just like my dog knows I am!

(Third verse):

Through my door many dogs
They have come and gone
To all the dogs I’ve loved before
To coin a Willie song
Heaven won’t be heaven
Without my canine friends
So be kind and be loving
We can learn from all of them

(Copyright 2021 by MaryRiceHopkins /Big steps 4U publishing)

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