Blue Shoes for Sam (Our Dog!)
Have you ever had a dog that was obsessed with shoes? I’m not talking about a dog wearing shoes so he can start a fashion show, of course. I’m talking about a dog that won’t do anything without taking a pair of blue shoes with him wherever he goes.
Our dog Sam is a four year old golden retriever who is very attached to a pair of blue shoes. Fortunately, we’re talking about old, worn out shoes that my wife used to wear outside when she’d work on our garden.
They’re not fancy shoes. Just simple sneakers with white laces. The shoes were worn out when Sam first discovered them, and because they have endured a bit of chewing everyday since Sam was a puppy, the shoes are in pretty bad shape now.
But Sam doesn’t care. He takes those shoes with him everywhere. You’ll see him walk into a room with those blue shoes hanging from his mouth and wonder what he’s thinking. And what’s really amazing is the fact that he carries BOTH shoes at the same time! I never really think about how big his mouth is, but apparently it is quite large.
Anyway, there are times we think he gets tired of taking the shoes everywhere, because we’ve seen him try to hide them. He’s not very good at it though. We’ve found the shoes in the bathtub, in the wood pile next to the fireplace, and behind the large flowerpot on the patio. And wherever he ‘hides’ them Sam is generally nearby watching, practically staring at his hiding place.
You might think this all sounds charming, but I have to tell you – those lovely blue shoes don’t look OR smell so great anymore!
And let me tell you what happened just last night.
It was well past midnight when my wife Shelly and I heard what sounded like someone swimming in the backyard pool. Shelly got up to look out our bedroom window, and then called me over saying, “You’ve got to see this.” I thought some neighborhood teenagers must have climbed over the fence to take a dip, but what I saw was even worse!
With water splashing everywhere we watched as Sam climbed out of the pool, shook off some of the water, then ran to the lawn all while carrying those damned blue shoes in his mouth. Then he rolled and rolled around on the grass, trying to further dry himself, never once letting go of the shoes!
Yeah, you probably think that was a cute story and you might even be chuckling to yourself, but it wasn’t so funny to us. That dog then brought those shoes in through his doggy door in the kitchen and walked directly into our living room where he plopped down against the couch – dropping the soaking wet shoes beside him. What a mess!
We yell at him, but he simply ignores us.
We wonder how the Dog Whisperer would handle this situation.
We keep saying that Sam just needs some training, but we never seem to get around to it, and frankly we aren’t sure how to go about it anyway.
We took the shoes away from Sam once. Shelly decided she’d had enough of the dirty blue shoes and tied them up in a plastic bag and threw them in the trash. That was a mistake! It didn’t take Sam long to sniff out the shoes, knock over the trash can, and shred the plastic bag holding the shoes into a million pieces.
Then he took his shoes straight to his bed and lay down with his head on top of them facing the wall – evidently too mad to even look at us!
Who’s training who here?
Well, Shelly and I talked about it again this morning at breakfast, and we decided Sam can keep his blue shoes. But we also decided we’d have to wash them once in a while. So just a little while ago I watched as Shelly was able to convince Sam to give her ONE of the shoes in exchange for a treat, so she could drop it in the washer with some other outdoor things.
She explained to Sam exactly what she was doing every step of the way.
Sam watched Shelly like a hawk, and then decided he’d sleep in the laundry room where he could keep an eye on things until he got his shoe back. And then he had to suffer again while the second shoe went through the same process. But they’re done now, and for the moment the shoes are somewhat clean!
You might be wondering what changed our minds about the shoes. After some discussion we agreed that Sam was family, and that we’d have to learn to respect his love for the blue shoes just as he respects most of our things.
I’m sure Sam and his blue shoes will drive us crazy once in a while, but dogs aren’t the ONLY family members who can drive us crazy, right?
We love you Sam!