My First Love.

Samsonne in his latter years.

My first love wasn’t the boy I had a crush on at school, or Michael J. Fox (although that phase was pretty intense in 1984). It wasn’t my former husband.. or even my first pair of designer shoes.

My first real love was just over a foot tall, orange sable with four legs and a very big personality. His name was ‘Samsonne’. Once we met everything was different and that little, orange, opinionated fluff ball changed my life forever.

‘Samsonne P. Fox’ was his full name. He was of course a Pomeranian dog.

Samsonne, Sammy or Sam as he was sometimes called came into my life in the early 1990’s. I had moved out of home and was presented with the opportunity to have a new housemate. This very nice young cohabitant came with a dog. Now, I loved dogs so I was pretty chuffed. I had no idea what the arrival of Samsonne P. Fox would immediately bring to my life. Sammy and his dad Michael duly moved in, and Samsonne took up residence. He was an obscenely handsome pooch. At first he wasn’t interested in me and for the first few days (when Michael went to work) he’d lie by the front door looking bereft. The house was new, I was new and he wasn’t greatly impressed. He’d let me pat him but was somewhat disinterested in my attentions. I hadn’t yet learned that Pomeranians are fiercely loyal to their owners. Just because a girl was patting him on the head and cooing sweet nothings didn’t mean he was going to be distracted from his post.

As the days passed and it all became a bit more familiar, Sammy started to warm to my loving ministrations. He’d leave the front door for a while and follow me about. I was ecstatic. After about two weeks he threw in the towel and stood on his hind legs, ‘paddling’ at me to be picked up. The freezing out was over and we were friends. Due to a patchy work schedule, Samsonne and I spent a lot of time together. Michael would leave for work and if I were still in bed, a little orange face would appear within seconds. I’d lift him up beside me and we’d both get some more quality shut eye. I only had a single bed and despite his diminutive size, he took up most of it. I didn’t care. I had a best friend. I adored him and he showered me with love. In a life that was a tad fraught at the time…. Samsonne was my greatest joy. He was the greatest fur person I had ever met.

Small orange dog hogs small bed.

I was very ignorant about the breed at that time. (In the early 1990’s they did not have the popularity they now enjoy). Samsonne was rather a force to be reckoned with and I took that to be just him. Nope, that’s Pomeranians. He was opinionated, bossy, manipulative, vocal and disobedient. He’d sulk if you gave him the wrong dinner, go on hunger strikes until the right meals appeared, yell at you for human food and pee under the coffee table if you displeased him. He was a tyrant who was so adorable those things made him even more loveable. My days revolved around Sammy. From the moment he asked me to pick him up and kissed my face, I have been dedicated to Pomeranians. For all their faults their loyalty is second to none. Huge personalities in tiny bodies. That, and they’re exquisite.

Samsonne as ‘Toto’ to my ‘Dorothy’ at a fancy dress night, 1994.

Michael, Sammy and I happily cohabited for about three years until work commitments pulled us in different directions. They stayed in Adelaide and I moved to Sydney. Leaving Samsonne was incredibly difficult. He wasn’t my dog, but he was the most important thing in my world. Any time I went back to South Australia I’d be straight there, wanting to see him. He never forgot me for a second and would be ecstatic. I had become one of his people. In time he moved to Melbourne with his human daddy and we’d catch up there if work took me in that direction. The years passed, he became more grizzled and deaf but he knew who I was the moment I appeared.

A Melbourne visit.

In 1999 I was settled into my Sydney life and got my own little Pomeranian. Naturally she was called ‘Delilah’. She went on to spend nearly sixteen years by my side until her passing in 2014. Without Sammy she would never have come into being and defined a large slab of my life. She was like Samsonne in some respects, but not nearly as wilful. He remains one of the bossiest Poms I have ever encountered; and I have now been a Pommy Mommy of four thus far.

Samsonne lived until very close to his seventeenth birthday. He was as tyrannical at his end as in his youth. I will always remember the day the call came from Michael, telling me he was failing and he was going to have to let him go. We both sobbed uncontrollably down the phone and he let me know the time he would go to sleep. On the day he passed I was at work and I watched the clock go past the nominated hour. I cried all afternoon for the loss of such a wonderful little animal who had been ‘mine’…. even for quite a short time. I was told later that in true style, having been on his last legs with heart failure, Sammy rallied on his final evening and stacked on a turn for some chicken breast. By the next morning there was no going back as he was so ill; but he had one last crack at garnering his human slaves into action. After all, he was a Pomeranian.

A favourite photo of Sammy is taken in Melbourne just over a year before he died. I was put up in a building on a work trip that didn’t allow pets. Samsonne was duly smuggled past Concierge in a sports bag. He was the centre of attention as always that night. Much of his sight had gone due to cataracts, but when he smelled my hands his happy response was instantaneous. At the end of the visit he hopped back in his bag, got zipped up and his human companions nonchalantly strolled through the foyer.

Michael has gone on to be a loved ‘uncle’ to all my little Pomeranians. We’re forever bound by one small, orange, determined little dog who has left us in body but never in spirit.

Master Samsonne P. Fox Esquire. ❤

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