Sammy Loses “Crazy Dog”

First off, I’m SO sorry for not posting this weekend. I was even thinking about doing it for the majority of Saturday and Sunday, and then it just slipped my mind at the end there. Feel free to come after me with torches and pitchforks.

(Although I’m likely to give you the face below if you do that,  and I’m pretty sure I can wilt flowers with it, so hey–the decision is yours.)


But anyway, onto today’s topic.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I have a dog. And her name is Sammy. And she’s a girl, despite popular opinion about the fact that, at first glance, she both looks and acts like a boy.

Here’s a picture:

Totally gorgeous and feminine, right? I have no idea where people get the idea about her being Samuel instead of Samantha.

So, because of the fact that Sammy is my dog, and she lives with my family, she of course has a lot of health problems. After all, she has to fit in with the rest of us, right? So she’s allergic to a bunch of stuff and therefore requires special food (she’s basically a pescetarian at this point, for anyone who wants to know) (I’m looking at you, Hero). And she had to get surgery done on her eyes a couple years back. And she’s constantly having ear infections. Aaand she has knee and back problems.

Which brings us to this weekend. Sammy aggravated her back and one of her legs while playing Friday night, and by Saturday morning she was in so much pain that I had to carry her into the vet office, because she couldn’t take a step without yelping (and mind you, this dog weighs like 35 points–I weigh 90 and am 0% muscle–it wasn’t the prettiest of sights). After taking lots of x-rays and such, the vet came to the conclusion that Sammy’s resident knee and back problems are a lot worse than we previously thought, and she’s now going to have to be on two different types of medicines for the rest of her life, along with no longer being allowed to run, jump, or play.

Basically: My five year old Beagle just got sent to permanent bed rest.

If you know Sammy–or really, any Beagle in general–you know that “permanent bed rest” isn’t really a viable option.

Last night, just a day after her whole ordeal with the vet (during which they knocked her out and drugged her up and stuck her with acupuncture needles–fun times), she was begging me to play with her like usual. She grabbed her favorite tug-of-war rope and followed me around with it, tossing her head back and forth to try to make it look appealing, and wriggling her butt like a belly dancer every time I so much as glanced out the corner of my eye at her.

And I couldn’t play with her. I couldn’t. Because as much as it hurts her not to get played with, it would hurt her worse if I did play with her. Even without playing with her, she couldn’t make it up the stairs last night because she was hurting so badly again, and I had to carry her up to bed.

Life’s going to be really different for Sammy, now. She’s always been very active, going on long walks with my dad and playing fetch up and down the stairs with me. She’s always up for a game of tug-of-war, or for “wrestling,” or just for anything, really.

Sammy’s favorite thing in the whole world is a game my family calls “Crazy Dog.” It usually happens when there are a lot of people over, or right after she comes home from a walk, or when she’s still wet from a bath. She’ll all of a sudden just go nuts with excitement, galloping around the house–tearing around corners and sliding across the hardwood. She likes it best when someone’s chasing her while she does it, and if she senses that you’re getting tired and thinking of sitting down, she’ll flop over on the floor and stare at you until, coughing for air, you approach her. And then–right as you’re reaching out a hand to pet her–she flings herself up and starts running again. And you have no choice but to go after her again.

She can do that for a half hour straight, and then all of a sudden she’ll just be calm again, and she’ll fall asleep, snoring on top of your feet. She’s never as happy as when she’s doing Crazy Dog.

Sammy can’t do Crazy Dog, anymore. I can’t tell her why she can’t do it, or make her understand. She just can’t. It’s against the vet’s orders to do that sort of activity. (Heck, she’s not even supposed to be doing stairs, only it’s not an option with how our house is set up.)

So obviously, this is a profoundly sad time for Sammy. She can’t understand why I won’t grab her tug-of-war rope when she nuzzles my hand with it. She can’t understand why I won’t chase after her anymore when she starts running.

So much of Sammy–so many parts of her–are made up of the things she does when she’s active.

It’s going to take some time now to figure out who my dog is without Crazy Dog.

If anybody knows anything that would be fun to do with Sammy that doesn’t involve a whole lot of activity (no twisting or jumping or anything else that would put stress on her back and knees), feel free to share your ideas in the comments. Thanks!


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