Saturday, December 7, 2013
(Continued from page 2)
So it took a bit of time before the Connecticut family emerged as the best of the limited but good choices, compiled in a hurry.
And they did step up, to their good fortune, since Sam is an essentially perfect dog.
And now, should things run amok, a line of Mainers has formed, compassionate, generous people willing to take over, if Sam runs into trouble again.
I know a fair amount about what it's like to live like Sam -- on my own, without help from family, for a long, lonely time. So, it is not surprising that while I awaited word of her fate, I was having a little trouble keeping clear when I was talking about her sad life and when I was thinking about my own past. I was not confused, however, about feeling overwhelmed by a tidal wave of loss: Bereft of my own golden retriever, gone eight weeks; mourning the load of pain and struggle, terror and pure trauma, that a young creature like Sam unbelievably can bear.
If I had a method to communicate with a dog who barely knows me, I would tell Sam that it doesn't always have to be that way, that you eventually, incredibly, discover kind people and help; that good companions find in you a precious gift; that you don't always end up hungry for food, longing for warmth or love, shelter or sustenance, or for that matter, just plain fun.
Sometimes you find you have arrived to open arms. Once in a while, you learn it's Maine, not Mississippi anymore. And that you -- just another dog -- are valued in a special way that restores any courage, confidence or trust you lost along the way. You wake up to find -- astonishingly -- that nothing's wrong, that you've have actually arrived in Connecticut, and come home, at last. And here, though you never expected it, you'll stay.
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