Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Today I read a blog about first loves, Ernaka reminisces about her first love. It got me thinking about my first love, a hound and beagle mixed I named Chucky -- I was about fourteen or fifteen. Chucky began as my two younger brother's dog but he navigated to me. Actually, I claimed him. Whenever my brothers tried to leave the yard with Chucky I would call him and he would run back to me.

Chucky was my second dog, my first when I was just seven, was a collie I named Lassie. Chucky slept with me, talked on the telephone with my friends -- or at least he licked the telephone and howled. On a bright Sunday morning while our family was getting ready for church I looked out my bedroom window and saw a neighbor walk by carrying my poor dog on a shovel. Chucky had been hit by a car and was dead. I was devastated. My mother tried to find another hound and beagle mix for me but came home with a terrier we named Randy -- but he couldn't replace Chucky.

That was many, many years ago. Three weeks ago my fiancé David dragged me through the county animal shelter. We visit the shelter often just to look at the animals. I had no intention of getting a dog -- and then I saw him. Here was a two and half week old hound and beagle mix. Call it fate, kismet or destiny -- the sign above him said his name was Sammy. My father's name was Samuel and there are numerous family members who are either named Samuel, Sammie, or Samantha -- my daughter's name. I was smitten, still I had no plans to adopt a dog -- the nest is empty and I am very comfortable with my independence.

But I couldn’t get this adorable little pup out of my mind. Looking into his eyes took me back to a simpler time in my life when my biggest problem was finishing a book report for my lit class. I left Sammy at the shelter and went home. I couldn't get his big brown eyes out of my mind. I called the shelter and asked if they still had Sammy -- they did and two days later Sammy was home with me! Now I am up every morning walking this new life before I've even had a shower or my first cup of coffee. I've also had to deal with a couple of accidents in the house and now I'll have to clean the carpet. I worry that the house may smell like a dog and am on guard constantly-- it's great.

I raised three children but I had forgotten what it was like to lose sleep, change diapers and everything else associated with taking care of a new life. I miss my babies but admit I had enjoyed the freedom that comes with an empty nest. Yet, Sammy has brought a joy to my life that I had not expected. I miss my parents, my childhood and my first love, a little hound and beagle mix named Chucky. Sammy helps me cope with the loss of my parents, my youth and the empty nest. Now if I could just get him to stop chewing the rug under my dining room table.
Copyright ©Sharon D. Powell, 2009 all rights reserved

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