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The Samoyeds


My first Samoyed was named Ivan, which I had heard meant Little Bear in Russian.  He was the result of a whimsical trip to the Seattle dog pound back when I was in high school. 

He was a fluffy ball of white fur.  You wonder how anyone could give anything that cute away.  I had just planned to look, but I brought him home and shared custody of Ivan with my boyfriend Ray for several years until both Ray and Ivan became a freewheeling hippie dogs on Whidbey Island. 

Ivan was shot for courting a neighboring farmers frisky little Irish Setter.  Ray died in a boating accident not long after.


Named after the classic cartoonist, H.T. Webster, Webster was the product of my first marriage.  You settle down and get a dog right?  This time I made sure that I got custody of the dog after the break up. 

Samoyeds are great because they are the perfect combination of tough, sporty, doggie-dog and foo-foo cutesy dog.  Unfortunately, Webster was cursed with a hereditary Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and was blind before he was four years old.  Amazingly, he got around so well, it took many incidences of running into doors before I realized he couldn’t see. 

Ultimately, he navigated the streets of New York City with ease, always able to find the gutter to take a poop, and made many friends in the neighborhood.  Walking Webster in the middle of the night in the freezing winter cold of the city is one of my favorite memories.  Webster kept me sane in the crazy 80s.  


Stuart was born and spent the first few weeks of puppyhood in the shadow of Mt. Rainier.  He was sweet and gentle.  He spent most of his time lying in the neighbors parking strip, which was covered with English Ivy. 

More than a few times, I would get a call from someone who, thinking he was a stray, had enticed him into their car.  They would check his collar, find my phone number, and find out that he lived where they had picked him up. 

Stu and the Kitty Man were the children I never had.  I still miss my little boy with his sweet face and endless friendly smile.  Even the garbage man, who was afraid of dogs, loved Stuart. 

He hated being brushed, and his fur was so matted by springtime, that I took to having him shaved.  It was remarkable.  He looked and acted like a completely different dog.  He looked like the beautiful white German Shepard that I had admired years before, and he moved and ran with ease without the extra ten pounds of fur.

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