Sammy returned home today!   I had a bunch of moves planned for his welcome home which included:

1) a big ol’ neck hug

2) Kissy-kissy around the eyes and cheek – very French like

3) one of my semi- tornadic spins where I end up with my hind quarters in his nose

4) followed up by a full tornado around him, through the living room, off the wall behind the chair and back to kissy face with my big bro.

However, I immediately sensed that this was not the appropriate course of action for this return.  He was obviously under the influence of some heavy pain meds and had some strange smells emanating from him.  He also had a really bad haircut.

I deduced he either had quite the bender in Vegas or underwent some significant medical procedure. Since last I saw him he was behind bars I figured if it was a trip to Vegas then he should already have had the shave and opiate breath – and with his arrest he would probably had all sorts of charges against him.

That all seemed too improbable.

So I quickly changed my welcoming routine to a quick sniff check and comforting words like: “looking good Sam!” and “missed you big guy!”

This little clip pretty much captures our interaction – much more subdued then I had anticipated but never-the-less a great feeling.

Sammy told me about how great the care he received at Blue Pearl was and how everyone there was so nice to him. Not only did they save his life but they turned out to be pretty good friends!  He was almost ready to stay with them for another night but realized Dad would probably break down right then and there if he didn’t go with them. In short the Pearl rocks!

Sammy was a little restless when he first got home – I think he may of had a little bit of pent up energy or may have been trippin’ from his psychedelic car ride home.

In case you were worried that we’d be holed up for weeks during his convalescence (and drug use) don’t fear: We already went for our first of  many walks!  In fact, in these pics, he looks like his normal self.

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And upon our return, some relaxing times in the backyard:

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Thanks again to the entire staff at The Blue Pearl for getting my brother back to me!




Apparently this stands for: Denied Official Admittance (to college)

Great news!  Sammy had his surgery this afternoon and he came through with flying colors – so no need to pack up his stuff to move into his dorm room.  He still has to spend the night at the hospital so things are still not normal around the house but we are all very excited about seeing him tomorrow (with any luck, Dad will capture his homecoming on his iPhone and I can share it with you all in my next blog).

Today we got an email with some of the paperwork from the emergency visit to the vet and it had a line item about Sammy being DOA.  I heard my parents saying something about an arrest when discussing this issue.  I think it is pretty rude if they actually arrested him when he was feeling so bad but you people often do weird things; that would explain why he was behind bars when we went to visit him the second time.  I forgot to mention this last night but during our short conversation he did tell me that he went to the other side for a second but got a good look of what was over there: Lots of rabbits…slow, fat rabbits.  Sounds like I would like this other place but I don’t know how to get there – or why he didn’t stay – but I am glad he didn’t leave me behind and I hope someday to play there with him.

Now, I must admit that I am a little worried that this “vision” may have been just a part of him not getting enough oxygen to his brain during his ordeal.  As I meant to get back to in yesterdays post it is a good thing he wasn’t so smart to begin with so any brain damage he may have suffered won’t really be noticeable – HA HA 🙂 !

After we got the call from the surgeon saying Sammy was doing well my parents went out to run some errands.  I went into my crate like I always do but I huddled up at the way back:


This behavior and the fact that most of the day I sat on my cushion and looked out the back window had my parents worried that I was a little depressed.


In actuality – although today was weird because Sammy wasn’t here and the weather took a turn for the worse.  – I was just a bit worn out from all the events of the last 36 hours or so.  Good news is I’ll be all rested up for when Sammy gets back.  Besides, we took a couple of short walks (during which I got in some good jumps) and so I still met my minutes goal on my whistle!

Looking forward to updating you on Sammy’s Homecoming tomorrow.  For now, have a great evening.



Rejection Letter

This morning we had a big scare.  It looked like Sammy was finally going to be accepted to college.  But we lucked out and despite some difficulty breathing that led to cardiac arrest Sammy’s application was denied.  He still could get in to another school so I am not bragging or thinking it won’t happen but as of now he is happy and resting at the vet.  As you may remember, my parents have already had three of us four-legged children go off to college – but they were all  over achievers when it comes right down to it.  Sammy is luckily not so bright…a late bloomer of sorts.  This lack of Sammy brain power will come back a little later as I tell the tale of The Morning of 5/29/15.

Today started pretty much as normal.  Mom woke up early and fed us and then went to do her exercises – after dealing with some work issues on her computer (people are always creating work for her)  🙂 .  Dad eventually got up and got us ready for our walk.  Since Mom’s work took a little longer than she anticipated we decided to just go around the short block.   About 50 feet from our front door Sammy started gagging and breathing hard.  By the time we got inside he had aspirated up some foamy stuff a couple of times.  Mom quickly deduced that he may be having trouble breathing (we had previously been told he may be suffering from idiopathic laryngeal paralysis).  Dad checked his tongue and sure enough his tongue was turning blue.  Then all of a sudden they both went into emergency mode.  Dad carried Sammy to our Honda Elephant and my mom reeled me in.  Off to the Emergency Vet we all went – but in two different cars.  Mom charted the way on her mapping app while Dad just took off.  Thanks to my navigation skills we took the express way and actually beat them to Blue Pearl.  Dad took back roads and hit some construction.  He may have exceeded the speed limit a couple of times and may have taken some liberties with the whole yellow vs red light thing (I got this from listening to Dad tell Mom why he was later than us).  He also said he tried blowing in Sammy’s nose a couple of times at red lights – his thought process being that it helped the Montana-like dog in Columbia.  Thank goodness for that video (assuming this did any good for Sammy…it at least made Dad feel like he was doing something while idling at the stop light).

Finally, they showed up at the Vet and Mom again took the initiative to get the vets prepared by letting them know there was a dog on the way that wasn’t breathing.  Since I was standing next to her they looked at her like she was kind of crazy…or was that because she was still in her exercise gear?  Anyhow, Sammy was still breathing in the car but was fading fast.  Dad carried him in and he was completely limp – which may have cut off his breathing, because by the time they got Sammy in the back room he was not breathing and his heart had stopped.  I am no doctor or physiologist but even I know this is not a good thing.  BTW – I really like breathing.  It is part of how I get all those good smells.  The doctor came out and let them know he was resuscitated but that it would be awhile before we could visit him.

This was a weird phase in my experience because we went and sat in this big room that reminded me of when I was getting heart worm treatment – a story for another time.  Dad even weighed me on their scale which was kinda strange.  There were a number of other dogs there but I was pretty much just in monitoring mode.  Sniffing a bit – because who doesn’t do that when they meet new people – but overall just chillin.   I could tell my ‘rents were kind of stressed and a little sad.  I chose to do what I know how to do to calm them…jump in Mom’s lap:

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Eventually we were allowed to visit him while he was still on the doctor’s examining table.  Mom and Dad were trying to get his attention but he was still a little out of it but when I jumped up and put my front paws on the table he wagged that big ol’ tail of his and gave me kisses.  This made all the techs very happy to see how well we get along.  A quick aside: we just talked with the attending vet and she said Sammy is the star of the ER as not only is he smashingly gorgeous but he is one of their success stories which is apparently rare when it comes to canine resuscitation.

We then waited some more in the outer room and met some other dogs.


Before we left though we were allowed into say goodbye to Sammy.  This time he was in a crate and looking a lot more like himself.  He gave us all kisses and even gave us a couple of healthy head rubs and started making that raspy breathing which was like music to our ears after all that gasping he did before we got to the vets.  As we were leaving he started barking and carrying on which reminded my ‘rents of when he got tutored as a little boy (again a story for another time).

Tomorrow he is scheduled for a surgery so this doesn’t happen again.  His surgeon is getting ready to publish a clinical study on the subject of GOLPP but if you are interested here is a little more information on the condition:

I am a bit at a loss this evening without him but I did get to “clean” the dishes by myself which was a real treat.

I’ll update you tomorrow with how he is doing and some of our other antics but I realize that this entry is getting awfully long and maybe not all that uplifting so I will end with just a couple of things that came to mind through this whole ordeal:

The first comes from Mark Twain:  “The reports of Sammy’s death have been greatly exaggerated” – okay, that isn’t a direct quote but you get the message.

Second comes from my favorite movie, The Princess Bride: “Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.”

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We are excited to no end that Sammy was just mostly dead today!

Viva Sambuca!


-after all that dictating I had to take a little nap…


before watching some hockey (Game 7’s are always exciting to me – no way I could sleep through the whole thing!) so I could update Sammy on the outcome tomorrow:


Selective Hearing

My parents never thought we really listened to what they were saying to us.  Sure we always tuned in when “dinner” was spoken or “time for a walk” but generally those events happen at certain times with many additional cues for us to work off of…at least that is how they rationalized our comprehension of their spoken word.

Of course I understand why they would assume we don’t understand what they are saying since when they command us to “get off the counter” we tend to ignore them…likewise when we are focused on chasing down a squirrel and they call us to come in we have no idea what they are talking about.  There are also numerous occasions when we may have ignored their directives.

So, it came as a big surprise to them when last night when my dad said that we could go for a walk as soon as the phone rang (my grandparents had scheduled a chat with our mom at 19:30 – or 7:30 PM).  At exactly, 19:31 the phone rang.  Sammy “jumped” up – he is kind of slow these days – but I was already reared up on Dad’s lap and was pawing him to remind him of his promise to us.

There are a couple ways one could interpret these events:

1) Random chance…

2) Selective hearing.

You can decide which is the right answer but if I were you I wouldn’t bet against us dogs :)!


BTW – it turned into a great 3-day weekend with the ‘rents…we even had a half-day on Friday to visit Dave the Dog Guy so we looked and felt awesome!


Rescue Me

My aunt Elaine saw this video on the Weather Channel and thought it was me:

Although this looks like me quite a bit, in reality I was at home all day.  Plus I really don’t like it when Sammy is behind the wheel and to drive all the way to Columbia would put a major cramp in my napping schedule.

Sammy Driving

However, there are a couple of lessons in this video that I have taken to heart:

1) Before trying to catch a fish in a river make sure you have solid footing on dry land  (I am assuming fishing was what caused this near tragedy).

2) Despite all their bad press lately, cops can really come in handy and make a very positive impact on someone’s (or some dog’s) life.

3) When visiting my grandparents in New Mexico I am going to be on full alert at all times for flash floods…unless of course I am taking a nap in front of their fire – then Sammy is responsible for keeping an eye on such things.



But in all honesty, I would never be in this exact predicament because I would just leap out of the water with my superhuman jumping skills…no offense to my South American cousin.

Luckily, every thing turned out OK for my doppelganger in Columbia and just so no one is worried about Sammy driving long distances I have convinced him that only short trips to the dog park or the “candy” store (our pet store has treats in bins that we love) are safe for him at his age.


The Doors

A few years back my parents did an addition to their house.  The original idea was to have a solid hardwood door in the back with some windows in it – much like our front door.  However, the painters accidentally painted the door so my parents were given a choice of what to do:

1) Replace the door

2) Have the door stripped of the paint

3) Keep the door and get a discount on the original price of the door

Since they already had caused a lot of material waste with the whole project they didn’t think replacing the door was really environmentally responsible.  Likewise, stripping the door would use a lot of toxic chemicals and the door would end up looking like it had the work done and not like the original door they had picked.  So they chose to keep the door in it’s current painted condition and get some cash back on the deal.  However, since this error occurred their original plan of adding a storm door with a dog door in it was shelved – despite having the few extra dollars in their pocket.  This decision was purely aesthetic in nature as they didn’t feel this door would complement their backyard in the manner that they wanted.  In other words, in their opinion, the Feng Shui would be TOTALLY thrown off.

The lack of a dog door – like the one they originally had between their kitchen and the garage door which then led out to the yard (BTW this was before my time so I am just relating what Sammy has told me) – caused a complication in their lifestyle.  In order for us to go outside they either:

1) had to get up each time and open the door for us, or

2) they had to leave the door open which had the following downsides:

a) in summer: the bugs – especially moths and mosquitoes would enter the house (the latter being a particularly bad outcome).

b) in winter: the cold and/or snow would infiltrate the house and cause major discomfort while sitting on the couch (or they would have to bundle up in multiple blankets or cocoon up in a sleeping bag certified for -20o F).

So what to do????  Give up on the whole Feng Shui thing or freeze/get eaten by the ‘squitos until they were dead???

Well, my dad had another idea.  Build an “easily” removable dog door?

Originally he was thinking a piece of plywood with a hole cut out.  But when he went to scout out such a set up at our local Home Depot it became immediately clear to him that this would be way too heavy for an “easy” removable door.  While roaming around the store he came across the 4’x8’ insulation panels.  A razor blade, some rope and a pillow case (to act as a flap) resulted in our first door.

Now many of you may be thinking: “this doesn’t ruin the Feng Shui of the backyard?”.

Well, I’ll provide this story as evidence in this case:

My dad was telling a friend at work about this “invention” – making fun of the potential of making the house look a little less then stylish.  The first picture my dad sent him was of Sammy heading out the door from our room.  His response was: “that is 800 times better than what I expected”.  After my dad sent the second picture (me sitting outside the door – with the Pink Panther print on the foam insert and me in with a bandage leg) he said: “AH.  You have some real lucky neighbors!”

Sammy and the Dog Door

Sammy and the Dog Door


Whatever he says we thought it was pretty cool!


Dad eventually got a thicker version of the insulation panels (he brought the previous section to work to try and warm up his office – upping the Feng Shui of that space considerably 🙂 ) and this time he put the Panther on the inside – in acknowledgement of our neighbors viewpoint- and used thicker rugs as our flaps.


Unfortunately, this set up eventually got too cumbersome for Sammy to get in and out easily.  His difficulty resulted in Version 3 of the the “door”.  In this version, a drop cloth is thrown over the top of the insulation panel and shoved to one side so the “flap” is only partly covering the hole in the door (maybe someday I’ll share a pic of this setup).  This keeps most of the heat in the house and the bugs mostly out while allowing Sammy “mostly” free access to the outside.  Of course this version isn’t  fool proof either as on occasion Sammy will plow through the door pulling it out of the opening which results in it laying on the floor or leaning against our shower stall.  In these instances, if I am outside, I feel trapped and will not come back inside through our room.  This happened just the other night and it took a good 5 minutes (or forever in my view) for anyone to notice me looking through our sliding glass door asking for help.  Once they realized the problem and let me in it took a full hour (or two minutes) of kissing my mom on the couch before I calmed down.   Don’t worry though, I still love our door.

I am most happy though when the “door” is in the pantry and I am outside with Sammy and my ‘rents like this:

Version 3



…my disappointment when after this neckless was put over my head I found out we were NOT in Hawaii nor going there anytime soon:

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At least:

1) the weather was nice today – despite the original weather report – so I was able to spend most of the day outside in the sun

2) when I wore the azalea flowers around my neck I pulled it off with style – unlike Sammy who couldn’t even get it around his neck so had to wear it as a tiara:

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LOL!  He looks reediculous!

Later I posed in our yard in a much more dignified manner…after I got over my disappointment over the whole Hawaii trip thing.


Got to go now…people making noise next door and there may even be a squirrel on our back fence.