by:  Cris Corzine- McCloskey

I have a little white Shih Tzu named Sammie, who spends her days looking out our picture window. She’s bored with what goes on inside the house but finds the world outside very enticing. She yearns to chase the birds, squirrels, and cars that go by. She also wants to chase Dave, our mailman. But most of all, she wants to meet Gizmo.

Gizmo is my husband and I’s nickname for the stray mutt that runs around our neighborhood. He’s ugly as sin and struts around the vicinity hiking his leg on everything, and dumpster diving for food. We throw scraps in our ditch to help support him in his renegade lifestyle. To show his appreciation, he poops in our flowerbed. Of course, it’s right in front of Sammie’s perch at the picture window, which makes her crazy. Gizmo is Sammie’s idol. To her, he is living the dream. I’m sad for Sammie because there’s a lot of things she doesn’t know.

Bred to be pampered and quickly adopted into a loving family, Sammie has only known the good life. We call her Simple Sammie because as cute as she is, she’s not very bright. That makes her aspirations scarier as she’s not smart enough to realize the things she wants to chase are dangerous. She once chased a car down the street. Seeing her tiny body so close to those tires terrified me. On top of not understanding the danger, she doesn’t know anything about being hungry, having fleas, being scared and lonely, or what it’s like to not be loved. Those are things Molly knows.

Molly is my other pint-sized pooch. She looks an awful lot like Sammie, but that’s where the similarity ends. I rescued Molly from the St. Francis Animal Shelter. Before her rescue, she was a stray running the streets in Carbondale. She knows a lot about being scared, cold and hungry, and not having a master that loves you.

Rescued and happy in her forever home, Molly doesn’t look out the picture window. She’s only got eyes for me. I’m her savior, and she sticks to me like glue, which puts her first in line for petting and the delicacies that “accidentally” fall off my plate. Her love for me moves me, and in return, she gets a ridiculous amount of pampering. Molly is living the dream, and she knows it.

Molly and I have a lot in common. I was a lost and lonely stray, but now I’ve been rescued. I now know what it’s like to be warm, safe, and loved, so you won’t find me looking elsewhere for contentment. I stick to my Master’s side like glue. I am loved, doted upon, and pampered. I am living the dream.

Sadly, in my line of work, I come across a lot of Simple Sammie’s. Bored by what feels like the “confines” of domesticity, they gaze longingly at the world through their electronic windows. Kids who think their parents and church is ridiculous, spouses who think their mate isn’t as attractive as they used to be. They start longing for what they believe will make them happy. They don’t realize the things they want to chase are dangerous, and they might have a hard time finding their way home.

If Sammie were any smarter, I would share this passage from the Bible with her, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” But she won’t listen. She’s too busy being jealous of Gizmo pooping in her flowerbed. How about you? Think you can learn something from Simple Sammie? I sure hope so.



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