A Match Made in Heaven

I’ve lived long enough to know that things don’t just happen.  Another example of that occurred during these past few days.  

A friend of a friend found out that, at 68, she was just not able to take care of her little dog anymore.  Life happens.  We get older.  Our situation changes. 

One thing lead to another and I, who swore I would never have a cat or dog in my home because I just didn’t have the time to take good care of one, said “yes” when I was asked if I could keep the dog for a few days as the new NC owner prepared her home for him.  He would take the trip there with my son on Thursday after staying at my home for five nights.   

“Sammy” came through the door panting and shaking.  I knew he needed some tender loving care.  My son, as kind as he can be at times, works in front of a computer all day and was just not able to give Sammie the attention he needed.  So “Sammie” and I became instant friends and for the past two days I have concentrated all my attentions on him.  

The shaking stopped after a few hours and Sammy was following me everywhere.  I had to watch carefully as I walked since Sammy was an eight pound Maltese bundle of joy.  We tried making a pad for him to sleep on the floor but he objected.  His owner was so sad when Sammy left that the friend picked him up without any instructions…just a bag of dog food.  

“Could he be a dog that sleeps on the bed of his owner at night?” I said to my son. 

We soon found that Sammy was, indeed, a dog who was use to sleeping beside his master.  It took him no time to fall asleep that night – that is – after he found his spot on the towel bed I made for him on top of my bed.  He was soon off that towel and comfortably up against me as he laid on top of the covers. 

He slept through the night. The next morning he was playful and cuddled right up to me – licking my face and hands.

He wanted my attention all day that next day.  Shaking when he was unsure, he heard all the different sounds and would briefly let our a light “grrrrr” and a timid bark.  By the end of the day we both collapsed in bed and had a solid night’s sleep.  

I didn’t know it took so much energy to take care of a dog. However, I kept saying to myself that Sammy had been through a lot of change and needed some extra love and care right now.  After all, it was only for a few days.  

Sunday afternoon I decided to call some good friends and take Sammy for a visit.  They were headed to the tennis court and I was to meet them there.  It was a lovely, sunny day so a walk was in order.  

I made Sammy a makeshift leash from my yard blower strap and off we went.  One of the girls and her friend asked if they could walk Sammy.  I agreed and we were off to explore.  We wound up sitting for a few minutes on a gentle hill overlooking a well groomed pond.  

That’s when Sammy’s life was about to change forever.  

A car parked in the lot behind us and out of it came Sue, Steve and the cutest little dog I, and Sammy, had ever seen.  She was a lhasa apso.  The two of them hit it off…and he warmed up to her without as much as a shake.  

The adults began talking and we agreed how wonderful it was the two of them could be friends. We discovered they were one week difference in age.   They said they had been in hopes that they could find someone just like Sammie for their dog whom they obviously loved and adored.  

I told them the story of Sammy and that we were getting ready to take him to NC to a new home later in the week.  They said, please take our number and if anything happens, let us know.  We would love to have him join us if it doesn’t work out there.  I took their number and we said our goodbyes.

As I visited with my tennis court friends I realized their daughter was enjoying Sammy, too. 

“I wish I could have him.” She said to her Mother. 

“She’s wanted a dog for a long time.” Her Mom said with a cautious smile.  

I told them the story of Sammy and how he met a new playmate while we were walking.  We talked about how dogs so often function better if they have a compatible friend.  We all agreed that Sammy might be happier with a playmate and that his new friend seemed just right for him…and he for her.  

I talked with my son that afternoon and he called the people he was taking Sammy to.  

It didn’t take long for us to discover that the best place for Sammy might be right here in Columbia with Sue, Steve and their sweet dog.  I agreed to keep Sammy one more night and I would bring him to their home on Monday evening after they got everything prepared for him.  

Sammy and I had a wonderful day Monday.  We played, he sat quietly on the ottoman while I worked a little at the computer, and we took some long walks.  It was a beautiful day. The sun was warm.  We went for a ride in the car.  Sammy was delightful.  I was beginning to think I would miss the little guy.  I knew, however, that there was a match made in heaven for Sammy nearby.  He was about to begin a new adventure with some wonderful people AND a special little friend he could hang out with for the rest of his life.  It was a perfect situation for so many reasons.  

I got the call and we headed to Sammy’s new home.  It was very obvious that Sammy was going to be happy here.  His new canine friend warmed up to him and his owners welcomed him with open arms. 

Steve took him out to the back yard with the other dog and we said our goodbyes to Sue.  

I have to admit it was harder than I thought to leave Sammy there.  It had been two days and I had already become attached to him.  

“Just imagine what it would be like if I had him for five days.” I said to my son.  

For two days I discovered what people say about animals becoming part of the family.  It had been over 40 years since I had a dog.  I never remembered those same feelings but then, I had never had a housedog like Sammy.  He made my life a little sweeter and was starting a new adventure with a family who would be good for him as well. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, too!

Steve and Sue said we could have visitations if we like.  I might just take them up on it later.  

My wish for you today is that you savor moments like this and be open to new adventures when they cross your path.  You’ll live a richer life because you take the time to be aware of simple and new experiences. 

~ Joellen

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