Random Things that Fall Out of My Head

Frank Michels

Frank Michels
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
March 29
Frank Michels is a songwriter, musician, and producer in Nashville, Tennessee. He likes to dig in the dirt and plant flowers, cook tasty things, walk his dog, and play really fast riffs on a telecaster guitar.


Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 16, 2011 11:30AM

Sam, The Black Lab: Best Dog Ever?

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                       Sam 2006       

            I did not grow up a dog lover. To me, dogs were, at best, smelly, barky and annoying. At worst, they threatened me, as in the pair of large German Shepherds that gleefully waited to attack me every morning as I walked the neighborhood on my paper route.

            But that all changed when I met the girl that would later become my wife. The first time I went to her home, tucked into a corner of Anacostia near the Potomac River, she introduced me to her new puppy, a Black Lab named Sam. I quickly realized that this was a classic case of “Love me, love my dog”, and so I opened my heart, slowly at first, to this black wriggly creature that went everywhere with my new girlfriend.

            After a month and a half of dating, I took her to meet my parents, puppy in tow. About five minutes after entering their home, Sam took a large dump on the rug my mom had just finished crocheting. My girlfriend was mortified, but hey, that’s life with a puppy.

            About six months later we were married, and we drove across the country to L.A., to follow my dream of making it in the music business. Sam followed a bit later, in a crate delivered to us by American Airlines. I began to learn about the joys of owning a Lab, as he became my constant companion on long walks up the hills surrounding the Valley, and on the bluffs above Malibu. He came with us when we moved to Nashville a couple of years later, and when we had our first child, he graciously took a step back in rank, with a lick and a lot of tail wagging. Sam stayed with us through three houses and another child, loving us with all he had. He had become an old dog by the time my wife called me on the road in tears—Sam had become too ill to go on, and she had to have the vet put him down.

            We went on for a while after that, with just a couple cats in the house, until one day I decided it was time for another dog, and began dropping by the local animal shelter. It wasn’t long until they had a batch of Black Lab Mix puppies, and one caught my eye immediately, rolling over so I could scratch his belly, and smiling at me. I knew I had found a new Sam.

            Sam turned out to be the best dog anyone could hope for. He’s always happy to see you, he’s kind to the cats and other dogs, he barks like a maniac when strangers come around, and when he looks at me I just know he loves me with all his heart, as I do him.

Sam is twelve years old now, and grey hair covers his muzzle, and his eyes are cloudy. His hips sometimes give out when he forgets he’s not young anymore and tries to chase deer through the neighborhood. I dread the day when I call him for our morning walk, and he’s not able to go. But for now, he’ll continue to be The Best Dog Ever.

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I love this blog!
Best Wishes,
Just like my dog Pete!!!!!!!!! I found him 11 years ago on the side of a mtn. in the Appalachians. Thanks you
I totally understand your story. My husband and I got two Black Lab/ Golden Retriever mix sisters at 5 weeks old. Roxie (black like your dog) and Daisy (golden). Sad to say that on Saturday, Daisy celebrated her 12th birthday solo, as we lost her sister Roxie to lymphatic cancer back in May. It struck hard and it struck fast! I sobbed so much when I had to say goodbye. Roxie now sits with us on the mantle in the living room. Daisy felt a bit lost for awhile and she too acts like she is still a puppy and overdoes it sometimes. They are the best dogs an owner could ask for, in fact, they were my first children. It is amazing how many friends we have whose children were afraid of dogs prior to meeting our girls. Roxie would have a quiet way of coming up by there side and giving them the space they needed to accept her as a friend. I have three instances of that happening, two of which made my friends able to bring a dog into their homes. I hope my remaining dog baby can hang on for a few more years. I know I am not close to being ready to part with her.
Very nicely written...I have always wanted a dog. The last time I had one, I was four years old. It was an old English Sheepdog. We immigrated to Canada and I haven't had a dog since then. Now my kids are grown up and one is moving back home. He wants to get a dog...a boxer perhaps *big grin*
Our black lab's name was Aleister. Al for short. He was the best dog ever, too.
Terrific piece. And Sam is indeed a good one.
All of my dogs have been the best dog ever. -R-
All the black Labs I've known well and lived with have been named Brutus. they were my brothers' dogs. The last one lived with me for most of the last two years of his life. He taught me to love labs. Years after he died at the age of 14 I was still finding clumps of his hair stuck in unlikely, hidden places.
Such a sad, sweet post. I have a black lab mix, and she is just the sweetest dog ever. She is 6, but still loves to run like crazy, especially after the slow dogs. Sometimes when we go to the park and see the old dogs there, you see in their eyes how badly they would like to run but can't. I dread that day coming for my dog too.
We who have had dogs like this get it, don't we? My black lab mix was named Madeline (Maddie) and I still miss her. I love how big dogs lean on you ... like a leg hug. Blessings on you and your Sam.
"he’s kind to the cats "

We the cats already love him back!!