In the three and a half months since his arrival Sammy has brought pure joy to all of us at Sontheim! In true Berner fashion, he is a bundle of love as he divides his attention equally between his mom and dad.
- Upside down Sammy on the couch, showing us that life is good.
He has drawn Sophia further out of her shell and has learned not to run over Lilly when they play. But most of all Sammy is the silly pup who makes us laugh.
Tired or not, Sam is always ready for a snooze and a snuggle with his Dad.
He lives so thoroughly in the moment that we forget all worries by watching him. “Climate change, natural disasters, religious hatred, political strive,” are all gone when we engage with Sam.
Recently I have realized that Sam is also my medicine-man. When Sam looks straight into my eyes I lose sight of my intense struggle with the devastating effects of Multiple Sclerosis. He seems to know when a depression is imminent and knows how to stop it before it takes hold.
Much to my surprise I have learned that he will come running and place himself directly in front of me when grief and hopelessness threaten. He looks straight into my eyes until my nervous system calms down and the danger dissipates. This is no small feat, because over the last year depression induced thoughts of suicide had become a life-threatening part of my struggle with MS.
Needless to say, my silly Sammy boy has become a life-line for me. He is a true help in my daily struggle to survive and I am surprised beyond words that I have been given such a miraculous gift. It is hard to believe that after years of escalating struggle such help is brought to me by no other than a six-year old rehoused rescue dog.
Our abode has been home for many rescued dogs and cats. Some came from shelters, but most came directly from Chicago’s streets. We were happy to take them in and save them from a miserable life and violent death. They were:
Buffy the blue-eyed kitten, found in a wood pile outside a factory in Michigan.
Pingan, the gorgeous but neurotic cat, adopted from a group of students leaving the University of Chicago.
Obilot the blind Border Collie mix, found wandering the streets of Chicago after being hit by a car whose driver did not bother to slow down.
Georgely the little Bearded Collie, who was scheduled to be euthanized because he had been at the shelter for too long.
LuLu the Dachshund-Spaniel mix, adopted from the Chicago Humane Society, who became Georgely’s true love and playmate.
Bear the black ChowChow was snared in the parking lot of the United Center after three weeks of feeding him.
Lucile the Coyote-Shepard mix was rescued with her remaining puppy whom we named Toby; she was Bear’s mate and followed him eagerly to her forever home.
Haley the little pup who was heared crying at midnight in driving rain in an alley behind the house.
Charlie the tiny kitten, who was rescued after falling into a sewer pipe in an alley in Chicago; and Fergy cat, who was saved from being smashed by a sledgehammer wielding boy.
Beanie the gutsy little Terrier had to be lured into in the car by a passerby’s little female dog, because he was mortally afraid of people after spending a lifetime on Chicago’s streets.
Freddy the pure bred Pekingese, who showed up at our gate and asked to be let in.
Leo the Chow was adopted from a humane society in Iowa, where he had been abandoned in an outdoor cage.
So many pets first discarded or lost, but then finally found. It was a privilege to provide them with a family of their own where they could live in harmony and peace. And now our Sam who pays back all the care we gave along the way. I find him “a miracle” beyond compare.
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