Last week, our little Samson pup turned two years old. In the last year, Sammy took his first trip to the beach, survived a remodel of our little condo and subsequent temporary move to his grandparents, wore a bow tie to his soon-to-be baby sister's baby shower (and stole the show, clearly), took countless trips out to the desert with his grumpy dog uncle, Russy, and welcomed his best friend into the world, Violet.
Now, let me be honest here. I was scared that having Violet would lessen my love for my sweet boy. I had seen it a million times as a nanny. A dog is the family baby until a real baby arrives and the dog becomes, perhaps for the first time, well..., a dog. I was so nervous, in fact, that I didn't even have Sammy around the first two weeks after Violet was born. I was worried he would become jealous or too needy or, honestly, just too much work.
Then we introduced the two...
... and this is the way he has looked at his sister ever since. The very first time we put the car seat down next to Samson, he snuggled up to her, kissed her and planted himself by her side. And that is where he has wanted be from that day forward, right by Violet's side. Suddenly our dog - who refused to ride in the back seat - had to be in the back guarding the baby. When Violet napped those first few weeks, Sammy was the one to check on her (granted, I was keeping my eye on her as well, via the video monitor). If she cried, he would frantically whine to me, begging me with his puppy eyes to take care of his sister.
So, my fears about loving Sammy any less were unnecessary. The truth is, after seeing this sweet animal treat our baby as his own sister just made me love him more. Animals really are the most amazing creatures. Sammy's loyalty and capacity for love makes my heart swell. And Violet just adores him.
When my mom was staying here for ten days after Violet was born, she too thought bringing Sammy home so soon after Violet's arrival might be hard on me. When I called her and told her he was finally home and what wonderful company he was on my maternity leave, she said it best, "He just makes you so happy." And you know what? He does. My little antidepressant, my furry companion.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Samson! Our little family wouldn't be complete without you.