I have yet to bring myself and my family to go and see the big hit "Marley & Me" at the theater. Our loss of Sam is still too fresh and I guess I'm scared that I'll embarass everyone with my blubbering! Sam was our first "baby"...a gorgeous, huge-footed, yellow, clumsy Lab puppy that Glen gave me on our very first Christmas together as a married couple. Through the years he proved to be a mischevious, handsome, strong, faithful companion to Glen, myself, and our two girls.
After his 1st year with us, we decided Sam needed a companion to "keep him distracted" from all the chewing, destroying, prowling, and just plain getting into trouble. That is when we brought home Sally. Sam was a huge, monstrosity of a one year old and Sally was a petite 6 week old, runt of the bunch, black lab. Sam thought we had brought him home a ball to literally roll around the yard and have some real fun with. After only one day of being fenced apart from each other, they tore through the wire to be by each other's side for the rest of Sam's long life. They quickly became soul mates as well as "partners in crime". One peek into their life of crime began on the rainy morning after we had brought our oldest daughter home from the hospital. We were expecting a houseful of out of town relatives who were coming to see our new baby. I was surprisingly awakened by a newborn on one side and two very muddy dogs who were peering over the top of the bed to get a glimpse of who was doing all this "squawking". Curiosity had gotten the best of them both and they had "jimmied" the back door to get in. Before finding us, they had both pawed mud over every square inch of white carpet that we had and single-handedly disassembled the "Diaper Genie" only to discover a mountain of diapers, shredding each and every one to figure out just what that new smell was!? I simply rolled over and cried the rest of the day! Glen entertained the guests, and vaccummed!
Over 12 years, Sam watched our family grow from 2 to 4, he smothered our babies in wet, sloppy kisses, he was the father to more than a "few" of Sally's darling puppies, he chased over 1 million tennis balls in our backyard, he destroyed enough of our belongings that we could own a vacation home in the Carribean for all the money that was spent on items lost, he had mastered the art of "tunneling" far enough back from the hot wire to crawl under our fence and go roaming in the neighborhood... "shock-free", he was bailed out of "dog jail" more times than I have fingers to count, he rarely missed a day that he met us at the gate as we arrived back home to let us know that he was ecstatic that we were back, he learned to shimmy under the bed, open a can of biscuits, and eat them in under 20 seconds, he never once minded when Sally (who grew to be twice the size of Sam) would grab him from behind with her front paws and knock him to his knees as he faithfully tried to retrieve his ball that had been thrown for him, (I truly believe that was part of the game), and he would always ever so gracefully allow Sally to eat her food first, before he finished the rest. Sam aged into a true gentleman, still having a wild side that did like to roam ever now and then, but always making his way back home one way or the other. Not too long before Sam passed away, we got a call at 3am from the Colleyville Police Department informing us that they had the "sweetest yellow lab" in their cruiser who was just "too pooped" to make it back home and would we mind meeting them to pick him up, they knew where he belonged, he'd been in that cruiser a few times before.
In early April of 2007, Sam quietly ran to the "Rainbow Bridge" as his sweet Sally faithfully lay by his side in the backyard. She has never been the same since he left and has aged considerably herself. He was buried next to our two pine trees in our yard and we hardly miss a day where one of us waves and yells, "Hey Sam!" Sam will always be with us, a huge part of our hearts and a precious part of those early years when we started our family.
I do want to see "Marley & Me" and will most likely sit there laughing and sobbing with the rest of the audience, as I relive our very own days of "Sam & Us".