The Story of Shammee

Although this is the story of my late friend and companion Shammee, this article is about how rescued pets enrich our lives when given a chance. Consider adopting your next best friend from your local pound. Save his or her life to enrich yours. Like someone once said, "until you have loved an animal, you remain incomplete."

I was working at a pet store and had been thinking for a while about adopting a dog but hadn’t told anyone since it was mostly a thought and a wish. However, as if by fate, one of my friends showed up at my door with a little bundle of joy in her arms.  She was bringing us a new member to our family.  I looked at the little ball of fur watching me with her big round eyes as if pleading, “Let me be yours.” 

My friend, Renee, had rescued her from the local Humane Society for us!  Her mother and sister had already been killed and she was next in line.  She was just a puppy, an imperfect pup according to human standards.  She had a bite anomaly.  

“If you don’t take her,” Renee pleaded, “I’ll have to return her to them and she will be a goner!”

Although we were not allowed to have pets in our rented apartment, I immediately decided that I had to welcome her into our home.  I would deal with management later.  Thus, Shammee, as we named her, became a permanent member of our small family.  

The curious fact about Shammee is that without even training her, she would not bark when someone was at the door. Moreover, she hid.  It was as if she knew that her presence in our home had to remain concealed from visitors and other strangers. 

My son took to her immediately. She was a cute but shy puppy.  We were hardly able to do housebreaking training since we could not take her outside during the day for obvious reasons.  We took her out at night to do her business and exercise. 

Shammee got her name because one day I injured myself and the wound became infected. Shammee immediately began to lick my wound regularly. To my surprise, it healed nicely rather faster than otherwise.  She was my “Shaman”.  Therefore, she became Shammee.  

To my son’s disappointment, Shammee adopted me as her primary friend. I had done nothing special to deserve such honor but she gave it to me anyway. She liked to snuggle next to me under the covers at night and was always happy to be with me. She was pretty much my shadow. 

I had been considering moving to another state with better opportunities for employment so I gave my thirty-day notice to the manager and when the time came, we packed up and hit the road with Shammee. 

When we reached our destination, I made sure to only look for housing that accepted pets.  We found a nice townhouse shortly after we arrived and moved in. 

Shammee was able to perceive the freedom to bark not just to guard us but also to announce visitors. She was never aggressive but her barking was rather intimidating to strangers. Furthermore, she very quickly understood that she had her own “bathroom” outside in the patio and hardly ever had an “accident” indoors.  She was indeed very intelligent and perceptive. 

My son had “trained” her with human food so she became “human food crazy.”  On her own, she decided to charm us for food and began to stand on her hind legs, begging, whenever we were eating.  I thought my son had taught her but he told me she started doing it on her own.  

It was wonderful to arrive home after a full day’s work to be welcomed at the door by this beautiful being.  To see the joy in her eyes, her tail wagging while she jumped up and down was priceless. Then, she would settle next to me and kept me company while I went about the rest of my day. 

Shammee was a real special angel in our lives. She brought us so much joy just by being there with us.  She was never a problem and gave us her unconditional love, friendship, and loyalty for fourteen wonderful years. She even accepted other dogs and cats that joined our family throughout the years.  We will always miss her but are so grateful to have been granted the blessing to have her in our lives from puppy-hood to senior years. 

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