Sam the Dog

Gary Borders

’Twas a week before Christmas, and creatures were stirring throughout the neighborhood. This includes a mouse that seems to have taken up residence in the covered area that houses our HVAC units. My wife was enjoying a sunny afternoon when the little fellow stuck her head out between the bricks, which have a checkerboard design with square holes that are mouse-sized. Luckily, they are not squirrel-sized holes. We appear to be especially overrun with those large rodents this winter, likely because of a heavy harvest of acorns.

Today we mark a New Year. At my age, I’m never in a hurry for any of my allotted days to pass. But I can’t say I will miss 2015. Violence and misery cropped up far too often, both here and abroad. While I pray for a safer, more peaceful 2016, there is little reason right now to believe it will be. That is the sad truth.

Sam the Dog and I walked in the early morning darkness the other day after a blue Norther blew through. I was bundled up against the wind, Sam tugging against the leash, enjoying the drop in temperatures. Leaves skittered across the pavement, which made a naturally skittish dog occasionally flinch. Even after more than two years of affection and living the good life, Sam still bears psychic scars. He was clearly mistreated before my wife found him lying up the hill in the street two years ago, with matted smelly fur and a look of resignation in his eyes. He had given up.

Gary Borders

Commentator Gary Borders introduces us to the newest member of his family who is occasionally trying to fit in. Sam won over hearts, though he eyes an escape route whenever the door opens.