Sampson's Dog Blog stats:
Age: 9.5 months
Weight: 130-ish lbs
(The guy who usually lifts him on to the scale is recovering from torn obliques and sports hernia surgery--though this is likely related to his basketball and ice hockey, we're not ruling out hefting a growing Newf)
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Driving home on a rainy evening and looking at Christmas decorations with a carful of kids this week, my sister and I were exercising our control over the radio for a little break from "Love Like Woah" and listening to Christmas carols. My three-year-old niece heard this song and remarked how much she liked it, singing along, "Sampson's having a wonderful Christmastime!"
This is true. I wrote a post recently on letting go of the quest for perfection in Christmas, and in the pet owner world, I am letting go of all the things that an adolescent pup chews around the holidays. Similar to toddler days, we are keeping the bottom half of our tree decorated with ornaments that are expendable, and I have rewrapped a few pawed-open presents before the kids glimpsed the contents, but I'm having trouble getting over Piper's fancy snowboarding helmet, chewed to shreds on the front porch.
Still, when I come down and see this duo curled up by the fire, my heart softens. There are so many things I love about having a dog in our life. The lesson of unconditional love that flows both ways between Samps and the kids tops the list.
I also love the way a dog forces you outdoors in all weather. Last night, it was drizzly but unseasonably balmy and Sampson was getting rambunctious inside, scrunching up the rugs in a hearty game of chase with the boys. We headed outside to exercise him in the dark and the kids started belting out Christmas songs as we walked through the night. I would have been content to sing in the darkness alone as Sampson frolicked alongside us, but they took it door to door, making up the funniest lyrics to Feliz Navidad.
I am so happy Sampson has joined our family and look forward to many years with this sweet-tempered fellow at our side.
Remember this summer and all the Piper-nibbling? Somehow, she manages to control him with the simple display of her palm. Now all the contentious stuff goes on between the two big-dawgs: ten-year-old Hayden and chuffy Samps. One of the presents under the tree is couples' therapy (dog training) sessions for those two-hoping to nip in the bud the frequent wrestling for position of Top Dog.
Sampson's stocking hangs alongside ours and waits to be stuffed with dehydrated chicken breasts, nylabones and Bil-Jacs and the kids can't wait to take him sledding, one of their favorite activities with Jonah.
Now if we would just get some of that white stuff falling from the sky and temperatures that would keep our outdoor rink frozen, we would all be having a wonderful Christmastime! Until then, we'll embrace the break from school and the fifty-five degrees and take Sampson on a hike.
Happy Holidays to all the dog blog followers!