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Pet Stories: In Your Own Words

Sammy and Shelbea

By: Ron and Gill Harris

After reading your interview on the audiobook cafe, I started to become more aware of Sammy's continual staring into 'outer space'. Sammy is our male sheltie/beagle mix and is almost 6 years old. Compared to Shelbea our 9 year-old sheltie/beagle female, he seems to be much more aware of the 'outer limits'.

Like you, I have always had dogs in my life starting when I was a child, and then when we bought our first home when Shelbea was a puppy. Shelbea is much more loving, kissing us all the time, while Sammy only when we've been away and come back home. I can't imagine my days without them both in my life.

Sammy loves to play with an old sock or slipper, plays tug-o-war and fetch. Shelbea plays but she has to be in the mood, but she plays constantly with Sammy. Sometimes she gets a bit rough with him, and when he cries she stops and comes back to him and gives him kisses too.

Sammy is the one I've noticed, over the years, that seems to have an affinity with the Universe. I often wonder what he sees that I am unable to see and share with him.

My husband and I were unable to have children, trying for years with medication, temperature-taking and surgeries. So our two four-legged furry children are just that, the family we were never able to have. We pour all our love into them, and they love us so unconditionally, it amazes us.

They both love people-food and treats, and both have been inducted into becoming coffee addicts, thanks to my husband. Whenever Daddy leaves the room, they get up and drink his coffee from his mug. They won't drink it if we put it in their water bowls, only if it's in a mug!

The one thing we miss though, is the laughter we sense in them, and when they're sick, we miss the fact that they can't share that with us. They have to depend on Mummy and Daddy being aware that they are acting differently. And we are. The four of us seem to be very in tune with each other, which amazes us also. The two of them also seem to know when the other is hurt or sick.

We take them everywhere we go. When we travel long-distance, they're really good in the car. They've both been to Florida twice and across the Canadian Prairies into Alberta twice. Unlike their quite solitude on long-distance trips in the car, they seem to know when we aren't going very far, as in going to the local shopping centre. Shelbea generally lays quietly in the car, unlike Sammy who is in the back, in the front on the passenger's lap, or up in the back window. We realize that like children, they should be belted in. But Sammy hates being tied-in and cries constantly.

We have a huge fenced-in back yard, and a doggy-door so they come and go as they please. Even in Winter, the door is usually always open for their freedom. But when it's storming outside, Sammy goes upstairs and hides under the bed, while Shelbea is usually in close proximity to Mummy or Daddy.

They both like to sit on one of our laps, and are very jealous of the other if one is being petted more than they think they are. Obviously they are small dogs, otherwise they both wouldn't fit on our laps. I'd love to have another dog, but my lap isn't big enough for 3!

I look forward to getting home, if I've been grocery shopping. They both fight for first place on my lap to be petted and give me kisses. They know that when that's all done, then they both get a treat. We spend quite a lot on raw hide treats for them.

When it's bedtime, they both run upstairs, because they know that's when they get (dog) cookies and raw hide treats before lights out.

They are both very protective of us, and bark at the paper boy, and anyone on a bicycle. But most of all they love the attention we give them, and we love them with everything in us. We can't image life without them.


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