This past summer on The Shaun Proulx Show we themed our programming #SummerOfYes. I thought to do this after making the deliberate decision to say “yes” to more things in my life all summer, to see what happened. Looking back at all the incredible opportunities, adventures and other magic that came my way from doing so, I thought I’d share with you my capital-F Favourite thing, which to me can only be called a beautiful miracle.
I am a dog lover. If you follow me on Twitter you know that my coppertone cocker spaniel Ella, rescued from a shelter when she was six months old, five years ago, has me wrapped around her wooly paw. Before Ella there was Jack, and there was also Chip, the German Shepard who used to chase cars, Patchie, and Chimo (I still have the Polaroid of Chimo and I snuggling when I was five years old amongst some birthday gifts).
In the mix of all these canines was also little Sammy. Sammy was a short-haired miniature Daschund, velvet soft and ferociously loyal to her master. I met Sammy when I was in my early twenties, dating a freak, with whom I thought it would be a good idea to get a dog. Sammy was that dog. The freak boyfriend soon became old news, but Sammy remained my main headline as my adult years unfolded. We looked so silly as we walked everywhere through life together, all six foot four of me next to a weiner-shaped floppy eared little girl mere inches off the ground. As jobs, boyfriends, homes, circumstances changed, Sammy was my constant.
It was – as it is for all dogs and their human friends – an affair to remember, and it lasted a rich sixteen years. The day Sammy died I knew was the day she would pass – she hadn’t been well for a spell but on that morning when I woke and saw her there was no doubt. She was comfortable, but fading, and so I held her in my arms the whole day. Even when I had to go to the bathroom I didn’t let my touch leave her; it’s not easy peeing holding ten pounds close to your chest.
It was a few days before Christmas, some friends came and went to say their goodbyes, and then, finally, at three in the morning in the darkness of my bedroom as I sobbed my eyes out, keeping two fingers on her little heart beat until it stopped, my little lady friend who was by my side the whole of my adult life thus far made her quiet exit.
I love my cocker spaniel, Ella, but the little package I called Sammy still never leaves my mind.
Or my experience, as #SummerOfYes taught me. If you heard the show over the summer you might recall I said “yes” to camping, and so there I was in the back seat of my friends’ van mid-July, en route to a weekend in the woods, when I noticed we entered a place called Norfolk County. I couldn’t for the life of me recall why, but I was struck with a knowing I had been there before.
As I tried to remember when and what for, I had the impulse to turn my head and look out the window. If I hadn’t done so I had not I would not have seen what I saw.
There was the house, there was the yard, there was the spot where I first met Sammy as a puppy, confirmed as we whizzed past by the huge sign that read: Miniature Daschunds for Sale.
We were two hours out of the city. I remembered the long drive the freak boyfriend and I took to go get Sammy. Norfolk County – I hadn’t been there in over twenty years.
My heart fairly skipped a beat, I took a photograph with my mind of the scene and as we kept driving, my friends in the front seat oblivious to the delicious blast from the past I was having, a deep well of memories of Sammy gushed through me feeling like sweet joy.
Since then it’s felt like Sammy’s back in my orbit – energetically at least – and it’s the gift that keeps on giving to have her back front burner like this. I think about her often again, and feel the love more than ever before, thanks to my #SummerOfYes.
Don’t miss The Shaun Proulx Show, Saturdays at 3 pm & 8 pm EST and Sundays at 4 pm EST on Canada Talks 167.