Bad Beginnings, Good Endings

“Bad beginnings, good endings.” That was one of my Mother’s sayings to my sister and me when we found ourselves in a discouraging situation. Mother was a tough Navy wife who lived through WWII and 30 years of my father being at sea. She always looked on the bright side, a trait I did not always inherit.

Surely Sammy our little six year old Shih Tzu wrote the book on bad beginnings. First she was turned into us from a family who had some sort of vague excuse which I tossed aside knowing that when people are done with a dog, they are done. There is no point in being reasonable, just save the poor animal. So little Sammy came here and hung out until I found what was really a wonderful home.

Her new owner was a kind, older man who loved her very much. She was spoiled, cosseted and lived the perfect life lounging on a white sofa, frolicking in her own yard, car rides every day and lots of treats until one day her owner had a bad fall and he went away and she never saw him again.

Suddenly she found herself deposited at the vet by a family member who said her dad could no longer keep her. The staff was sad for her, knew a cage in a clinic would be too stressful and called me. I drove to the clinic to pick up this little dog who had no idea where her fairytale life had gone. It had simply disappeared.

Soon a woman called who had seen her picture on facebook and wanted to meet her. She lived alone in an apartment and felt Sammy would be a great companion and so Sammy went to live with her for many months. All seemed to be well in her life until one day last week my phone dinged with a text message..please come get Sammy, I can no longer take care of her. Good grief, can this be real? My heart broke for Sammy and I hopped into the car, texted the woman I was on my way, and Sam was deposited summarily into my car through the window.
She had done nothing wrong.

We talked on the way home and I told her that my mother said there can be good endings in spite of lots of stumbling blocks all along the way. Sammy was very quiet and listened, but I could tell she was not buying my story. She closed her eyes, sighed and buried her face in my arm on the ride home.

We tucked her in, gave her dinner and made sure she was comfy. I went to bed with a heavy heart.

Today Belinda Underhill and friends showed up and I shared Sammy’s tough luck story. We agreed she just had to find the right home and stay there forever.

I could tell the wheels were spinning in Belinda’s head, and she said she was going to call a relative who had a dog who looked just like Sammy! They were a wonderful family, loved this breed and spoiled their little guy named Puppy.

We all scurried around feeding and cleaning and Belinda ran up to me and said, “They are coming to meet her!!!” OK…I thought…it is time for this dog to get a break and maybe this is it!! Despite my red hair and Irish tendency to expect gloom and doom, I was trying to be positive, but sometimes in this “business” it is really tough when people let you down so often.

Fast forward to our driveway….the couple arrived, I carried Sammy to the gate and decided to have them meet her away from the clamor of our dogs vying for attention. I will call her “Mary.” Mary reached out and took little Sammy into her arms and held her tight. Sammy was visibly shaking and Mary wrapped her coat around her until she stopped shivering and kept her safe and warm. Sammy looked at her, then at me and settled down. Mary kept petting her, smiling and hugging her and I saw a tear slip down her cheek and onto little Sammy’s fur. It was then I knew, Sammy was going to be alright at last.

Mary and her husband agreed they were going to adopt her. They introduced her to Puppy waiting in the car (picture attached of the meeting and of Belinda holding my Mother’s dog, Teddy,and Mary with Sammy.). After all, Puppy needed a sister, didn’t he?

Sammy has spent the day watching TV on Dad’s lap and getting to know her new brother. Her world is bright again, and she has a new loving family and can grow old in the light of their love. The last message I got from Belinda said, “We can to go to bed and rest tonight. Sammy is loved beyond measure.”

And, of course, my Mother was right all along…


Maureen Cummins

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