Sammy's Story
The Story of an Unadoptable Dog

A Ball is to Play …

A Ball is to Play …

I didn’t know that.  Until Friday.  And Saturday.  But now I do.  And that is very fun.


Because this is me Samuel.  And this has been my favorite week.  For playing with a ball.   I never played before.  When I went to Poodles of Yolo the other dogs played ball.  But I didn’t know how to do playing.  And I didn’t know how to do playing ball.  Like Fetch.  I tried.  But I didn’t know how.  Because that was before I was Sammy.

My Best Friend knows how.  Sometimes I think he tries to make it so I am playing with him.  But I don’t know how.  And the dogs at Poodles of Yolo know playing too.  But I never knew playing.  So I didn’t know how to do it. Where I was.  Before.  There was no playing.  Nobody played.  Playing wasn’t there.  No balls for playing.

So when I went to Poodles of Yolo.  I just ran around with my Best Friend and the other dogs.  I did the same as them.  That’s how I do when I don’t know things.  And I thought maybe one day I will know. So I can play with them.  Because I want to.  I like them.  And because it looks happy.

But this week was my playing week.  I learned how to play.  I learned how to play ball.  And I like it.  I like it  very much.  Now I know.  I know how to play.  And playing ball. It is very fun.  And I like it very very much.   I think it is my best thing now.  For my Samuel me.  My Sam me. My favorite thing.  Playing ball and running in the grass-in-the-middle-of-the-street.

This whole week was different.  I don’t know why, but my Kind Friend did different things this week.

Usually, my Best Friend knows what my Kind Friend is going to do that day.  He watches and he knows.  By looking.  He looks at shoes.  And pants.  And shirt.  And the bag.   And if things go into the truck.  And what things.  And if the big high up green thing that she sits on and some bits go round and round and my Best Friend runs beside it… if that comes out.  And other things.  That he knows.  And then he can tell.  Work.  Walking in Elmhurst.  Davis Farmers’ Market.  UC Davis Medical Center.  UC Davis Arboretum.  Poodles playing.  Hiking.  Going in the truck.   He can tell.  And he knows.  But this week.  He didn’t say.  I think maybe because even he got mixed up too.  He didn’t know.  Like me.  I didn’t.  But I didn’t say.  My Best Friend knows best.

And this week.  In those mornings.  My Best Friend knew it was different.  No work.  He knew.  But he didn’t know what else for sure.  I was surprised.  Because he knows everything.  Usually.  But this time, No.  He didn’t know.  So everything was different.

And like on Friday.  He didn’t know.  Because we did not even go for the morning run in the grass-in-the-middle-of-the-street.  That was bad.  Never we didn’t do that before.  Not ever.  Since I came to Elmhurst to live.  And I was very sad.  Very very sad.  Because that is my favorite thing in the whole world to do.  And I love it.  I love it very much.  It is my best thing that I do since I came here to live.    But we didn’t go.

But then …. A surprise.  We went on the grass in front of our house.  It’s big.  I had my 30 foot leash.  But my Best Friend had no leash.  Because he knows how to do without a leash.  He knows things I don’t know.  Like “Come”, “Sit”, “Down”, “Leave it”, “No”, ‘Stay”, “Wait”.  He knows other things too, but I don’t even know these things.  I am learning “Wait” and “Sit.”  I know what they mean.  And I want to do them  But it’s hard.  Because I remember.  I remember it is not good to be still.  It is not good to wait in a place.  Or to sit in a place.  Because  people will come.  And they will hurt me. It is not good to come to people.  Even though I know my Kind Friend will not hurt me.  Still, I remember.  And I am afraid.  But I am trying.  Very hard.  To do “Wait”, “Sit” and “Come.”  And to not be afraid.

And then.  When we were there.  In the front.  On the grass.  We never do that in the mornings. Usually.  But my Kind Friend was throwing the ball for my Best Friend.  He loves to play ball.  He loves to jump up high for the ball.  Very high.  And he is very high up anyway.  Just him.  So that’s even higher up.  And every time my Kind Friend threw the ball I ran with my Best Friend because that’s how I learn.  That’s what I do.  I do what he does.  So people  and dogs.  They think I know.  But I don’t.  And I learn.  That’s how I learned everything.  Since I came here to live from the Shelter.  And he runs after the ball.  So I run too.

But sometimes.  I don’t know how.  Because it never happened before. Sometimes I got the ball before him.  I don’t know how that happened.   I never did it before.  But it just did happen.  I  ran.  And then I pounced on the ball.  I am good at pouncing.  I didn’t have to learn that.  I just knew pouncing.  By myself.    Then I picked it up.  That ball that I pounced onto.  And ran away with it.  Fast.  And around and around.  I like that too.  Running very fast.  I didn’t know I knew how to do any of that even.   Before.  When I was in the shelter.  It was very fun. 


And then.  Some other times.  My Best Friend got the ball first.  But then he dropped it.   I don’t know why.  But then I got it!   I got it.  A lot I got it.   I never did that before when my Best Friend played ball.  But this time I did.  And then.  I ran away with that ball.  Again.  And again.  I liked that game so much.  It made me happy.  And then I didn’t feel bad about no running in the grass-in-the-middle-of-the-street.  Because the ball game.  That is a new thing I learned.  And it is very fun.  And when I was doing that pouncing and grabbing the ball and running away.  My Kind Friend was laughing.  She laughed and laughed.  

But then my Best Friend came running after me for the ball.  And so I dropped it.  Right away.  For him.  Because he is my Best Friend.   It is his ball.  Those tennis balls.  And he is important.  And if he wants the ball.  Then I want him to have that ball.  I never had a ball before.  So I don’t need that ball.  Just to borrow it.  Sometimes.  When I do my pounce.

I loved that game of ball.  I love it very much.  I love to play it.  Any way to play it.  And I am going to play it again.  Very many times.  I hope I can do that.

And then on Saturday. We played the ball game again.  Out front.  Excepting.  This day.  My Kind Friend brought two tennis balls out for us to play with.  So I could play with one tennis ball.  And my Best Friend played with his tennis ball.  But still I could steal his tennis ball.  And I did.  All the time.  I don’t know why I did that again.  Or how I did it.  Or how I knew how to do it.  But I did.  And I was so surprised!!  

How I did it was a sneak attack.  My Best Friend didn’t know I was coming.  Because he was watching the ball.  And I just ran up behind him.  Very fast.  I can run.  Very fast.  And I just took that ball away.  Quick.  Run.  Before my Best Friend even got there.  Or if he dropped it.  On accident.   I did it then.  That way too.

And my Kind Friend was laughing and laughing again.  Out loud.  A lot of laughing.    I never heard that laughing like that before.  So many times.  I think she liked it.  That game of ball that I played.  And she liked me.   And what I was doing was not bad.  Because before. I thought it was bad.  Things like that.  But now I know.  It is playing.  And playing is not bad.  It is for laughing.

But if my Best Friend came then I gave him back the ball.  Any ball.  I don’t mind.  Because he is my Best Friend.  I know that.

I love this game.  Playing ball.  I don’t think it is Fetch.  What I am playing.  Or maybe.  It ‘s my Fetch.  Not a Fetch for someone else.  It’s a Fetch for me.  But I am so glad now I know how to play that game.  I want to play it with some other friends too.  I didn’t know it could be like that.  Being a Bichon Poodle dog.  And being stray and mix and rescue.  Some people said that.   And in the shelter.

And then.  After that game.  We went to the Davis Farmers’ Market.  And there I did more playing that I never did before.  So much playing I didn’t how to do.  On that day.

Because, at the Farmers’ Market we met a lady.  And she had a Golden Doodle puppy.  That’s what she said.  And that is mix.  He has Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Golden Retriever.  A mix.  Like I used to be.  Except I am not Golden Retriever.  I am Bichon and Poodle. I don’t know if that’s stray too.  Like some people said I was stray.   At the shelter.  But they didn’t know.  Those people.  I am not stray.  And I am not mix.  I am Samuel.

That Golden Doodle.  He was only 3 months old.  But he was much bigger than me. 

DSCN0085 Doodle Puppy Farmers Mkt 092609He weighs 18 lbs.  But I only weigh 12 lbs.  And I heard my Kind Friend tell the lady that my Best Friend  weighed 20 lbs when he was that  puppy’s age.  So that puppy will be not quite as big as my Best Friend when he’s a grown-up.  But almost as big. 

And he is the same color as my Best Friend!  But my Best Friend is not a Golden Doodle.  He is a Standard Poodle.  Only that.  Nothing else.  No Golden.  No Bichon.  Just Poodle. 

And here is me and my Best Friend at the Farmers’ Market.  You can see how bigger he is.  And how Standard Poodle.  Nothing else.  No mix.  No stray.  No rescue.  No shelter.  Only Standard Poodle.  Apricot Standard Poodle.

DSCN0091 Cropped Samuel and Best Friend at the Farmers' Market 092609 

I like him very much.  And one time a man told my Kind Friend that my Best Friend is a Labradoodle.  He said.  He knew that.  And my Kind Friend said.  This is my dog.  And he is not a Labradoodle.  He is a Poodle.  And the man said she was wrong.  And my Kind Friend said my Best Friend is a registered Standard Poodle and she knows what he is.  And that was that.  But I am not registered.  I don’t think.  I don’t know if Bichons are registered.  I don’t know what registered is anyway.  But I have a friend who is a labradoodle.   And her photograph is on this website.

But he was very nice.  The puppy.  And when he played with me.  I knew how to play with him.  We played Attack and Pouncing and Keep Away.  I don’t know why I knew how.  Maybe because he is littler.  Like me.  And we play the same games.  And my Kind Friend says I am a puppy too.  No so puppy as the Golden Doodle.  But still a puppy.  But I did.  I liked playing with him.  I liked him a lot.  I hope I see him there again.  


DSCN0086 Golden Doodle Puppy Farmers' Mkt 092609

But then he will be lots bigger.  I hope I can play with him then. When he is bigger.  But I think so.

And there was another dog we met at the Davis Farmers’ Market.  And he was a Border Collie.  He was black and white .  And very handsome.  And I think he was seventh months old.   But he was shy.  Like me.  But he was bigger too.  And my Kind Friend took some photographs of him.  But she doesn’t like the photographs.  So she did not put them here.   I liked that Border Collie. 

And when we were at the Farmers’ Market we met our friend at the Upper Crust Bakery.  Here is her photograph.

DSCN0096 Upper Crust Friend Farmers' Market 092609

The Upper Crust makes bread, and cookies and french tarts and lots of other things.  Their website isn’t ready yet.  But if you want to see them.  Or buy their things.  They bring everything to all the Farmer’s Markets.  Like Davis.  And downtown Sacramento.  And other markets I don’t know.

And our Upper Crust friends have  a dog.  Her name is Lucie.  And Lucie is French.  Not like a “French Poodle.”  That’s not “French”.  [See About Poodles.]   Lucie is really French.  Because she is a  Beauceron.   And  that is really French.  That is a French breed.  Those Beauceron dogs are also called: a Berger de Beauce, a Bas Rouge, or a Red Stocking.  Here are some Beauceron dogs  you can see on Flickr

And.  Lucie is really French also because Lucie used to live in Paris.  My Kind Friend used to live in Paris too!  She liked it a lot.  She lived in the suburbs.  In France that’s called bainlieu.  But not bainlieus where some bad people did bad things sometimes.  She lived in Choisy-le-Roi.  I think I might  like Paris.  Me and my Best Friend.   But now Lucie lives in Davis.  With our friends from the Upper Crust Bakery.  And Lucie likes it.   But she wasn’t at the Davis Farmers’ Market on Saturday.  Just her friend. 

Beaucerons used to guard some sheep.  So they killed wolves.  Sometimes.  Like some other big dogs.  In those other countries.  Like France.  And in Europe.  Like the Anatolian Sheep Dog.  My Kind Friend told me.  And the Kuvasz.  I think.  They are big big dogs.  And they can protect the sheep from wolves.  Not like me.  Except, if you read About Poodles, here.  Maybe there was a Poodle who did this too.  Because that Poodle.  He was white.  Like me!  He looked like the sheep.  So the wolf didn’t know he was a Poodle not a sheep.  So the wolf couldn’t kill the sheep.  But the shepherd.  He knew that Poodle wasn’t a wolf.  That’s what my Kind Friend said.  That was a long time ago.  In another place.  Not now.  Not my Poodles.  Not here.  I don’t know if I like sheep.  I don’t know sheep.  Or wolfs.  I like living with my Best Friend.  And my Kind Friend too. 

And I am much much smaller than a wolf.   And even a sheep.  I think. 

I wonder if Lucie has some sheep in Davis.  I don’t think there is a wolf in Davis.

After we went to the Farmers’ Market, we went downtown. And we met a friend.  She is a veterinarian person.  She helps dogs too.  Not just being veterinary.  But also rescuing.  She rescues dogs.  Even if they are mix.  Or stray.  She always used to rescue West Highland White Terriers my Kind Friend said.  She likes those dogs.   They look like me!  A little bit.  If you look.  Look at my photo.  When I was at the Shelter.  It is here in my first blog.  I think I look like that  West Highland White Terrier.

But now they all died.  So she is sad about those Westies.   But she wanted to help another dog.  So now she has a Malti-Poo at home.  That’s almost like me!  That’s a Maltese and a Poodle.  Mixed up together.  Like I am  Bichon and a Poodle all together.  And her Maltese-Poodle is a  rescue dog.  Like me too.  I don’t know if that dog is stray.   I think it is mix.  And if you like to do that you can see about those dogs on About Bichons.  That’s here.  On my website.   She liked me.  And she was very nice.  Our veterinarian friend.  And I wish I could go to her for my veterinarian things. 

Then after that we went to Outdoor Davis.  And by the time we got there I was very thirsty.  Because it was very hot.  About 100 degrees.  And I was looking forward to a long drink of water from the dog dish full of water that they always have outside.  But then.  When we got there.  There was no water!  That never happened to me before.  That was bad.  I felt really bad.  So we went inside the store to get cool.  And to find out where the water was.  And we asked the people where is the water.  They were very nice. And they told us somebody stole their water bowl for the dogs.  So they couldn’t put it outside any more.  But they asked us if we wanted a treat.  My Best Friend wanted treats.  And he ate them all up.  But I couldn’t eat them.  Even though I know how to do it now.  Sometimes I do take treats.  But sometimes it isn’t right.  And I don’t want them.  I felt really bad about the water.  And I was very thirsty.

But then the lady who could say so came back.  And those people at Outdoor Davis told her what happened.  And she said, OK.  We are going to take one of our dog bowls that we sell, out of the display, and fill it with water, and put it outside for Samuel and his Best Friend. And they did.  This is  the dog bowl.  And we drank it all up.  I think Outdoor Davis is nice people.  So if you need something they are selling.  But please don’t buy the dog bowl that we need for our water when we are downtown.  Or if you need some water for your dog you should go there.

We went into the Avid Reader too.   And Newsbeat.  Because we wanted to find a nice birthday card.  But no luck.  And my friend wasn’t at Newsbeat.  So no treats.

And then after that we had to go home.  Because it was too hot.  To be going anywhere.  Too hot even to be playing ball.  Or any playing.  But now I know how.  I can do that any times.  With any of my friends.

Oh.  And I almost forgot.  I jumped up on a much higher-up wall than before.  I think it is about 3 or 4 Sammy’s high up.  But I will tell you about that next time.

I am so glad my Kind Friend came and got me from that Shelter.  And if you know any dogs at a Shelter.  Any dogs.  They might be stray.  Or mix.  Or rescue.  And you can help them.  Or, if you can help somebody else who can help them.  Like Bay Area Poodle Rescue.  Or a Shelter.  Or a SPCA.  Or another dog-helping group.  Please help them if you can.  You can even give them money.  If you don’t need it for your dinners.  Or for other things.  Because they are like me.  Those other dogs.  My Shelter said I was unadoptable.  Because I was so scared.  And afraid of everything.  But that wasn’t me.  It didn’t have to be like that.  Some people made that be like that.  But look.  Now.  This is me.  This is my Samuel me.  And I know how to do many things.  I know how to go running.  And walking.  And riding in the truck.  And going to the Farmers’ Market.  And into stores.  And talking with people.  And children.  And taking treats.  And I know how to do grooming.  I don’t like it.  Especially on my face.  But I know to be still.  I try to be still.  So my Kind Friend can do my grooming.  And I am nice.  And grown-ups and children like me.  And dogs.  They like me too.  And I know how to play.  And now I know how to play ball too!

Because … a ball is to play.


One Response to “A Ball is to Play …”

  1. Hi Sammy,

    Looks like great fun. We have some Wilson balls too, so we have some things in common as well as being rescue dogs…hehe

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