2000.08.29 -- Updated - 2001.01.10
I sit silently on an old fieldstone wall, concealed by a centuries' growth of green, watching the gray furred forms moving slowly past the trees a hundred yards ahead, as they chat with their daughter.
'Damn!' I think to myself. Sure, the Smittes are a sweet elderly couple, but they're utterly clueless ... which is fortunate for me and my 'special friendship' with ... oh, wait, there he is!
Samuel's ears perk up as one of his acute senses detects me. The Smittes idly chat, unaware as he rises from his slumber at their feet, looks directly at me through the brush for a few moments, then darts directly for me.
"Where's Sammy going?" the elderly Mrs. Smitte inquires as she tries to locate the target of his attention with her failing, tired eyes.
"Probably out after another squirrel, dear," answers Mr. Smitte, not even bothering to turn around to see.
They return to their chatting of old times as Samuel waits, proximate to me at the base of the wall. He wags his tail, but does not bark, just gazes at me with his sparkling blue eyes. He idly paws at the air toward me; I casually smile back at the 4-year-old white shepherd. I lick my lips in anticipation; at this signal, Samuel darts off alongside the wall, and within moments finds and crawls through an old culvert running under the wall. I recall the day 3 years ago when he managed to claw off the metal grate covering the culvert trying to get to me on the other side.
Three weeks I have been gone on a business trip, and all the while, Samuel was all I have thought of.
The Smittes know Samuel likes me ... but they really have no clue exactly how much.
I hop off on my side of the wall, and Samuel rushes too me. He immediately rapes my face with his tongue, his tail curled in an 'S' to the ground, its tip twitching in excitement.
I gazed into his eyes as his kisses found their way into my own mouth. No words can describe his sparkling blue sapphire eyes set in his gorgeous white fur. Three weeks of dull meetings and fluffed corporate b.s ... in agonizing absence of Samuel's love.
Numerous times, Samuel has left the Smittes for days at my place, until they called and unable to come up with a good excuse, I grudgingly return him. They are a sweet couple, but quietly I hope Samuel outlives them; I long for his living with me.
In frustration, I bought four dogs of my own - including two white shepherds with blue eyes similar to Samuel ... but it did not take long for me to realize my folly. They are all sweet, all love me, but none of them are Samuel.
I curl an arm behind Samuel's head, holding him and closing my eyes as his kisses tickle my tonsils. With my eyes still closed, my other arm guides my hand along his spine, relishing the feel of his coat.
I knew Samuel from a puppy ... his mother was under my care, actually, but died from complications from delivering the litter. My life has changed hordes since then ... all for the better, all because of Samuel. I lived in a tent then, out of work for a year and a half, thanks to the slowdown in aerospace. I sold what few family heirlooms I still clung to in a failed attempt to save his mother ... if only I had known the veterinarian was so incompetent ... but I was out of choices.
The Smittes were happy to take a pup, but from the day I gave him to the neighbors across the wall, he kept trying to find his way back to me and my pathetic tent.
Never having even been on a date, tired of a world of shallow people, I wallowed in my own misery. Krystal, Samuel's mother, meant more to me than my own 'family.' She licked the tears from my face when I lost my job, she stayed by me through the darkest times of my life ... I thought several times of her as my 'wife,' but never summoned the gall to carry our relationship far.
Samuel has a lot of his mother in him, but has his own spirit by his own right. He did not wait for me to 'wake up' to the possibilities ... he pushed to show me true love, on levels I had ignored the possibility of with his mother while she was alive.
Samuel let me feel true love, on levels far deeper than I think would be possible with another person. Countless times he's 'hopped the fence' to me, for a long time merely at his own initiative. For the first six months or so after his first time making love with me, I always left it to his initiative; I found myself wishing he wouldn't come, as it hurt knowing he couldn't stay. My mind ached for a possibility ... then Mr. Smitte had his stroke. I have always been just a 'good' boy ... but with his tragedy, I saw opportunity: maybe they would have to give up Samuel. On that small, selfish thought, I began to plan. I caught a second wind to work odd jobs until I could find a better one ... a great job (or, more accurately, great-paying) landed in my lap before I knew it. I homesteaded where I had tented ... with my newfound ambition, I built my own comfortable log house amid the twenty acres adjoining the Smittes'.
Samuel pulls back slightly and woofs, awakening me from my recollection. I smile as I spot the purple-pink evidence of just how excited Samuel is to see me.
"Alright, Samuel, you know where to go!" I chuckle.
.... There is more of this story ...