I love my dog and am sure she loves me.
She tolerates a lot.
Mine is a stray rescue, maybe even a Godsend.
She was sitting on my front porch one cold January morning four years ago.
The scared little puppy was shivering, hungry and alone. It was in the teens and the threat of snow was everywhere.
I could see she obviously needed help. Nothing can get through these difficult times without a helping hand.
I did not want another dog because my previous one had recently passed away after being my best loyal friend for 16 years.
It was a devastating loss I did not want to experience again.
But this little girl, still a puppy, was shivering and afraid and alone. The entire affair tugged at my heart.
I gave her a helping hand and today we shake hands every time we meet.
I took her in the house where it was warm and gave her some water. The only food
I could find was a can of Vienna sausage and a couple of Bright Leaf hot dogs.
She ate two cans.
I called the vet and explained the issue. A half hour later doggie and I were at the vet’s office.
He kept her overnight and gave her all the medical attention she needed.
I did not sleep a wink that night thinking about her, but the next morning I picked her up the first thing and took her home.
Soon she began warming up to me and we formed a bond that is as strong today as bonds get.
The little girl had stole my heart.
The first night she was a little restless, and spent most of it exploring her new frontier.
She was between eight and 12 weeks old, according to the vet.
The only health issue the vet had found was a BB embedded in her side where someone had shot her.
Doggie at that time weighed slightly less than 10 pounds. Today, she tops the scale at 70 pounds.
She is a big girl and has grown to be an excellent watchdog.
Since that cold January morning four years ago, doggie and I have gone through everything except the washing machine spin cycle.
Raising a puppy is a chore and requires a longtime commitment.
She adjusted well and became welcomed family.
I look back four years ago and clearly see her as a scared, hungry and cold puppy sitting on my front porch with nowhere to go.
I spoke to her that morning and asked her what she was doing on my front porch?
She made a feeble attempt to wag her tail in acceptance of the attention.
It was most likely the initial moment of us bonding.
She has never stopped wagging that little tail.
Samantha is her name, but I call her Sam (most of the time). She has trained me well.
Do yourself a favor: if you want a dog, rescue one.
They will let you know how appreciative they are.
William Holloman is a staff writer for the Mount Olive Tribune.