My Dog Sam

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Thank God for puppies.

He has created so many wonderful creatures but, I must declare, none as wonderful as my dog Sam.

Actually Samantha, but most of the time Sam or Sammie.  She’s a mixed breed.  A schnauhuahua = miniature schnauzer and chihuahua.   She’s small, cute, cuddly and my baby.

I was never going to be one of those people.  You know.  The ones who always talk about their dogs.  Or those who dress the poor creatures in little pink tutus.  Not me.  Well…except in the winter.  Sam does need a sweater when it’s cold – the chihuahua in her shivers.

So why am I talking about my dog on a site about considering Jesus?  Well, I have come to understand He cares about the little things.  He does.  He cares and He comforts.

We’ve been reeling from a terrible trial these past two years.  One I can’t detail anymore than to say, it’s shattered our world.  The dream we thought we would have as a family is not to be.  Bad choices and tough consequences will affect us for the rest of our lives.  That reality is just beginning to settle into our minds.

A year and a half ago all the shards of our existence were still lying scattered on the floor and we had no clue how to begin to pick up the pieces.  We could not even imagine what the next day would bring.  But as we struggled to keep our heads above water, my daughter (Mags) asked for a puppy.  In her eleven-year-old mind, a puppy would fix all her woes. 

Mags caught me at a vulnerable time.  An oft repeated request now pierced my heart and I did not have the strength to say no.  Please understand, I’m not a heartless mother.  We’ve had our share of pets and had even tried to keep a couple of dogs.  But as most mother’s know, we end up becoming the caretakers of babies: human, feline, or canine.  I didn’t feel we needed anymore babies in the house.  But…she caught me in a weak moment and I caved.

Having been down this road before I was certain we needed to find just the right dog for our family if it were to stay long.  I began praying, quite specifically, for the perfect puppy.  With detailed instructions Phat and Mags began looking.

To make a long story somewhat shorter…After many trips to Operation Kindness, they were leaving puppyless once again.  Mags was nearly in tears when the helper said, “Well, we do have a couple of new puppies that will be released tomorrow morning.  I believe they’re exactly what you’re looking for,  but get here early, they will go quick.”  As they turned to leave the vet popped her head out and whispered, “They’re ready!” just as another patron walked in to claim them both.  But thankfully, Phat and Mags were already in the kennel and were given first consideration.  A boy and a girl, both adorable, both with just the right qualifications for this picky mother.  They chose the girl and brought her home.

She has been the perfect addition to our family.  I fell in love with her at once.  Mags took longer to warm up, little puppies don’t like to play as long and hard as she had hoped.  Phat is the alpha dog and she knows it.  He is her favorite person in the whole world, she will not take her eyes off of him once he comes home from work. 

I didn’t know a puppy could be so wonderful. 

I think Jesus picked Sam.  I really do.  She has brightened many a dark day and knows just when to cuddle up with the one in need.  She came at a bad time in our family’s life, but the best time to show us how much He cares and comforts His children.  Even in the little things.

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28 responses »

  1. Hello Michelle! How are you my dear friend? Hang in there… hold tight.

    Sam…. ah… yes… pets are wonderful. Far more than we know, pets are a good and reliable friend…. and they are so in tune with their owners’ emotions. They feel when we are sick, when we are troubled… and they always try to make us feel better. I’m happy you have Sam to be with you in your times of need… and even in your times of happiness.

    I like your concluding paragraph. Very powerful.

    I think Jesus picked Sam. I really do. She has brightened many a dark day and knows just when to cuddle up with the one in need. She came at a bad time in our family’s life, but the best time to show us how much He cares and comforts His children. Even in the little things.

  2. I totally relate, especially with our addition of ‘Jasper’ 15 mo. ago. She brings life and ‘fun’ into an oftentimes discouraging existence (certainly not to say His presence doesn’t bring joy, but she is one of the many ways He does).

    D-

  3. When I first met Louie, I didn’t even LIKE dogs. But Gary had asked me to “watch his dog” while he was on vacation. So, reluctantly, I did.

    He ate. And pooped. And I really thought that was all there was to it. But one day, I had brought a book with me and I decided to keep reading when it was time for him to come inside.

    But…Louie started looking at me.

    So I said, “What’s wrong with you?”

    Then, he gave me his famous “puppy look,” you know how they just tilt their heads to the side and perk their ears. Well, Louie has that look mastered

    So I said, “Why are you looking at me like that?”

    Then, he started wagging his tail.

    After that, it was all over. He had me. In that instant, I officially became a “dog person.”

    The past two years have been tough on me, too. But last year, I got MY Sam! In fact, I just went grocery shopping for him tonight–carrots, broccoli, tofu, hamburg, and olive oil (had enough spinach and green peppers). Bought enough to last him two weeks. And the clerk at the grocery store said (like every clerk at every grocery store always says), “Are you planning a big dinner?”

    I said, “Oh no. This is for my dog.”

    The look on her face was priceless. I never get tired of seeing the reaction of a “nonbeliever” once they realize just how much I love MY Sam.

    She was still STARING AT ME LIKE I HAD SIX HEADS when I was packing up the cart.

    So I said, “If you ever met my dog, you’d know why.”

    And then I 😉 .

  4. Do Not Be Surprised
    Do not be surprised when some church leaders do not accept you, for there has always been people who hold high positions in churches who speak evil of men and women of God.

    Many of God’s people over the centuries have come up against people like that. We read in 3 John v 9 & 10, of an elder called Diotrophes, who with foolish and malicious words spoke evil of the Apostles and who would not receive them or their teachings.

    He loved to have pre-eminence among the local church at that time, and if any did not obey him, he would have them thrown out of the church. Have things really changed today?

    EVANGELIST BILLY BOLITHO
    http://www.evangelistbillybolitho.blogspot.com

  5. We’ve been reeling from a terrible trial these past two years. One I can’t detail anymore than to say, it’s shattered our world. The dream we thought we would have as a family is not to be. Bad choices and tough consequences will affect us for the rest of our lives. That reality is just beginning to settle into our minds.

    The pain and struggle in this paragraph is apparent, and no stuck in my heart. What ever it is, what ever it was, God will pull you through. Remember Job was quite shattered when he questioned God…. Just remember God’s authority in all things.

    Oh and the puppy is cute. The Joy Sam brings to you is just a glimpse of the Joy promised.

  6. Umm…I think I’m kind of lost here. I guess I really don’t understand how, ah, the comment from “cornishevangelist” relates to the post…

  7. I have seen the cornish guy put the same comment on different blogs before. If that helps. Wants to tell us ALL something, I am guessing. 😉

    Michelle, I LOVE how God knows just how to comfort and delight us. Heaven is going to be so wonderful………

  8. Good morning, Sherma. We’re holding on tight to the Lord – He is our Rock. He has certainly continued to bless us, especially with our little girl, Sam.

    Yes, Laz, His presence does bring joy and then He adds a bit more with the cute cuddliness of a puppy. He is good to us.

    That’s quite a story, Nor. You have been blessed as well…I meant to link to your story about Sam but completely forgot. I suppose I could rectify that…?…

    Hello, Billy. Once again, I am questioning the relevance of your comment to the post. May I ask, do you read the posts? Not trying to be rude, but it does seem to be a pattern.

    Yes, Carl, we have felt a bit like Job but, he was blameless in the Lord’s eyes. We only hope that through our suffering we will be purified to shine brightly for Him in the future. He has given us glimpses of His grace, Sam being one we’ve immensely enjoyed.

    Yeah, Nor. Not sure what’s up with that.

  9. I love this story about how Sam became part of your family, and how she has brought joy and shown God’s tender comfort through a very difficult time. It’s lovely to read.
    That’s one thing which I miss in London, not having the space, garden etc to have a pet. Something to look forward to 🙂

  10. POWERFUL WORDS MICHELLE!!

    Samantha is gorgeous.

    I love that she brought light and love in my friend’s heart!!

    Love ya girl

  11. Michelle,
    Great story.
    My canine friends have always been a source of comfort.
    Maybe Billy has a dog named Diotrophes?
    -Sam

  12. Ah, so precious! I firmly believe dogs are God’s gifts to us, a comfort and a joy:) She is adorable. God bless you on your journey, and may Sammie continue to make it that little bit easier:)

  13. Hey, Tawny, I didn’t see you up there. Heaven will be amazing! I sure hope there are plenty of animals.

    You’re right, Birgit, London’s not big on yard space, but those gardens are amazing!

    Thanks, Heidi. She is a beauty and a comfort. 😉

    Hey, Sam. Maybe you’re right…could be the connection. 🙂

    Thank you, Nor. Can always count on you.

    Hello, Ripple Girl. Sam does make life much more bearable. May God Bless you as well.

    May God bless you ALL richly and may His peace be yours today.

  14. I love dogs! I love animals in general. My own precious feline is meowing at me rather insistently right now. She’s been without us for a week, and is THE most lovable and snuggly right now that I’ve seen in a LONG time from her. She’s usually stand-off-ish. So when I’m done eating lunch we’re going to take a nap. I’m hoping that will calm her down.

    I love the love of pets and how much God speaks through animals … as He does through all His creation. I’m so glad you’ve had the blessing of Sam in your life through this difficult time. It’s easy to tell that whatever your trial is is something which weighs VERY heavily on you. I just want you to know – should you feel the need for relief – I and the rest of your blog family (I know I’m new to it, but here none-the-less) are always available to lean on. We love you. Sometimes an impartial friend is the best friend. 🙂 And I suppose that’s what you love so much about your Sam! 😀

  15. Hi, Annie! Your words are so encouraging to hear. The blog family has been amazing in their support and I’m thrilled you’re a part of it. Yes it weighs heavily but the Lord has been merciful and compassionate. We praise His name. Thank your for caring and loving as well. 😉

  16. Awwwww this is soooo sweet…we love our doggies as well. God is so good at taking care of our every need and knowing just how to do that.

    I pray for you as the Lord brings you to my mind often…thank you for letting us be a part of this and sharing your burden with you. Love you Michelle…a bunch! 🙂

  17. how precious! I want to come cuddle up with her too!

    love you and you are in my prayers, can’t wait to catch up with you sometime this weekend..outreach is tomorrow…but afterwards…I am looking for you!

  18. Michelle,
    I just love what you posted here.
    I love that you have a new baby addition to your fam!
    That is so what they are.

    We, too, have been through unspeakables. and I am so sorry that you have. My heart is with you….and I know that He holds your precious heart, and the heart of your family DEEP in the palm of His hand.
    Samantha is adorable!! Oh, what amazing comfort they bring. ….their snuggles, and expressions, and whimpers, and cuddles.
    awhhh….He knew you needed her.
    hugs, to you my friend.
    Storie

  19. Right On Sis! 🙂

    You may have started with the intention of having Sam for Mags but you rightly pointed out how that sometimes ( ok most times) goes with kids and mums and pets 😉

    And it is quite easy to understand how you could so quickly fall in ‘love’ …

    I believe the secret Dogs know that we could do worse than to follow and learn… is to not have ‘hopes’, or better word is ‘expectations’, of what life will be like… and not to have long memories of what life ‘did’ to ‘us’… but to just live IN each and every moment and never miss a single opportunity to share US with loved ones and those who just need someone to be close to – if even for a few fleeting seconds…

    just be THERE – 100% with everything you’ve got! -and be aware of what and who is around you and less aware of your own ‘wants’ and needs and trust that they will be taken care of in good time.

    and wag your tail and just look cute – is a sure fire way to be loved instantly! 😉

    Glad you have Sam Sis and the rest of your loving family too of course! 🙂 ♥

    <B

  20. Thanks for sharing my burden, Debs. It helps more than you know.

    Darla, I’m praying the outreach is a major success – all for His glory. Can’t wait to hear how it went.

    Hey, Storie. I can hear in your words that you understand the pain of terrible disappointment. Knowing He’s holding us is what keeps us going. And then He gives assurances of His tender mercies through His creation. wonderful.

    Well…what brought you out of hiding, Love? I didn’t know you were such a dog lover. Do you have any? What’s a proper Englishman without a proper breed.

    Less aware of my wants…hmmm…that’s quite a challenge.

  21. MIchelle,

    I’ve been thinking of sharing this short devo. with you but hesitated until Love’s comments above brought it back to my attention.

    Maybe it’s not at all relevant to your particular ‘pain’, but I think it speaks to his thoughts on hopes/expectations re: the ‘past, present, and future’.

    I think persevering through deep hurt personally is the only way one can truly understand ‘where others are’ who endure it too.

    ‘Hopefully if it doesn’t apply in your situation it does for others you know or who read this also.

    How Time Heals

    “Time heals,” people often say. This is not true when it means that we will eventually forget the wounds inflicted on us and be able to live on as if nothing happened. That is not really healing; it is simply ignoring reality. But when the expression “time heals” means that faithfulness in a difficult relationship can lead us to a deeper understanding of the ways we have hurt each other, then there is much truth in it. “Time heals” implies not passively waiting but actively working with our pain and trusting in the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation.
    -Henri Nouwen

    In His Time,
    D-

  22. Thank you, Laz! Nouwen’s right. That isn’t really healing to just ignore. I learned a long time ago that it’s better to lance a wound and get it cleaned out completely so further infection will not occur: not passively waiting but actively working with our pain and trusting in the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation.

    Amen. Thanks!

  23. she is adorable.

    although very different, i feel as though i’ve been in the same place as you. i’m praying for you tonight.

  24. “But when the expression “time heals” means that faithfulness in a difficult relationship can lead us to a deeper understanding of the ways we have hurt each other, then there is much truth in it. “Time heals” implies not passively waiting but actively working with our pain and trusting in the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation….”

    I love that, Lazarus.

    And I REALLY NEEDED that, too.

    Thanks for passing that along.

  25. left something on my blog for you..and I did update about the block party..thanks for your prayers..and I hope you are feeling mine. Love you!

  26. Thank you, Alece, I’m returning the prayers.

    Nor, I know you addressed Lazarus, but I just want to say I love you!

    I’m coming to see, Darla

  27. My memory is definitely not what it was. I remembered about Maxie but had forgotten i had read this post and about Sam until i saw i had written a response already 🙂

    Apologies for not answering ‘earlier’ your comment, Sis.

    i love dogs and puppies in particular, but prefer the mid-sized to larger breeds generally.

    Like Ed, i had a German Shepherd dog (from age 10 weeks) named Tsar. He was mostly my folks pet and was the only dog i have had owenership in personally.

    i’m not sure of what to make of the fact that we english gentlemen (Dad and i) chose a ‘German’ breed of dog? 😉

    He was absolutely adorable and friendly to all, like most large dogs he would make a show of being loud and protective but was a huge softy and coward too. He would literally jump at his own shadow if it took him by surprise. His good nature i think undoubtedly was due in large part to his upbringing where he was shown and learned love and respect.

    i know some dogs are taught other ways of human behaviour but believe my dog could be trusted in any situation.

    He was also a very good judge of character, being as gentle as a lamb when the situation called for it but on one occasion, when being walked by my father, Dad saw a guy acting suspiciously in someone’s back yard and challenged him asking him what he thought he was doing. The man saw my Dad on his ‘own’ and began to climb over the fence looking for trouble. Tsar saw him at the same time as he saw Tsar and he quickly decided to change direction and ran out of the garden via the front of the house, not the back wall, as Tsar was telling him just what he thought of him very loudly 😉

    i’m glad you have both Sam and Maxie for good company! 🙂

    <B

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