The first summer we were in our new house there was an especially violent rain storm. After which I noticed that Phantom was looking into the small garden by the greenhouse and barking. So I went to investigate and found a small white Pomeranian whom I named Sam I Am.
He was in terrible shape, all matted up and dirty which led me to suspect that he had jumped out of a semi-trailer which had slowed down due to the heavy rain. I was pretty certain that I hadn’t seen any dog like this in our neighborhood but I put up a poster at the mailbox just in case. We also drove to the communities across the highway from us to look if there were any such posters by their mail boxes, but there were none.
I had called the SPCA right away to let them know that I had found this dog and they asked if it would be ok if he stayed with us for a few days hoping that the owner would contact them and they would connect us back together. They also expressed concern for his health in the kennel environment and since we had our two dogs, I felt it wouldn’t be a problem.
I kept Sam isolated from our two until I could get him to the groomers and find out if he had any fleas, which I did the next day. They had to shear him down to the nub, leaving only a poof of hair on his tail. Having always done the animal grooming myself, the groomer indicated that I shouldn’t laugh or giggle at him as it might upset his psyche! So Sam came home all clean and beautiful.
It was that weekend that we had our house warming party and I was busy preparing for the 50 guests that would be attending. Sam was such a sweet and obedient dog, sitting at my side watching my every move. Our two just loved him and he looked like he was there love-child, exactly the same color as Phantom and Maya. Sam was an intact male and followed Phantom wherever he went and when Phantom peed, there was little Sam right under him getting a golden shower while leaving his mark.
Sam was however, keenly attached to me and when we all went to bed at night, nobody was allowed to get close to me not even Zaia, apparently a strong trait in the Spitz breed of dogs, great single owner dogs. I found this terribly endearing but he did threaten to bite Zaia as he leaned in for a goodnight kiss. I would often find Sam snuggled into my underwear just to get closer to my scent.
This reminded me of one of my favorite movies, A Fish Called Wanda. In it the would be assassin who is trying to off the old lady that saw them do their crime stole some of her underwear to give her scent to the killer dogs he had set to attack and kill her. Instead those dogs end up attacking her little dogs because they smelt more like her nether regions than she did.
It was now going on five days and still no word from the pound and still no posters at the mailboxes so I began to think we were going to have a third dog in our family when I received a call from a lady saying that she had gotten our phone number from the pound. It turns out she lives across the highway from us on a cattle ranch. She arranged to come over the next day seeming to be in no particular rush to get her little dog back, who was in fact called Max.
I wasn’t too impressed by her casual attitude towards this very sweet and very obedient dog but it was her’s and not mine. She came with her daughter the next day, she explained to me that Max was bought to be a stud show dog and after one of his baths he ran outside and rolled in a fresh cow paddy to which she responded that if he likes to smell of cow shit then he could stay outside and that was that. This little dog spent the majority of his seven years outside fighting the coyotes and the cold because of it. Had I not already brought Sam out at this point, I would have gone to look for him and come back empty-handed saying that he must have slipped away but as it was I had no choice but to relinquish this little bundle back to his owners.
I was devastated and hatched a plan to lure my little Sam back. This plan involved me stringing up my well worn underwear along the highway back to his house making sure to mark my scent at the culvert so he didn’t have to cross the road unsafely.