I never was an animal person. We had dogs, but they were outside dogs, and I was never very close to any of them. I remember having a rabbit named Snowball, but again, it was outside in a cage, and there was never any deep connection. The year I would later marry my husband I got a free puppy from outside Walmart on a whim. I did love that puppy. My husband gave her the name Angelina after the county we live in. I didn’t care for the name, so I shortened it to Angel. Angel was very quiet and cuddly at first but then due to lack of interaction with other dogs, she started to get a bit rough. I quickly realized I was not ready for this job I had taken on. My Mom ended up taking care of her more than I did, and she ended up with scratches and bites all over her arms because she was just too rough. I didn’t get her all of her shots quick enough and she ended up with Parvo. It broke my heart to see her so sick. I spent the $400 to get her better because I did love her even though I was not the best doggie mom to her. Eventually, she became an outside dog when I got married, and due to her being half Rottweiler, she was not allowed to move with us. My Dad took over feeding her and everything. When we came by, we would say Hi to her. My husband would get in the yard and play with her because he wasn’t scared of how rough she would get. I stayed on the other side of the fence because I was. When she would later be found not acting right, my Dad took her to the vet, and sadly, it seemed as if she had been poisoned or something and had cancer. It broke my heart, but she had to be put down. My Dad did this. I was both glad and sad I wasn’t there for her. I felt like a bad dog Mom because I didn’t do the best job.

A little over 8 years ago, (a few years after Angel), my husband was at a friend’s house and met their foster dog, Sammy. Sammy attached herself to him, and he attached himself to her. He ended up coming home and asking about adopting her. I said No. I felt like having a dog was something not meant for me. I didn’t hate animals, but I just didn’t think I was an animal person. I let down Angel, and I didn’t want to do that again. There also was a pet deposit for having a dog in our apartment, and I knew we couldn’t afford that much less everything else that comes with a dog. I said no soooo many times, and he just kept asking. It drove me bonkers!

Our friend ended up saying that an anonymous person (who we later found out was actually her) had donated money for the pet deposit. There goes that excuse! I ended up finally giving in after having a discussion that HE would be responsible for taking the dog potty, she wasn’t allowed in our bed, etc. He agreed, and we started the process of adopting Sammy.

Extra info about Sammy: She was found abandoned by Lake Sam Rayburn, which is where her name came from. We did eventually change her name to Samantha because people kept calling her a HIM. She DID have a chip with owners listed, but when they called the owners, they said they didn’t want anything to do with her. Her name on her chip was Gracey. She is an Australian Shepherd/Labrador Retriever, mostly black with a white chest and some white on her paws that we call her socks. She had been at the shelter for quite a while. When my friend fostered her, she was about to be put on the kill list for the 2nd time because no one had adopted her yet. That fact honestly was a huge reason behind me finally giving in on taking her. She was really well trained to go to the bathroom. In fact, she was so well trained, they said she would wait the twice a day that they came to let her out of her cage to go to the bathroom rather then using it in her cage.

So he brought her home. Our friend gave us some dog food as well as food and water bowls. I was very standoffish at first because I was unsure of how this would go. I didn’t feel any connection at first. Then it was time for bed, and I went and sat down. She looked at the bed like she wanted to hop up, and I said No, and reminded my husband that she was not allowed on the bed. She then immediately jumped up on the bed, walked right over to me, laid down beside me, and put her head in my lap, and I literally felt like the Grinch in the The Grinch who stole Christmas when his heart grew. My husband yelled for her to get down and I immediately cut him off with, “No, leave her alone!” and started petting her head. She totally and completely stole my heart. I don’t know how she knew the way to my heart, but she did. Ever since that moment, my heart has opened so much to not only other doggies but animals in general. I felt like I had been given a second chance at being a Dog Mommy.

For those who do not know me, I have endometriosis/adenomyosis and have been unable to get pregnant. I have always wanted a baby, but it just hasn’t been in the cards. My doggie daughter (doghter) has helped this hole I have inside so much. I consider her my baby girl even if a lot of the World probably thinks I am being silly.

Not long after we got her, she started having seizures. I actually had seen seizures before, although only in humans. They are a scary thing to see, for sure! Seeing my baby girl have one broke my heart. I wanted to make all the hurt and pain go away so bad. When she then had a 1-hour episode of back to back seizures not long after that, I honestly thought I was going to lose her. It was on a weekend, but thankfully, our friend had a vet she had been using for a long time, so she was able to get us to that vet and she covered the emergency fee for us. I’ll always be grateful for all of her kindness. Our baby was kept overnight, which was so hard, and they ended up giving her pills for her seizures. We have now had her for 8 years today, and there hasn’t been another long episode of seizures. She HAS had other seizures although, Knock on Wood!, it has actually been a while since her last one. She is getting old. We honestly don’t know how old because they were unsure of her age when we got her, but we think either 10 or 11. As time passes, I know the day when we will have to say goodbye gets closer and closer, and even thinking about it, devastates me. I know it’s going to make me incredibly depressed. All I can do for now is to enjoy the time I have with her though and be thankful for each and every moment.

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