This is Sam. Sam is approximately 16 years old (he’s a rescue so he could be older.) Sam is the family dog. He lives with Papa, Gigi, Momo, & Roger the cat on a cul-de-sac. Sam has gone deaf, he has a seizure disorder, has cataracts, & is pretty senile. He also has a routine. Every day he starts off his day by prancing around to every house in the cul-de-sac. All of the neighbors there are friends with my parents. They all hang out together, chat in the cul-de-sac, etc. They all know & love Sam & accept his eccentric behavior. When Sam prances over to a neighbor’s house he tries every door til he finds one open then he’ll go in for a visit. Get a little treat, drink of water, some loving, then go on his way to the next house.
After visiting all the houses in the cul-de-sac he crosses the street to the neighborhood park. He likes to trot up and down the nature trails, check out the pond, chase squirrels. A couple hours later he’ll make his way back to the cul-de-sac & go through his visiting routine again, popping in to everyone’s house, saying hello. He sees more of the neighbors on any given day than my parents do. When he sees a car that belongs to one of his people (Papa, Gigi, or Momo), he’ll prance over to say hello & go in the house.
The other day Momo came home from school & Sam trotted over to see her. She scooped him up & took him inside to Papa’s office.
M: Papa, look at Sam.
P: Hey Sam! Sweet boy!
M: No Papa, LOOK at him.
Around Sam’s neck, the neck that had visited EVERY one of my parents’ neighbors & friends that day, the neck that had spent just about ALL day out in the neighborhood attached to the head that surely got tons of pats & scratches behind the ears, around that neck…worn proudy through the leg hole, was a pair of my mother’s panties.