Erik Larson

Jan 25, 2009


My wife brought our dog Sam back from the animal shelter Spring of 2006. He was a sickly puppy at the time, full of worms, with a running eye, and a pensive, shy demeanor. But he won over my wife, with his tawny fur and big, innocent eyes. He was Paul when we took him home, and when he reached our house he was Sam.

Sam’s running eye was harmless, according to the vet, and the worms clinging in his swollen belly were let loose by the pills we embedded in his food. He grew larger by degrees I’m sure, but as we experienced him his progress was discreet, so that he was suddenly a larger pup, and then an adolescent, with no stages in between. Sam took to chewing everything in our back yard, which caused me great consternation, and prompted ongoing friction between my wife and I, as she remonstrated me on my lack of patience, and I her on our lack of unpunctured water hoses, and unchewed bushes, and boards on our deck free of marks from puppy teething.

Sam was a classic mut, a pound puppy that was listed as a cross between a Pit Bull and a Labrador, the faintly discernible drops in an ocean of breeds comprising his motley origin.