My Dogs

I have to say that my name isn’t important, but most people call me Sam. The names that are important, to me, were and are Bandit, Scarlett, Rascal, Habi, Ash, Rowan, Eureka, Yeowler, and Natasha aka. Weed. These names have brought more than light to my life, they have made my life. Bandit and Scarlett were my brother and sister; they were my best friends and they were my children. These two were the first dogs that I actually thought of as having part ownership in. They were Dalmatian-Labrador mixes and they came to my family from our next door neighbor. We got them when they were eight weeks old and had them till the day they died; Scarlett at thirteen years and Bandit at fifteen years. When Scarlett died, it hurt enough, but she was my father’s dog; the stereotypical Southern Man’s Hound-Dog. Bandit was my dog. He was since the day he came home. He slept with me, was the first one to see me when I woke up and was the first one to see me when I got home from school. When he passed, I thought a part of me had died with him. The more I thought about it the more I realized that a part of me did go with him. No matter what other animal I would have after he was gone, there would never be another Bandit. The day he passed, I was a school. I went to my teacher and told him I wasn’t going to be in class because I just found out my brother I died. A part of me told the lie because I knew this particular teacher wouldn’t have understood if I told him my dog died. But the best part of me, the part of me that wishes I could run in the forest free with my dogs, knew that when the words passed my lips it wasn’t a lie. I was telling the truth. My “brother” had died. My pack-mate had gone. After, I had a blue, bone-shaped dog tag made at Petsmart and it reads, “Bandit & Scarlett/ You will always be loved/ and you will be missed / Run wild, Run free.” I couldn’t think of a better way to put it then I did that day. Even now I have trouble finding a way to express what happened during that time. Thank you Mark for so eloquently putting into print the love a person has for a dog and the loyalty that both share.

Samantha from AR