Day 8/365 {puppy}

Angela Chang Photography Day 8 of 365

This is my puppy.  I know he’s not a puppy, but I call him Puppy.  He is the most amazing dog in the world.  He has spent countless hours warming my cold feet in the winter time or sitting on the bath mat waiting for me to get out of the shower.  He loves sticking his head on my keyboard to get attention, or nudging me with his cold and wet nose in the morning to wake me up.

For someone who doesn’t speak a single word, he always tells me I can count on him to be there for me.

The day has gone to the dogs

Our assignment for the Street Photography class today was interactions between people and their dogs.  We met up at English Bay to shoot.  It was a gorgeously sunny day, even though it was freezing cold for the 3 hours we were shooting.

This was a fun assignment.  I didn’t get a whole lot of interactions, because most people I asked didn’t want to be in the picture with their dogs.  But I got a lot of super cute dogs’ pictures.

I love those wrinkles!!!

I love those wrinkles!!!

Here is his face.

Here is his face.

This old dog get carried around in a sling made for dogs.

This old dog get carried around in a sling made for dogs.

A 6-month old labadoodle.

A 6-month old labadoodle.

An old English bulldog named CJ.  He is 8 months old.

An old English bulldog named CJ. He is 8 months old.

This dog and his dad checking out the scenery at English Bay.

This dog and his dad checking out the scenery at English Bay.

This puppy is 16 years young.

This puppy is 16 years young.

Thank you, Sam.

Sam is now 11 1/2 years old.  He is definitely slowing down.  I can tell when he gets up from the floor, it takes a bit more effort and takes a little longer.  It pains me to see he stands up so many times a day.  He likes to follow us around the house, and he refuse to sit tight in one spot waiting for us to come back.

With Joshua and Savanna keeping our hands full, the amount of attention going to Sam is definitely less than what it used to be.  And yes, I feel VERY guilty.  Before the kids came, I used to take Sam for long walks, and gave him a lot more attention.  He was the king of the house, and we took him everywhere we went.  But Sam never complained about Joshua and Savanna.  He curls up at my feet whenever I’m nursing Savanna.  He still does his goofy lab smile coming home from a walk with Cliff.  And when I do give him attention or a belly rub, he doesn’t give me the “it’s about time” look, but rather the “oh, I never get tire of this” look.  He never held a grudge for the diminishing amount of attention given to him.

Sometimes things get chaotic at home with two kids (OMG does it ever).  I am just grateful that Sam is one quiet constant in my life.  He has a calming effect on me, because he is so mellow and laid back.  Sometimes just looking at him makes me feel calmer in the middle of crying babies and demands of life.  Thank you, Sam!


The most patient dog

Sam spends a lot of his time waiting.  He waits for us to get our act together in the mornings, feed Joshua, get dressed, feed ourselves, make our coffee, and then make his breakfast.  Then he waits for us to take him out for a walk.  Then he waits for us to come home from outings and take him out for another walk.  He waits for us to feed ourselves, feed Joshua, and then feed him dinner.  He waits for us to clean up after dinner so we can all go for a walk.  At the playground, he waits for Joshua to get his fill of playing before we can all go home.  Then he waits for us to bathe Joshua, read him bedtime stories, put him down to sleep, get some work done, and then take him out for his last walk of the evening.

In this picture, we were at the playground with Joshua, and Sam just patiently waited for Joshua to be done with the sand pit.  I like how one piece of his grey hair is sticking out from his eyebrow.  He looks so serious and comical at the same time.





A scare with Sam

Sam has been scratching a lot lately, so Cliff took him to the vet for a check-up.  The vet didn’t think his skin had any issues.  But in the process of checking him, the vet thought Sam’s spleen was quite enlarged, pushing against his other organs and causing discomfort.  Sam has also lost about 10 lbs in the last 5 or 6 months.  So Sam went back to the vet yesterday to get an ultrasound, x-ray, and blood work done.

I went to work this morning, waiting for Cliff to call me with the test results.  I’ve been holding my breathe all morning, worried about the worst case scenario.  What if it’s cancer?  What if it’s some odd disease?  My heart sinks everytime I think about the possibility of Sam suffering, or us losing him.  If you’ve ever met Sam, you would know he is the most gentle soul in the world.  I could have never asked for a more amazing dog.  The moment we laid our eyes on him 5 years ago, we knew that us and Sam are destined to be together.

When Cliff finally text’d me in the afternoon, I was deep in thought working on a proposal at work and I heard the “beep” on my phone.  I picked up my phone from my desk, took a deep breathe, and opened up the text message.  First word I saw was “cancer”.  F@&!#@!!

Then I read it again, phew, Cliff said “cancer free”.  The blood work came back, and the vet decided that Sam is as healthy as a 2-year-old lab.  He’s not sure why Sam’s spleen is enlarged, but it is definitely not cancer, and not even an infection.  So, all that to say there’s nothing wrong with Sam, and we just wait and see what happens with the spleen.

I always assume Sam will just live forever.  He’s an integral part of our lives, and I can’t imagine life without him.  Sure, in my back of my mind, I know his life is finite.  But on a day-to-day basis, I take it for granted that he’s always there for me, ready to cheer me up, loyal and loving, nudging his head under my arms, sitting on the bath mat waiting for me to come out of the shower, curled up at my feet when I work on the computer, and always so excited when I dance with Joshua.

What I haven’t conveyed here often, is that Sam has been a constant in our lives.  He doesn’t say much, but he provids us with companionship and love all day long.  I don’t post often here about him because he doesn’t talk and doesn’t do new trick, but he fills a part of my heart that no other person or animal could.

Playdate with Bailey the Frenchie


While I was out walking Sam a few weeks ago, we bumped into our neighbour who has a French bulldog.  We got chatting, and I found out that Bailey needs a sitter a few times a week.  I volunteered to watch Bailey, and invited him over for a playdate to test the waters.  M dropped off Bailey this morning at our place, and Mr. Frenchie made himself quite comfortable in our home.

He is such a cutie.  Being only 6 months old, he still acts like a puppy.  Well, he is a puppy.  He chewed on things he shouldn’t, and peed on our rug.  He is easily distracted by noise, and bounced around like a little ball.


Here is a rare shot of him being still for a moment, just long enough for me to get a picture:Sam didn’t particularly care for Bailey.  But again Sam never really cared for any dog who comes to visit.  Bailey didn’t really bother Sam either.  He happily bounced around and chased ball, or chewed on things.  I think they got along well enough that we can have Bailey over more often.