A year ago today my phone rang early with news from Opening Heavens Doors that our puppy had been born, and though we didn't meet or take him home for seven weeks, it feels like he has always been a part of our family. Just on the other side of his recent naughty streak and an ear infection that left him a little grumpy, Sampson is back to his old self. J and I notice more mellowing, a delight of the breed, and an eagerness to please us all. He is totally devoted to his kids. He followed them vigilantly on their Easter basket and egg hunts last Sunday--them on the golf cart, bikes and boat, Sampson loping and paddling after them like a circuit training course, sniffing their scent hound-style when they took off through the woods, and lying patiently outside their closed bedroom door while they glutted on the winnings. (He was the recipient of a lovely ham bone and many lamb scraps--better than chocolate for dogs!)
While his relationship with the cats started out rocky, things are smoother today. This morning I spied Sophie weaving in and out of Sampson's legs under the bird feeder and Sporty and Samps were curled up in the bushes when I got home last night. Only Catty T, our elder stateswoman West Bay toothless rescue kitty who turns sixteen this year is not to be swayed--she exits our bed with an annoyed switch of her tail whenever Samps bounds in.
We have no idea of his stats these days. We will say that he is taller than Jonah was; we know this because he can graze at and rest his head on our kitchen counter without any effort. I imagine he won't grow much taller, but he is a lean, lanky guy right now so I think there is still weight to be gained. We are estimating him around 175 right now.
His birthday began with poached eggs over dog food (he ate the eggs and will ignore the food until we're not watching later) much canoodling and affection from the kids, and now that they're off to school, some contemplative time on his bed. We'll take a walk later, there should be some pond swimming, and then tonight Piper has dreamed up a meatball cake for Sampson's celebratory dinner. Photos to follow.
Happy birthday to our lovable, destructive, affectionate, slobbery hairy baby!