Happy Birthday, dear Sammy

As soon as I held him, I knew...

Happy Birthday Sammy. Seems just like yesterday we brought you home. You were so little you could fit in the palm of my hand: my little white puppy with the black circle over your right eye and two black ears.

So much has changed during the last 1o months:


    • You ‘ve gained 13 pounds; I have gained four.
    • I learned dogs have day care. You started going to Preppy Pet Care one day a week. It is your favorite day of the week.
    • You are housebroken although it was touch and go there for awhile.
    • You’ve swallowed ‘foreign matter’ on three separate occasions. We now have pet insurance.
    • Your legs grew faster than your torso. This helps you zoom around the back yard.

      These legs were made for zooming...

    • You’ve grown to love to retrieve objects.
    • You enjoyed chewing up Daddy’s rawhide ties on his slippers. We won’t even mention Mama’s shoes or her Mont Blanc pen. I mean, it is your birthday.

My readers have loved getting to know you; I knew you would want me to share a few thoughts on your first birthday. Here’s to another great year Samuel Winiferd Hambone Johnson. I love you.

Who, Me? No way did I do that!

Free At Last: Sammy and Al Green

Don't believe a word she says.

Some days as a parent you never forget. I am the mother of a Jack Russell Terrier puppy. His name is Sammy. Sammy is seven months old. Sammy is spoiled. Rotten.

Last Friday I had plans to meet a longtime friend for our bi-weekly diet coke ‘catch-up.’ To ‘get out of the house on time, I used my check off list. Having chosen my show-stopping outfit the night before, I whizzed through the list. A few moments spent to “pull it all together” with my Vera Bradley Bag, and scheduled departure time became a pending reality.  Last on my list: preparing Sammy for my absence. I scooted him out in the back yard with high hopes of a quick, successful “morning break.” After watching him hunt earth worms for ten minutes, I abandoned this goal.  I picked him up and brought him inside. Giving him a loving hug goodbye, I tucked him in his little house.

With my new Vera key chain clutched in hand, I tore through the front door. Slam. Paternal guilt hits me. I come to a screeching halt. I was going to be gone for at least four hours. I had to afford Sammy another opportunity to relieve himself. I unlocked the latch of his little house, picking him up as I have done endless times. He did something he has NEVER done before; he jumped out of my arms and hauled ass out the front door.

I swear I heard Sammy singing with Al Green as he bolted across our yard belting out Free At Last. I stood transfixed in stunned disbelief. My dog was loose. I had read of JRT getting out, catching a scent of a varmint, taking off and never coming home. EVER. My adrenaline kicked in. I ran out of the house screaming” Sammy.” I saw him lounging in a neighbor’s yard across the street. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a car coming down the road. A full glance reveals a “business man” complete in executive regalia, sitting behind the wheel of a 2011 Lexus, now hovering on stand-by.

Why couldn’t it have been the nice 94 year-old lady who lives around the corner? Driving her 1972 yellow Jetty, she would have gotten a big kick out of Sammy’s morning theatrics. Instead, I have Mr. GQ in a front-row seat watching my futile attempts to lure my JRT Sammy into the house. Desperate, I flew back into the house to retrieve my defense against this type of behavior: MILK BONES. Milk Bone Enticement has become a life-saver in the Johnson household. . A couple of shakes on the milk bone box usually jolts Sammy from ANY activity. Not this time. I can only imagine texts Mr GQ sent as to the cause of his delay.

Suddenly, without provocation or explanation, Sammy halts, glances at me (I swear he winked) and trotted in the front door. I waved spastically to Mr. GQ in a nonverbal attempt to thank him for his Southern charm and patience. As he drove by, he nods and smiles. Maybe those texts weren’t so bad? Without further adieu, I hastened inside, put Sammy in his little house, grabbed my keys and was out the door in record time. Only when I fastened my seat belt in my car did I exhale.

Turning the key in the ignition, something caught my eye. No way, I say to myself. Yes, way. Not only was I covered in white Sammy hair, I had on a red shirt and a pair of burgundy pants! I looked at this outrageous tacky combo I had put together, and said “Screw It.” I backed out of my driveway and went on my way, a readymade model for the Glamour Magazine Don’t Wear column.

Next month, I’ll see you on the “Do” side.

You can bet on it.