Except for one major and a few minor disruptions, we’ve been doing the same for almost 12 years.
Crossed into St. James Park. Zigzagged to favourite trees. Waited at King St. for a break big enough to cross at his senior pace. Past the market where we?ve come almost every Saturday morning.
Sam loves Saturdays. On other days he heads off in different directions. We’ve lived both south and north of the market. His Saturday nose leads us right to it.
Only on Saturdays, Sam starts barking and pulling towards the market. Really, it’s all about Ken and the biscuits. Ken watches ‘Sammy’. It’s the highlight of the week for Sam – treats and regular admirers among shoppers and vendors. Often, during our walks people stop and ask, ‘Is that Sam; the dog at the market?’
We continued on Market St. The pigeons didn’t flutter away today. Down Esplanade, past the ball diamond and doggy park where Sam learned the basics of field retrieving. Many casual conversations for both of us with St. Lawrence neighbours. One unexpected fight as a puppy sent Sam to the vet for stitches.
Long morning walks at sunrise bring much joy and first light to tragedy. Sam and I have come upon two suicides in Harbourfront. Two murders in the park area; witnessed a get away from a shooting; reported two car break-ins and stopped a third when we turned a corner.
Our biggest run in is shared. Crossing Sherbourne this morning, I remember the January 96 walk when we were both run down by a careless driver. Since then, we’ve shared recovery and a reminding pain and limp. In the park at Parliament Street, as usual, I let Sam off lead. He rolls and growls in joy, just like each of the thousand times before. I hide behind the trees while he is busy sniffing. He looks up, samples air, and bounds directly to me.
I thought this would be the place to leave him running and playing. So, I walked up Parliament on my own. Halfway up the street, he was right by my left. No leash from now on. Don’t know how long he’ll stay.
Oct 20, 2005
Last night, after he could no longer get up, we brought him for a last happy trip to Cherry Beach. He peed and even walked a bit. Then he managed to walk from the car into the Animal Clinic on Mutual St. Just before 7, Sam died in peace with his head in Sue?s lap. He always went to her when hurt. Simon, our son, was stroking him while I thanked him for the sunrises. Good bye old friend.