I have spoken of Sam The Man many times, as well as all of the other animals here, but just last night I wrote to a very dear friend, who is going through a lot of pain and hardships herself, that with what has been going on lately, I don't know how I would have made it without my animals, all of them, but, I must admit, especially Sampson.
I have had all of my other animals longer than the pugs, love them all very dearly with my whole heart, but when Sampson came into my life last September, the 2nd of 3 pugs that would come from Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue, whom I support with all my heart as well as proceeds from my fiber work when I get sales, my life turned over on it's ear. I had just adopted Babs, my beloved tiny black pea pod, whom you can't help but squish and kiss, and even though she's deaf we understand one another quite well. Coco, whom I call "Coco Puff," (We're working on her, ahem, food issues just now. She's a little tubby and slow, but I'm embarrassed to press the issue too much since I am too. Sigh... But our dear vet came for a visit a couple of weeks ago and gave me strict instructions about diet. We were CAUGHT! And we do anything our beloved Dr. B. says...) Coco is the funniest pug in the house. She sleeps down the hall all day long on one of the steps going upstairs. She barely fits, but that's her spot. One day I found her sound asleep, sitting on her step with her head resting on the step above her. Funny little pugaloo.
Moe is the gentleman and the only real dog here. As I've written here before, my dear friend Joseph, who has had pugs, told me when I got Babs and I was so excited and I said now I have TWO dogs, said, "No honey, you have a dog and a pug." And he was right. And little did I know that within three months time I would have adopted 3 pugs, but there you go! I will now demonstrate the difference.
Moe, a normal dog... (Note: He has
The Three Amigos. Notice, no noses
to speak of. Sampson is in the front,
and little black Babs and Coco are
in the back. And yes I know it's a
lousy picture but YOU try taking
one with all three pugs who are
just coming out of the kitchen
down a darkish hall after eating
breakfast to lie down and go to
sleep again. This is, after all,
what they do best...
So, as I was saying, these have been some hard days. With my best friend's nephew murdered, and all of the rest, it has been wearing. I have found myself feeling rather lost and listless at times, and the one thing that really calms me down is the fact that Sampson, whom I was warned had been very abused and would cling to me, would be just what I needed. I was told he had "abandonment issues." I said, "That's okay, so do I." And wherever I am, Sam is, and that's all there is to it.
A funny thing happened this morning. I have a downstairs bathroom the size of a loaf of bread, and I never go to the bathroom without all of the dogs, er, rather, Moe and the pugs, crowding in with me. But yesterday, as all four were stuffed in the tiny bathroom with me, I heard a great flapping of wings, and Henry, my African grey parrot, who is also attached to my person a good deal of the day, flew off of his cage, down the hall, past the kitchen, made a sharp right turn and flew right into the bathroom and landed on my shoulder. I figured all the rest would follow, but, thankfully, as there was very little oxygen left in the room by now, and as things were, uhm, all taken care of, we all piled out of the tiny bathroom reminding me very much of those old Volkswagon commercials where people kept coming out, endlessly, from the tiny VW Beetle. There were many furry bodies and a bumbling woman with a grey parrot attached to her pouring out of the little door in what could only be described as a rather ridiculous sight.
Back out in the living room/studio/where I usually sleep instead of my bedroom-room, I sat down at my desk to continue on working on this piece, but there was Sampson, giving me, "The Look."
What the above look says is, "Moe has taken my spot (under my desk by my feet) and I have nowhere to go." (At this juncture he was working the poor pitiful me look to the hilt!) He kept staring at me. I got up, went to the big chair and got the blue Mexican blanket and folded it into a big rectangle on the floor right next to me, and he curled up on it, looking satisfied but still miffed that Moe had taken his spot. This is a game between them. Moe loves to irk Sam but at least we've moved past the time where Moe wanted to EAT all the pugs and have done with it. That was a scary time. And they'd been here 4 months or more when he started that.
Now he plays mind games with them, like sprawling out in the doorway where the hall opens up into our main living space so that the wee ones can't get past him to their beds or toys or me or anything. They remember very well nearly being eaten and so sit in the hall barking (Babs), or whining (Coco), or just sit there looking pitiful (Sam). Well I'm blond but I'm not stupid, so I call Moe to me, (he always comes to me when I call him, I've had him for 13 years and he's my big baby...) and there is a rush of pugs into the room, heaving a sigh of relief as they collapse onto their beds, or Sam on my feet, and we all finally settle in again. I'd go to the gym, but besides the broken wrist and tendonitis in my ankle, I get enough exercise here for the time being just hustling around after all of the animals.
As soon as we are all comfortably settled in and I type, oh, maybe 5 or 8 words, SOMEBODY or other has to absolutely go out THAT MINUTE, and then they all get riled up and it's time to go out. Back in we go through the routine of who gets the feet and who gets the whatever else, and finally, FINALLY, I get to settle in and write while they all go to sleep as if it were no big deal, and I'm too tired to lift my latté bowl. People think I get lonely living here "all alone." As if.
Finally, I decided that I had to get out of my head and into my hands to quiet my mind, so I got out the HUGE, fabulous spoolknitter made for me by my dear friend and Queen of the Spoolknitters, Noreen, a magical serpent spoolknitter, the size of a dinner plate or more in circumference, on which I am making a very long, cushy serpent for my grandson for his 4th birthday, May 1. It is being made of all recycled material from my closets, clothes I've been cleaning out that were pretty worn out but the fabrics are wonderful and, cut into very long strips, I am spoolknitting away. You can have a look-see right here...
As I sat spoolknitting and reading over what I'd written here so far, I realized, sadly, that I'd gotten all discombobulated and cattywompus and, writing in my all too often circular fashion, had lost the point I was trying to make. About Sam. About how he has comforted me.
You see he's always a little love, like a soft, warm, furry teddy bear, but it's when I go to sleep that I really need him. I am prone to nightmares and they have been bad lately. When I go to sleep, whether for an afternoon nap on the couch or for the night, it is Sampson that curls into my person somewhere, either the nook of my knees, or with his head on me, and I've come to rely on this soft warm little person more than I knew. This last week has been bad, and one afternoon I lie down to take a nap (my meds knock me out mid-day) and after I got settled Sampson was still up on the big cushy arm of the couch where he will sit until I get all settled. I think it irks him no end to be tossed about while I'm getting situated. Once I'm still he will hop down and curl up with me, but that day he didn't. I waited a minute, I couldn't go to sleep, I felt restless and uneasy, and I looked up and he was sound asleep and snoring on the arm of the couch. Since he was asleep I didn't want to wake him, so I kind of shrugged and tried to go to sleep. My body was very tired, but I was shaky. Then there was a thump and a bump and my little man had jumped down to snuggle up and he was so soft and warm it made my whole body smile. He curled up and went back to sleep, half on my person, and I was finally able to go sleep myself.
It seems I am still the little girl inside, at times, that can't go to sleep without her "teddy bear." This teddy, however, is a little fawn pugling who is sweet past all understanding, especially given the hard times he had before coming here. He is the most loving, trusting little soul, and we have a heart connection that's hard to explain. Loving all of my animals so much, all the dogs and all of the birds, the connection with Sam seems larger than life, but then I think we've been together in many lifetimes. When he came here he found his forever home (instead of being passed all about and being so afraid he had nearly wasted away to nothing) and some huge hole in my heart was filled. It was Sampson-shaped, and as much as I love all of my other animal companions, especially my Moe-dog of so many years, there is just something special about Sam.
So, I guess this is as good a place as any to end, and as I do Sampson is asleep on my feet, Moe on the blue blanket at my side, Babs a few feet away from me, and Coco on her step down the hall. The birds are very quiet -- it's that time of day -- and it's one of my favorite times of day, when, with my dear animals sleeping all around me, and the room still and quiet, I can sip my latté and do my work and feel that peace that passeth all understanding.
Before I go, it seems that Sampson wants to give you all a kiss goodbye, so here he is, giving you a big wet one, and back I go, scribbling away to the snoring and snuffles of puglings, and big Moe, ever the gentle-man, sleeping quietly by my side....
Love and Blessings to one and all, and hug a pug,
it's good for you...
Maitri, Sampson, and all the rest...