My dog Sam, conclusion

We never did see Sam again, or found out what happened to him. 

Enough people hated Sam so that it was not unthinkable that he might have been shot or poisoned.  I always figured he was too smart to get hit by a car or fall into some trap.  And we knew that if there was any way for Sam to return to us, he would have…

That is unless…

We had settled on Sand Road by the time Sam had gone.  Perhaps he felt his usefulness was used up.  The breaking in time to coming to accept the old neighborhood had expired.  In fact, when any of my sisters or I think of home these days, the gray house is what we picture because we lived there longer than any other home we have known. 

I have visited Sand Road recently, it is remarkable how much of it remains virtually the same.  It is still a rough and tumble, washboard style of thoroughfare.  There are many of the houses I knew down on the “lower” road.  The Iowa River still gently meanders along it’s banks as soothing as a lullaby.  The ghosts of the past still haunt my memories as I stand out looking at the old neighborhood.

 The cornfield behind where my house was has now been turned into a softball diamond.  The city annexed the property and made the “upper“ portion of the Sand Road respectable now.  A real life field of dreams…

The open ended garage we used to stand in to wait for our bus is gone, as well as many of the houses that were on the way to the old bus stop.  Our house is gone, too.  Now a large pump house stands exactly where that tired, gray house once stood.     

I haven`t thought about what happened to Sam for a long time.  Maybe God saw fit to have him mosey on to another neighborhood, to adopt some other family and find his way into another little boy’s heart.  I`d like to think so, anyway.  Sam is like so many super heroes I can think of; timeless, ageless, and forever etched in my family`s lore.

And each of my siblings have their own memories of Sam and that gray house, my mother and the old neighborhood.  Life on the Sand Road wasn`t what we would wish to live over again, but one we shared and enjoy reminiscing on whenever we get together.  Separated by the miles, cultures and politics that sometimes comes with age, we`ll  start swapping stories about our family`s heritage, and then be united again on the Sand Road.  During those warms thoughts of the past talk of Sam usually comes up.

Not that we had him; but for a time, Sam had us… and that made the difference between ownership and companionship.  Because he really wasn`t just my dog. 

That night of the brawl and the dramatic rescue, I realized the situation I was in and living was not a personal affront to me, but a situation that my family collectively endured.  The fact that my mother loved that dog provided his biggest miracle for me to recognize.  We were all in this together; these circumstances not by choice, these miseries we had to live through the best we could, this meager existance that we shared with our dog.  Not my dog, but our dog.

Our dog… Sam.  


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4 Responses to “My dog Sam, conclusion”

  1. msdane Says:

    I didn’t realize this would be the last chapter–it makes me cry. There is no way to explain what our life was like to anyone who didn’t live it. But we endured. None of us knew at that time what direction our lives would take and the trial and tribulations each would face alone, where back then we had each oter . . . . and Sam.

    This was wonderful, Brother. I love you

  2. msdane Says:

    Okay, I usually check for typos but didn’t before I sent that. Forgive me of course I mean “trials” and not “trial’ and “other” not “oter.” One of us needs to write about our life back then in the form of a novel. I nominate you because you write so well, but if you don’t I might attempt it one day.

  3. 1poet4man Says:

    Thank you…

  4. Ron Saltz Says:

    This was a beautiful bucolic story about a dog that became an integral part of you and your family’s life. Sam is the dog that everyone hopes to own.
    Through him, you even became friends of the school bully. Sam’s influence on your familie’s life cannot be measured. He was not only your friend, but your guardian angel against such bully’s as Frankie. He became the guiding influence in your life when you really needed direction. A very touching story.

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