Sunday, May 22, 2011

Here's Sam

Hai! I'm Sam! Sam, I am!

Sam is visiting me for a month - I am petsitting him while his folks are in England for the birth of their grandchild. Sam is probably the BEST, least annoying, and most cheerful houseguest I have ever had (sorry, Big Sis, but Sam has you beat by a country mile! Hahahaha!). Even Allie the cat gives him a ten out of ten.

Sam is an amazing seventeen year old border collie cross (I'm thinking crossed with Malamute or Sibe?). He was adopted from the SPCA sixteen years ago when he was about a year old. Sam is 29" at the shoulder - he makes my girls, especially Charley, look like small dogs by comparison. He has bright eyes and a big happy smiling mouth and a quiet demeanor. Quiet, that is, until I put on my shoes or pick up a leash - and then he barks and grumbles and talks incessantly: "Are we going for a walk, huh huh huh??? Hurry up, let's go, hurry up!!!"

Sam is my personal fitness trainer - he loves a brisk 45 minute walk morning and night, and is quite happy going up hill. So after months of only doing leisurely strolls along the beach with my two slowpokes, or very short walks with scaredy foster dogs, I am finally getting the workout I need and already feeling better for it. Best of all, he walks beautifully on leash so despite the faster pace he isn't dragging me around.

Essentially, I have three loop walks from my house, all of which take me at some point along the waterfront. The shortest loop - to the green space near the museum and marina, is Charley-length. With Charley, who is slower than a slug, it takes at least twenty minutes, but with Sam it would take less than ten.

Crofton museum and marina

The moderate loop - down the long flight of stairs and north along the seawalk (with a side trip along the berm that leads out to the RV resort wharf) is Sadie-length - it takes Sadie about twenty minutes, but when Charley is along it takes us closer to forty.

Sam and Sadie at top of stairs

Seawalk looking north

The berm

The long loop - down to the marina, south along the sea walk, across the beach front of the RV resort, up the hill back to one of the main residential streets, and back along the roads to home - is Sam length.

Crofton seawalk looking south from marina

Beach in front of RV park

Sam on beach

Up the hill and back through town

Most mornings and evenings, I do the Sam-walk first, then take Charley and Sadie on one of the two shorter walks.

However, Sam is also Sadie's personal fitness trainer, as Sadie has started coming on the longer walk sometimes and I have noticed a marked improvement in her stamina after only six days. Sometimes I have to take Sam on a short walk sans Sadie first, to get the willies out and bring Sam down to a pace Sadie can handle, but the dogs and I are all really enjoying the mix-and-match walks.

Sometimes Sam and I do a town route instead - last night, we did a mile loop heading up from my house (away from the beach) after a lovely evening of laughter with a couple of friends, a bit of wine, and a test run of the new fish and chip take out place in town (Finally! What seaside village is complete without take out fish and chips???).

Sam and I met through one of those "small world!" coincidences. Sam's dad and I worked at the same university, and while I knew his dad quite well I never met Sam back then. When Sam's folks retired, they moved to the island and I did the same when I retired in 2009. Last year, I was invited to join a book club, and Sam's mom was also a member. We have since become friends, and Sam had several visits here leading up to their departure for England. I hope Sam (and his folks!) will be a part of my little world for a long time.

Margaret and Peter, if you are reading this from across the ocean, Sam is doing just fine! He isn't even staring out the window wondering when you'll return like he did those first couple of visits - he has just moved right in and made himself at home. And he is the best houseguest ever!

The End

(Sam's marvellously flamboyant happy tail!)


Anonymous said...

So glad you are having some fun with Sam! He looks unbelievably good for 17! Glad to that it's been such an easy integration for all.

We are looking forward to seeing you all soon.

E, K, and L.

Anonymous said...

How can this dog be 17? Wow! Way to go Sam. You're a model all other dogs can aspire to. Good for you for setting such a good example for Sadie.

I enjoyed seeing photos of the town and watefront. It brought back good memories of our visit. And glad to see your computer is funtioning again. Your blog entries were much missed!

Deb S.

Dom said...

He's HOW old?!?!? Wow. He's adorable. And the walk was gorgeous.

georgia little pea said...

What a gungho 17-year old Sam is! Funny that he's charging Sadie up too. I found that with Rufus as well, when Georgia first came. He was so sad and slow. She just bucked him back up and got him moving again.

Love the last shot. The End, indeed :)

Anonymous said...

Sam is one handsome dude! Glad you've got a work-out/walking buddy again, Jean. And sounds like Sadie is up for the challenge too.

I also enjoyed the photos of your Crofton walks, and now that I have been on some of them, they're even more enjoyable!