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Rescues... what is Sam's story?

The posts about the nice gelding that Dawna rescued have been very
touching. I hang onto my two pasture pets (of four horses) because I've
seen firsthand what can happen to even great horses.

I've rescued horses too, but we aren't all able to take on that much. It
isn't only horses that need rescue... let me tell you about Sam.

I adopted Sam on Monday, three days ago... How did Sam end up in the

Sam is a 4 year old Australian Shepherd mix... he's a typical aussie,
but has a black tongue, slightly fuller muzzle and larger, deeper set
eyes that hint at Chow blood. He's a beautiful sable color, has a great
build, and is VERY smart and well trained. 

Sam stays close, within 4 feet at all times but never under foot. He
isn't a "touch hound" that has to have contact or attention all the
time. He's very affectionate and extremely devoted, but not insistent or
demanding. He's very well trained, won't eat the cat food that he
prefers to his own, "stays" even when he doesn't want to, knows all the
basic commands. The only time he chased a kitty was when the kitty spied
on him intriguingly from many vantage points for many minutes... and
when he chased, it was a laughing "herd the kitty up a tree" type chase
from a respectful distance... no intent to hurt shy Forest. Forest
hasn't quite forgiven him.

He doesn't bark, doesn't dig, doesn't chew, doesn't lick, doesn't lift
his leg to mark territory incessantly. He gazes adoringly, refuses to
accept a challenge from any dog, cat or horse to engage in dominance
games. He doesn't cringe or cower, has an enthusiastic carriage and much
doggie dignity. He doesn't even comprehend shame, and "Bad Dog" is met
with a laughing but respectful glance that has shown he understands good
and bad, didn't intend to be bad... he's this very honest dog that has
yet to do a 'bad thing" once he understands it's bad. 

I'm training myself not to say bad dog, because there isn't anything bad
about him... "Don't do that, Sam" is all he needs. He exemplifies "good

He accepts affection from all people, but from the first time I led him
out of the pound kennel to introduce ourselves in the play yard, I was
Sam's human to be venerated, the One to be adored. Some dogs are warm
and loving to anyone, but for Sam, I'm very special. I'm The One. The
Only One.

Now? He's the Only One too... there is nothing that compares to being
that special in the eyes of another creature.

At the pound, Sam let all the dogs in their runs know that he'd found
what he wanted by trotting up and down past the runs smiling at them,
inspiring barking, and returning to sit at my side an gaze up at me
proudly. "See - I'm a good dog! I know this one will take me home! I
"come", "heel", "sit", "fetch" and "stay", and they love that! This is
how to catch a human!" He did that four times in a row... funny guy....

I read a lot into it, don't I? It's more fun that way, silly or not. It
is how he acted.

The first night he stayed with me, I woke up to see him sitting in the
moon light a few feet away, leaning back against the wall with his
laughing smile, watching me with very tired eyes and ears lifted to
listen... guarding me, watching me, adoring me... 

How the hell did a dog like Sam end up in the pound???? What happened to
the wonderful home that nurtured such a fine dog?

Samuel. Sam Shepherd. What a good dog.

  -- Linda Cowles, Gilroy CA


There were three other great dogs at the San Martin, California, Animal
Control that I can't adopt but wanted to... a pure rhodesian ridge back
male, a stunning border collie mix...

The hard one to leave was a herd-dog Heinz 57 mix speckled clown who
stands on her hind legs and spins in circles to make you laugh till you
and she both drop in hysterics! 

They all had great personalities and were very trainable. The other
dozen dog there were neat too... but I'm picky about dogs, and those
three? My family's a big one- 3 cats and 4 horses and Sam - I don't need
a second dog but... these are nice dogs. I'm very tempted.

If you are in this area and want a fantastic dog, drop me a line. 

There are swinging doors at either end of the kennel isle at the pound;
one door to the vet lab, the other to the front door and good homes. How
many dogs like Sam have left the pound through the back door? Oh geeze,
folks, way too many...

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