Gary Rinsem

Dad's Dog Sam
by Gary Rinsem
This somehow became
Sam's biography

Dad spent many years looking for a dog. He was picky. He looked high and low at rescues and breeders and dog pounds. It took him about thirteen years after Gidget died, before he found the right dog in Sam. Unfortunately, it was only a few months later when his health deteriorated to the point that he didn't even recognize her. Sam was a needy puppy, bad things must have happened to her in her short life before the dog pound. Dad saw that need in Sam and wanted to give her a good life. It was May and getting hot. Mom and Dad were spending most of their time at the lake. Sam was scheduled to be adoptable on Saturday morning, but came with the warning that many people would be there to adopt her. A lottery would be held. Dad didn't want to drive back from the lake just to lose a lottery. He asked me to go. I lost the lottery just as he would have done, but with a trip of only a couple miles. Curious about the dog that Dad spent so many years looking for, I went inside the pound to see her. She was cute, but didn't impress me in any way. The man who won the lottery stood next to me and showed no real interest in Sam. He didn't seem particularly happy to have won. He was killing time, waiting his turn at the counter and looking at OTHER dogs. I offered to pay for the adoption of another dog if he'd give me his "lottery ticket." Sam got lucky. That guy would never have given her the care and understanding she needed. So I paid double to adopt Sam. That man took the money and went out the door happy. I had to work the next day and didn't want Sam abandoned in a strange backyard, especially so soon after the trauma of the dog pound. I drove to Lake Mary and delivered her to my parents, not knowing I'd soon be stuck with her for a dozen years. Dad died a few months later and Sam became a snarling biting insane rabid animal that scared even the tough guy neighbor next door. I was the only hope she had. I guess she remembered me as the person who saved her, because I was one of only a couple people she'd accept. That's how I came to have a dog. I have always liked other people's dogs, but I NEVER wanted a dog of my own. For years Sam slept on top of me in bed. She went everywhere I went. I always had fur in my mouth. Sam became good friends with the women I knew and accepted a couple of my guy friends. Sam and Susan were quickly best buddies. Sam slept blocking the door when Susan was gone. Sue cried for days when Sam died. Here's pictures of the monster named Sam.
I didn't take this pic and I don't know where it was, but it was the first picture of her.
Sam had more than one screw loose. Looks like this could be followed by a raging attack with teeth and snarling and growling. Then she'd be over it.
Her first Christmas, 1997. Sam was exhausted and sleeping by the front door.
Steve had a digital camera, a rare thing in 1997. He disturbed Sam, but all she did was roll over.
Leave me alone, I ate too much.
Twice Sam had pet pigeons. Both were named Edna. This baby was in the yard a couple days, Sam took care of it best she could. She knew it had no chance. The second was a pigeon she somehow got in a bedroom, where she kept it hidden from me for at least five days. Sam brought it food and water.
Silly dog watched over the birds like a nanny. Sam would come to Sue and I to tattle on them if they went where they weren't allowed. Get on the kitchen counter? Sam was watching. On the floor? Sam was watching and ran to tell us.
So it's not Sam, but I love this image. Obviously a good photoshop of Bush and Bush. It was a political commentary during the Katrina emergency, when President Bush was dragging his heals to help the victims of the hurricane.
Sam loved Western Metal Craft. There were other dogs and cattle and chickens and open land where she got to run wild for hours at a time. There was also lots-o-poop. Why do dogs roll in poop? She was hard to clean there, with only a garden hose. Can't let her in the truck, covered in cowpie.
Sam on a mission... headed into the machine shop area where it was air conditioned.
Smart dog, but smart enough to read a tape measure? I wouldn't bet on that.