Today, we went back to Sampson's integrative medicine doctor at UT....
|Sam the Man riding shotgun to the vet|
I feel like dogs have the ability to bring out the best in people. Somehow, at least for me, they have the ability to literally touch my soul. In the past almost 9 years, Sampson has been by my side for all of the changes, ups and downs, military life-issues (including moves, deployments, various separations), newlywed issues, motherhood issues, graduate school issues. You name it, he has been there. He has shown me unconditional love and friendship every step along the way. He has taught me so many things (including a lot of medical terminology and how to squeeze the most out of a dollar). He has been the sloppy kiss when I needed it most but least expected it, given me a kidney bean dance when I needed a partner with whom to celebrate, and been a silent shoulder when I needed a friend to listen or just to be there. He's watched over my daughter when she's been sick or sad. He's licked away the tears of every one of my family members. He has truly warmed my heart on so many levels. I can't find the words to adequately pour my heart out beyond these words written by Richard Biby:
From time to time people tell me, "Lighten up, it's just a dog," or, "That's a lot of money for just a dog." They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent or the costs involved for "just a dog."
Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."
Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog," but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog," and, in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand phases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."
"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.
"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.
Because of "just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.
So for me, and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past and the pure joy of the moment.
"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog" but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a human."
So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog," just smile....because they "just don't understand."
I used to care when people thought I was crazy for going what they considered to be "overboard" for my dogs. But the past nearly nine years have thickened my skin to others' words on the topic. Now, I just don't care. These almost 9 years have taught me so much about myself and the world around me--not only through Sampson, but just in the path which my journey has taken me. Having him by my side has certainly made it all better. Cheers to my 8 and11/12 year old Sampson, who is SO much more than "just a dog."