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. ❤

Four years of fur baby.

Miss. Diva Rosewarne

Four years ago today I was all ready for a new chapter. I had bowls, beds, collar, leads and kibble. I was about to pick up my new fur baby from the home where she was being fostered. It was also the day I was going to try and move on from being totally heartbroken after the loss of my last little pomeranian. I’d had a doted on fur ball called ‘Delilah’ for nearly sixteen years. Six months earlier she’d passed away. The world had tipped on its axis in a way that is difficult to put into words. For those of us who have fur family, the death of a loved cat or doggo is an absolutely gutting event. It can be quite hard to come back from. Delilah could never be replaced (and never has been), but I’d come to the conclusion the best way forward was to love another pup.

Some weeks earlier I’d been told of a little pomeranian cross who’d been left at a shelter and fostered by a rescue group as she wasn’t coping. I was sent the facebook link. Such a scared little face staring at me from my computer screen. The shelter had called her ‘Diva’. She’d been fostered for about 24 hours when I messaged the organisation and was subsequently sent a form. The communication regarding Diva was that she was rather traumatised and would need time to settle with her foster. She would also be a very popular dog as far as adoption went, as she wasn’t even a year old. I dutifully filled out the form, pressed send and left it to fate.

I will qualify that my application was ……. enthusiastic. A subheading of ‘I’m really desperate and will spoil a dog to death and have heaps of doggie stuff and knowledge and can you pleeeeez let me have her pleeeeeeeeeeeez’, would not have been inappropriate.

To my surprise the phone rang a mere 48 hours later and it was Diva’s foster carer inviting me to come and meet her. I was there faster than you can say, ‘I really want a dog’. She opened the door and I was greeted by a lovely greyhound, a foxy type terrier and my fur child to be. I walked into the kitchen area and this little, skinny, insane pup danced around my legs. I knelt down and she climbed into my arms. I will always remember the familiarity from having held Delilah for so many years, yet the strangeness of her different little body.

“She’s not toilet trained”, said lovely Cathy her foster carer. Diva quickly illustrated this by peeing all over the kitchen floor. “She also barks a lot”, which Diva eagerly demonstrated by having a nice yell on the back porch. “I don’t think she’s been trained at all…..”, as Diva clambered up on chairs, scratched at my legs, pooped under a table and generally wrecked the joint. “You can adopt her as you seem like the right person”. Magic words. Those papers were signed in a heart beat.

This small, peeing, squealing, neurotic pup was mine. All mine. Cathy was later to tell me that, unless there was a disaster, Diva was allocated to me when they received my application. I desperately needed a dog and she desperately needed a momma. Diva stayed with Cathy for a few more weeks. Then the momentous day came for hand over. June 1st, 2015.

1.6.15.. Driving home.
(My ears are still ringing).

The first lesson I learned on day one was that Diva objects to cars. LOUDLY. She objected without drawing breath from Wollongong to Inner Western Sydney in peak hour traffic. She also objected to a bed on the floor; spending the first night screaming her nut off to sleep next to me in the human bed. She was difficult to housetrain, yelled at every dog she met on lead and was extremely demanding. If you are waiting for me to continue on and say all that resolved you’ll be disappointed. She’s now beautifully housetrained but the rest of it is a bit of a fail. I’d put it more in terms of we have an understanding. I understand what she wants and she gets it. Of my three fur kids she is certainly the most difficult.

I’ll never know exactly what happened to Diva before she landed at that shelter, but it’s easy to deduce it wasn’t good. Perhaps it’s better not to know. In her nearly five years of life, four have been under my wing and I accept she is a bit of a damaged doggie. She sleeps jammed next to me, snores outrageously, demands food and attention and is a slight liability on walks. Heartbreakingly, it has also transpired she has a damaged lower jaw which has probably happened in circumstances I don’t wish to imagine. As years have passed (and after some necessary tooth removal) that’s resulted in some serious tongue leakage.

Life appears to be tough.

She does make valiant attempts to be a guard dog. She seems impressed with her own ferocity, which is rather endearing. She’d never hurt a fly but I appreciate the effort she goes to if nothing else.

Halt. Who goes there? I am guarding my domain
from this impressive vantage point.

This is an opportunity to thank Wollongong Animal Rescue Network (WARN) for bringing Diva into my life. So many dogs need a family to call their own and they do a wonderful job. This was very much a happily ever after.

Happy ‘Gotchya’ day little Diva. Mummy loves you very much. xoxoxoxox

In Dog We Trust

Anyone who knows me knows I adore my dogs. In that endearing, yet annoying crazy dog lady way. Life revolves around them. It’s ALL about the doggos 24/7.

I went shopping today. The mind immediately conjures up images of a small blonde lady drifting amongst shoe stores and perfume counters. Staggering out of ‘Karen Millen’ nursing a haemorrhaging Mastercard. It happens. Not today however. Today I indulged in my other, less publicised shopping habit.

Today’s retail therapy

This kind of shopping expedition is called “Things for the fur kids”. Just between us, I get more of a kick out of that than a sojourn to Louboutin. Trust me, that’s a deliriously happy place to be and a BIG call to make. Having joyful, healthy, snazzily attired dogs means more than any pair of heels. Because they are my family and the most precious things I have.

I was married for sixteen somewhat inglorious years (don’t mention the war), which meant cohabiting with my other half. Now I ‘live alone’. Or that is how society sees my situation. A household of one. I perceive my living arrangements as a household of four. One human and three furry children. There are meal times, play times, walk times, bed times and inevitably…. telling off for ‘being a little sh*t’ times. (Generally they don’t recognise that last one and just sit there looking pleased with their handiwork). There are no arguments, no lies, no affairs, no put downs, no yelling and no disappointments. They trust me. I trust them.

Family of four

I will never be bitter about where I have come from in life because, without sounding all trite, it got me to where I am now. The future is always an unknown, but the present has three happy fur babies in it. That’s pretty marvellous from where I am sitting. Figuratively speaking. Physically, I am sitting balancing a Pomeranian on my lap who snores VERY loudly. (God forbid I should move my legs and disturb the delicate slumbers of ‘Diva’).

Each of my dogs has their own story of how they came to be mine. Those tales are yet to be brought to you by the wonderful world of blogging. Two out of three had difficult lives and have now landed on all four paws. Both often look at me in a heart breaking way that says ‘thank you’. It’s quid quo pro. I saved them and they saved me.

Today’s haul was doggie do bags, 1kg of dried (Aussie) chicken necks and three matching walking harnesses/vests. It’s a design I like that’s safe and Diva has…. ahem….. ‘outgrown’ her original one. (She is possessed of a somewhat healthy appetite). I leave you with Bunny’s thoughts on her new vest, which will be remaining in the cupboard for now. They say a picture tells a thousand words.

Harness was taken off and behold.

Bunny may be little but she knows her own mind. She was most certainly not walking in THAT. Madame lay down like she’d been shot until I removed the offending garment. That’s part of the deal of being a Pomeranian parent. You live to serve. 😉