Letter to Sam Holly McGivern
I wish you could read this letter
so you could understand that you mean the world to me. It’s been almost 5 years
since we picked you up from the breeders. Those 5 years have truly been a blessing
on our household. As I type this you are curled up at my feet waiting for me to
shower you with cuddles and affection. Even though at this moment you look like
butter wouldn’t melt it’s taken us a long time to get you to this calm state of
mind. This isn’t meant to be a sad or depressing letter it’s a little thank you
for the big impact you have had on me, and on our family.
You are a cockapoo and they are
known to be a very nervous breed of dog. This definitely applies to you. Anyone who dares to walk past our living room
window is greeted by your ear-piercing barking. I have no idea what you are
barking at though. I like to think it’s your way of trying to protect us all.
We joke with the neighbours that you’re the neighbourhood watch. One strange
thing you do is continuously bark at the sun light which reflects off the
windows onto the walls. All summer long you would cry and bark and cry and bark
until the sun would finally set and the light would go away. Even though you
are constantly nervous I prefer to think you are also very protective. I always
feel that little bit safer when I’m home alone and you’re there with me.
A new skill which you have
recently developed is being to open doors. You are now able to push down the
door handle and open the door. This is so helpful when mums taking the bin out
and you manage to make a quick escape out the back door. We then have to try to
find you and always end up finding you over at the field giving yourself a nice
As a puppy you were demanding but
we welcomed you with open arms. I chose Sam as your name because, to put it in
basic terms, I thought you looked like a Sam. You were just like any puppy,
eating every shoe (even my favourite red converse), chewing every piece of
furniture that was chewable and peeing on every corner of the carpet. I
remember whenever the house phone went off you would howl at the very top of
your tiny lungs, at the high pitched ringtone it was priceless.
As you grew older you developed
an unusual appetite for socks…yes socks. It was probably the most stressful
thing ever to hear you choking and coughing and then to hear you swallow a
whole sock down your throat. I remember feeling terrified and for the first
time ever it was me who was the nervous one. Every time you did it, we rushed
you to the vets, and every time you got a jag which made you throw up the sock.
This has happened nine times, nine
times. Eventually we had to put special magnets on our drawers which
automatically shut them so you could never stick your head in the marvellous
pick ‘n’ mix drawer full of socks. Nevertheless you still loved food. If anyone
had anything edible there you would be at their feet begging for a single crumb
or two. It wasn’t that we didn’t feed you because we did, you were – and still
are – extremely greedy. We ended up
giving you the nickname of ‘Hoover’ because you would always be cleaning up any
spilled crumbs of food off the floor.
Throughout all these problems you
were and are the best dog in the
world. I now know that your favourite treats are the Pets at Home treat mix
except the green paw prints. I know that you like all your teddies to be named
Betsy (but sadly the foxes keep stealing them from the garden). I believe we
have bought you at least ten teddies three of which were expensive build-a-bear
ones which you stole from my room. You like to be taken out for a walk straight
after dinner so you can burn off all the calories. Over the years we have grown
to be best friends and I love that you know when I’m upset and could do with a
cuddle. I love that you watch me do my make-up and then afterwards like me to
pretend that I’m doing your make-up. I love that I get showered with kisses
from you when I come home from school. You have taught me that a long walk is
really good to clear my head (and for you to clear your colon), how to be a
loyal and pure-hearted friend. Another very important that you have taught me
is that when comforting someone you don’t have to say anything but just to show up and be there is enough. Sometimes
I wonder what the house would be like if mum and dad didn’t decide to surprise
us with you. I know it wouldn’t be the same.
I will never understand why you choose to
follow me around constantly or why you eat socks for the fun of it, but I do know
that my life would not be the same without you. I know these words won’t mean
much to you and even if they did no words could show how grateful I am to you.
So now it will have to suffice when I give you extra treats throughout the day
or give you some peanut butter when Mums not looking or even throwing you your
ball a couple times extra when playing fetch. I love you Sam and I very much
hope you know that.
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