Saturday, 11.12.2011 - 9:12 pm.

Sammy. I named the dog Sammy. I've had a long, somewhat troubled but overall happy week with her. I took her to the vet on tuesday: she was pretty much healthy, except for some worms in her belly (that eventually came out), and is around two months old. The vet told me to keep her under observation this week and if she was ok, she'd be spayed on saturday. Today.

First off, the bad: Sammy left wet spots all over the carpet, it was like anytime she felt a bit of pressure on her bladder, she'd go...sometimes it was just drops. She pooped like six times a day, half of them in the laundry room, luckily! Or on a piece of cardboard I'd left on a corner of the apartment for that specific purpose.

Andrew, being so stressed about travelling to Santiago for the congress on tuesday, was going nuts and got whiny (he gets whiny when he's moody). He told me very serious that he didn't want a dog, as if I'd insisted on keeping her! And told me that when he thought of living alone it was to lead a calm life. I know what he meant, but it was hurtful. The dog had arrived that same day, so it sounded like he had not been leading a calm life since I came along. He gets like that, he gets moody, whiny and generalizes, like something going on in the present ruins it, as well as the past and the future.

I didn't go to bed that night, monday night. I was hurt and also it was Sammy's first night in the apartment and I knew she'd bark if I left her in the kitchen. I slept on the couch to keep her calm so she wouldn't upset Andrew anymore. After all, in all fairness, he was carrying the consequences of MY cause. I knew I was going to deal with a puppy and all that it entails, and I'd hate to drag someone else into it if this someone isn't in this cause by his/her own conviction.

In the wee hours of tuesday morning I gave in and went to bed, when Sammy had finally fell asleep. But I kept waking up, to find her up and having relieved herself here and there.

On tuesday, Andrew brought the topic of what he'd said the day before and I told him how it sounded and how it felt. So we worked it out. For a while it seemed like we'd part being mad. Monday was very stressful for our relationship because of Sammy. But Andrew, bless his heart, is very perceptive and open to discuss our, err, discussions. So we made amends.

That day when I left the apartment for academic reasons, I didn't lock her in the kitchen. The cats seemed to get used to her and weren't going to hurt her unless she insisted, and she kept her distance most of the time. They got along, or at least they tolerated each other. I took her to the vet in the afternoon and kept looking for a home. Andrew took a flight to Santiago in the evening and aside from being on good terms again, I felt like I had a weight off my back: he wouldn't have to deal with Sammy's antics.

But here's the good part about having Sammy: everything else. Let's ignore her physiological needs all over the apartment. It was delightful having a dog again. She is sweet, very playful and kept me company. She'd lay at my feet or next to my bed, play with the cats' toys, try to play with the cats, etc. Her fur was so soft and often I'd just take her little head in my hands and ask who would abandon her on the street. Fuck those people that kick their dogs to the curb. I got desperate by her soiling all over, but hell, she doesn't speak my language so I can't expect her to understand right away what I want. That's a dog commandment, "give me time to understand what you want from me".

The best part was going out with her. It was rainy one day so she refused to go out and made a mess inside, but the rest of the days were sunny and chilly (still she made a mess inside, but she was kind of catching the drift). I'd get something to read or just something for Sammy to play with, and we'd spend hours in the yards surrounding the apartment complex. She had so much energy in her, I could barely get anything done. We'd go for walks, or runs, she'd chase her toys, she'd chase me and jump and roll around the grass, and it seemed like she was the happiest pup on earth. I hope she was.

When it was time to come in, she'd go up the entrance stairs into the building, and wait for me at the bottom of the long flight of stairs that led to the fourth floor. She'd it on the first step and wag her tail, waiting for me to pick her up and carry her through the four stories. She knew the drill.

Everyday, I kept looking for someone to adopt her. I had a few candidates but they all backed off. Luckily, two of my master's classmates and good friends spread the word and finally a girl, a student from my university, stepped up. Although I have yet to meet her and make sure she'll look after Sammy forever and ever, she seems like a good owner. Next thursday she'll come for Sammy to take her to her new home. I nearly cried that night, "Sammy, I found you a home!" and gave her hugs. Whether she understood or just got caught up in my own excitement, she was very, very excited too, wagging her tail like crazy.

Today I had to meet with my friend/project supervisor Tamara so I could help her study for her GRE. Today was also the day I'd take Sammy to be spayed. Tamara drove me to the vet at 11 am, so she saved me taking a cab. I left Sammy with Karin, the vet and Andrew's good friend. I spent the rest of the day with Tamara, helping her study and talking. She just bought a house and I loved it. I wondered if I could ever afford something like that...I mean, Andrew and I plan to own a house someday, but it still seems something so far away. Her house was empty because she had yet to move in, but it was pretty roomy.

We walked to the supermarket near her house, and inside there was a pet store. How I loathe them. There were tons of birds, rabbits, hamsters and puppies looking miserable in their cages. There were two little poodles playing, but next to them was a Beagle bored out of his mind. He was like a month old and I thought of Sammy...pups run around, play, appreciate human company. This one was isolated and sleeping on a cold surface. I thought of starting a petition to close the store but there's more to having success with a petition than just writing it. I need to research, lobby, go against people who get mad at these things. I shall overcome these reasons one day.

All that time, I missed Sammy. I felt like crying. Tamara brought me back home at nearly 5 pm and I cried, I bawled, on and off for two hours as I cleaned the house. I just miss her and I'm so sorry I can't keep her. I grew to love her and I want the best for her, but perhaps the best is not with me (since I tend think these things in terms of cross-species, right now I think of all the mothers that love their children and decide to give them for adoption to give them a better's remarkable, to say the least).

Not even when she'd ruin the carpet I regretted picking her up last monday. I cherish that moment when she was coming my way (following somebody, anybody that came across), I squatted and she jumped into my arms. I feel grateful for finding her, for the chance of helping her and for the time I've had with her. Certainly happy days. Not as quiet as I'd hoped when I knew I'd be alone, with Andrew in Santiago, but really, really beautiful. Going to bed at night to read a book, with milk and cookies, with Sammy on a blanket besides my bed and the cats at my feet.

Except for last night. Knowing it'd be my last night with her, I let her up on the bed. She laid on the coziest blanket, one that she'd dragged several times trying to own it. I put her on it and as she was laying in it comfortably, almost falling asleep, she wouldn't stop wagging her tail. It was like, "yay, I got my wish!". I feared I'd get her used to this but on the other thing, I had to live the present. I'm glad I did.

This week will be chaotic for me. I take a bus at midnight on monday and arrive to Santiago tuesday morning to attend a dinner that night, hosted by the Agency (the ones who brought me to Chile, thank you very much); they're paying for my bus tickets and the hotel. Since I refused to travel 12 hours during the day, I'll take wednesday to visit Isla Negra, Pablo Neruda's home, and hopefully meet with Andrew's best friends (he's staying with them right now). I take the midnight bus and I'll be home by 6 am on thursday. That day, I'll pick up my Sammy from the vet and meet with her new family.

I know she's in good hands right now. Karin has a big clinic, with a yard for dogs to play. That way, Andrew won't have to handle her these days that I'm away (like I say, it's my cause, I won't make him deal with it). He comes tomorrow morning, and it'll be funny to see his 9:30 am flight fly by my building. I'll probably come out to the balcony and watch it land, for the lulz. 'Cause I can.

Until next time, when all that madness is behind me. I'm grateful for having found Sammy. I miss her so much already, but as long as she's in a loving home, my mission is accomplished.

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