Pet Profile: Sam

Name: Sam (Sammy, Sam Wise, Sammy Butt, Stinky Boy, Dog)

Age: 10 years

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Chillin in the sun, working on his tan

Breed: Goldendoodle (1st Generation). He was supposed to be 45 pounds with no shedding… He is 80 pounds and sheds more than any other dog I’ve met, but he is just so cute.

 

Favorite Toy: His stuffed hedgehog, it is his baby and he carries it everywhere. He killed it once, but was so upset he wouldn’t leave us alone until we performed emergency toy surgery to save the hedgehog.

Favorite Food: Sam LOVES steak and scrambled eggs, and will really go for anything spicy, what a sophisticated palate. But keep the booze away! After an unfortunate experience with scotch, just the smell of booze will send Sam skulking away.

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Ah, youth! Charlie (my brother) and Sammy before they grew up and stopped being so cute… just kidding…

Favorite Habit: When Sam was  puppy he contracted Valley Fever, he actually got very sick and had trouble breathing (he would wheeze), he started medication and eventually recovered.  While he was sick it was so obvious how sick he felt that we couldn’t help but lavish him with attention. When he was better, the amount of attention died off a bit, and he wasn’t really into that, so he would make this wheezing sound; which, of course, worried us and we would give him more attention. Eventually when we took him to the vet she told us that he was perfectly healthy and was just pretending to have trouble breathing just to get more attention. That little stinker was so tricky. He still does it, whenever he wants something or is trying to be particularly cute he will start wheezing hoping to gain sympathy points.

Got a free doggy Glamour Shot one year. Isn’t he just a little cheese ball?

Favorite Hangout Spot: Sam has several. Allow me to list them for you

  • His chaise. Yes, Sam has a reclining sofa all to himself, it is his throne.
  • Under my grandmother’s desk. That is where he gets foot massages (meaning she uses her feet to massage him).
  • Under the dinner table. No lap is safe from the flood of drool that is brought on by meal times.
  • The back door. You can often see Sam lounging by the back door, but this isn’t because he likes the view, but because he sometimes forgets what a doggy door is and how it works. We don’t know why this happens, but he will literally sit in front of his doggy door and refuse to go out until we open the door for him, what a spoiled prince.
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Baby me with baby Sam. What a cute tummy.

Least Favorite Habit: Sam is bad at walking, and when I say bad at walking I don’t mean he has a waddle (which he does) I mean he refuses to go on walks. There has to be very particular circumstances in order for Sam to go for a walk. Here is another lovely Sam list:

  1. My grandma has to be the one to walk him, he WILL NOT walk for anyone else.
  2. He will not go on a walk alone. There are several other dogs in the neighborhood, and they usually all walk at the same time. If no other dogs are there to join him, he will just plop his little butt down and refuse to go on.
  3. There is one spot in my neighborhood that even my grandma can’t get him to walk past, we have spent many an hour trying to coax him to continue.
  4. He has gotten it into his head that a leash is the ultimate hindrance on a walk, and will walk like a weirdo until you take it off
  5. Then! Once it is off, he won’t walk on the side of the road like all the other well trained dogs. Nooo, he struts right down the middle of the street ready to face off against the oncoming traffic.
Burrito-Sam. At a doggy pool party.

Burrito-Sam. At a doggy pool party.

Personality: I am sure that you have gathered a lot about Sammy-Butt’s personality, but I am going to lay it out a little more clearly for you, because he really is an amazing guy. Yes, he is a total wierdo with a selective memory, but he is also one of the sweetest animals around. He loves people and is just as happy as can be when there is a party (mostly because he gets more scratches and food slipped to him). He loves the rest of his “pack” that includes us humans, yes, but the other dogs in the neighborhood are just as much a part of his family and he will wait in front of each of their houses and wait for them to come out and join him on their walks. One of his best friends, Coach, is very ill and Sam always stops to wait for him and will probably be inconsolable when Coach moves on to play fetch in the sky (I’m not being a Smart Alec, Coach is the biggest fan of fetch I have ever seen, and if he is playing fetch up there I know he will be happy).

Speaking of fetch, Sam may be a retriever, but don’t expect him to retrieve anything for you, he is much too smart, he will often look at you and you can just see him thinking, “Well you threw it, so you can go get it.” He has developed a taste for crispy dead rats, and will poke you with his nose until you pet him. But most of all, he always knows when someone feels down and is happy to just sit with you until you feel better, I can’t count all the times Sam-sam has helped me (and though he failed therapy dog class, he loves food too much) I know he has helped others as well. He would never hurt anything (he is even scared of tiny little dogs).  Now, let’s just see if he can handle a bald cat in his old age.

Sam and Coach. Best Friends For Forever. Plus, they both obviously want the treat that's off camera, such foodies!

Sam and Coach. Best Friends Forever. Plus, they both obviously want the treat that’s off camera, such foodies!

I hope you all liked meeting my Stinky-Boy Sam. You’ll definitely be seeing more of him. I am just waiting for an Oliver update to give you, but know that May 13th is when our pet family grows!

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Benefits of Pets

While not all of us have had the experience of working with a therapy pet, most of us know that having a pet has many benefits. But did you know there there are actually physical and mental health benefits to owning a pet? Spending time with your furry (or scaled/feathered) friend can effect you in a positive way. Here are some ways that you pet helps your body:

  • Those who own pets have over all lower blood pressure
  • Pet owners have lower Triglyceride and cholesterol which is a sign of better heart health
  • Pets trigger the release of endorphins (elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine which can lead to a calm relaxed state
  • They help diminish physical pain

Bet that was more than you expected, huh? We do a lot for our pets, and though they can speak to us they do a lot for us in return. Pets don’t just help us physically they also help our emotional and mental health.

  • They can help relieve depression
  • They can decrease feelings of isolation
  • They provide comfort (I think we all know this)
  • Pets can help increase socialization
  • Help reduce boredom
  • Pets help lower anxiety (this is a big one for me, and they totally do help me with my anxiety, more than I can say.)
  • They reduce lonliness
  • Promote a sense of responsibility

A big reason that pets can be beneficial is that (excluding fish, who actually can help reduce muscle tension) they fill a human’s innate need for physical contact. They calm and soothe us when we are stressed, they will always listen to what we have to say without judgement, and they will provide us with unconditional love. There are so many animals out there that are just waiting for their chance to help and with the right one, whether it be from a breeder or a shelter, they can improve the quality of your life, and be the friend that will always be there for you.

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