I remember when I was walking home from the bus stop in elementary school and my mom met me half way.
I remember seeing a bulge beneath her coat and poking it.
I remember my excitement when she opened her coat to reveal a little black puppy in it.
I remember us kids sitting in the family room trying to decide on a name for the puppy.
I remember us bringing up the story of Little Black Sambo which was often told to us as we grew up.
I remember when we decided to call her Samba, the feminine version of Sambo.
I remember sitting on the kitchen floor playing with Samba the first night we had her.
I remember how she would piddle on the floor every time she met someone new.
I remember how excited she would be when we would get home from school each day.
I remember one time when I was wrestling with Samba in the kitchen. My head somehow got caught under a barstool while Samba pounced on me from behind.
I remember one of her teeth somehow got caught in my nostril and I couldn’t free it because my head was stuck under the barstool.
I remember the newspapers we spread all over the kitchen when we were potty training Samba
I remember how she would sit at the door when she wanted outside.
I remember how she would jump up on her hind legs to look in the window as we would eat dinner.
I remember how she would roll around in the grass to itch her back.
I remember how hard we laughed when my dad gave Samba some salsa that she had been begging for. She promptly ran over to her water dish and dunked her head in it.
I remember she sat there blowing bubbles in her water for a good three minutes.
I remember throwing blankets over her and watching her run around the house not knowing where she was going.
I remember when Samba saw herself in a full length mirror for the first time. She ran straight into the mirror and made me laugh so hard.
I remember when a few of us were in the basement and Samba suddenly ran the length of the room with her body pushed against the wall for no reason at all.
I remember how hyper Samba would get when we played out in the yard. Sometimes she would suddenly take off and start running laps around the yard at full speed.
I remember how gentle Samba was, even when we were play-fighting. If she ever grabbed my hand in her teeth, she would quickly loosen her grip to ensure she wasn’t hurting me.
I remember the dog mansion we built for Samba to live in.
I remember when we both jumped in there to hide from a sudden rainstorm.
I remember how both of us sat in there watching the rain pour down outside.
I remember how adamantly Samba would bark every time someone walked down the walkway next to our backyard.
I remember how she used to jump on the trampoline with us, and bark when we started jumping really high.
I remember how she used to fall asleep on my chest, or how she would turn around ten times before finally lying down in my lap to fall asleep.
I remember how I would stomp out to the backyard when I was angry or sad and how Samba would sit quietly beside me, licking the tears off of my face.
I remember when Samba would sometimes follow me into the bathroom when I had to go pee. I would always make her look the other way, ‘cause she was a girl.
I remember when our family took a trip out to Jasper and walked around the lake.
I remember when Samba took off chasing something half-way along the walk.
I remember searching, and shouting, but never finding her.
I remember how sad and distraught I was as we gave up the search and made our way back to the camper.
I also remember how happy I was to see Samba sitting there waiting for us when we arrived at the camper.
I remember the birthday party we had for Samba with one of the neighbour dogs.
I also remember hearing about how Samba barely dodged getting hit by a semi-truck that day.
I remember when I would go away to camp for a week, and how ecstatic Samba would be when I would return. Her tail would be wagging so hard that her whole body would wag with it. She would whimper with excitement and lick me every chance she got.
I remember teaching Samba to shake-a-paw or to say ‘please’ .
I remember how carsick Samba would get on long road trips. Especially on the curvy roads going down into Golden.
I remember Samba’s terror of thunder.
I remember romping around the woods with Samba when we moved out to the country.
I remember how she would always run ahead of me, but never forget to swiftly return to make sure I was still with her.
I remember how excited Samba would get when we asked her if she wanted to go for a walk.
I remember how sad Samba would get when we would go on walks without her.
I remember how much Samba seemed to enjoy getting scratched under her chin.
I remember how worried I was when I saw that Samba was leaving a trail of blood wherever she went.
I remember how disgusted I was when I learned why that was.
I remember when we brought a golden retriever over to ‘play’ with Samba during one of those times. I remember how funny they looked stuck together, butt-to-butt.
I remember that for the next day it seemed like every time I looked outside, there they were, stuck together looking sheepish.
I remember all the puppies running around a couple months later.
I remember how tired Samba looked, and wondering if she’d ever be that puppy I remembered her as.
I remember when her spunk returned many months later and how she still rolled around the grass like she did as a puppy.
I remember when her and two of her puppies went off on an adventure one day and returned looking like porcupines.
I remember coming back from college one year and noticing all the gray hairs showing up on her.
I remember coming to visit another time and noticing how Samba limped up and down the stairs.
I remember coming home again to hear that Samba was losing her bark.
I remember the last time I saw her... we slowly walked around the backyard. She would stop every few feet and look up at me.
I remember that even on that last walk Samba rolled around in the grass like the puppy I grew up with.
Farewell, old girl. I’ll always remember you. 06-07-08.