Saying good bye to pieces of your childhood seems to come in seasons. You move out of your parents’ house, you begin doing things on your own and gradually you are no longer a child, but at home there are always pieces of you remaining and at some point the pieces end as well. Yesterday a big piece of my childhood died – Sambones, a old grumpy 17 year old dog, was put to sleep. It was a very sad to say good bye to not only Sam, but to that part of my life.
The first time I stayed away from home for a long period of time was when I was eleven at Camp Skyline. My first camp experience was two weeks long and it was detrimental. I missed home every day and cried when my parents left because the other girls in my cabin told me my “chore” in the cabin would be to clean the toilet. They thought I was crying because I had to clean the toilet – I just missed my family. I will never forget that feeling – literally like my heart being pulled. I couldn’t stop crying, but gradually I learned to be away from home and have fun. I danced with a boy for the first time at Camp Skyline and sang Friends are Friends Forever with friends who I no longer have any communication with.
My parents, sisters, and grandmother came to come pick me up two weeks later and I couldn’t be happier to see my family – and they brought a treat – Sambones. Sam was a little black puppy on a red leash. I am not sure where the name Sam came from, but that is where I met him. When we arrived home from camp my sisters and I tried to train him, but it was unsuccessful – my mom did most of the work taking care of old Sammy. My sister Amy was the best at loving on Sam – she is the best at loving on dogs and people.
As things changed in my life Sam stayed the same. I traveled. I moved in and out of that house, but everytime I came home Sam would come sauntering out of the laundry room hoping to get noticed. He was never an in your face kind of dog – he just hoped to get a good rub on the head. Sam always loved girls – but he wasn’t a big fan of boys. Boyfriends would come over and Sam would growl and sometimes even bite, but he loved Greg. Greg also knows how to love on people. I think Sam knew that about people and took advantage of everyone who would love on him.
Sam’s last meal was turkey and rice and my mom gave him a big hug for all of us. It is amazing how close dogs are to our lives. It is like they know how we feel and respond to that. He was seventeen and a half and a sweet dog to me and my sisters. Good bye Sambones.