It's hard to believe but Sampson's first birthday is fast-approaching next month. Piper (right) has the cake all dreamed up: there will be tiers of ground beef and meatballs, possibly a sausage and bacon layer, and a McDouble on top. We have no idea of our big boy's current stats. Big. Heavy. When he jumps up in the bed and lies on top of you, it can kind of press your bones togehter. I'm guessing he's around 160?
Personality-wise, he is mellowing beautifully. He loves his kids and has taken Jonah's old place at the base of the trampoline, or herding them away from the water's edge. He loves swimming, much to the chagrin of our fisher-friends at the pond. He has built up incredible strength in his hind legs (an original concern of mine) and can now paddle around behind the boys in the canoe, assuring all painted turtles sunning on the rocks an easy warning and escape.
There are still vestiges of his puppyhood status in his personality: Sampson can still take a game too far with Hayden and is oblivious about his size and superior strength when it comes to wrestling. It is still not safe to leave things lying around, as one of Sampson's most classic attention-seeking behaviors is to saunter by you and dangle whatever he thinks you might want (that running shoe? this nice permanent marker? a mangled Barbie?) out of his mouth, then break into a delighted, head-high canter when you react.
With the help of the gentle leader system, he is a good walking companion and though he is not perfectly trained--my brother-in-law suggests a refund is in order on obedience school--he is the perfect dog for us. A little naughty, a little budgy, a whole-lot-lovey.
Stay tuned for the photos of Sampson's spring home hair cut and his brother's matching 'do--we sheared Hayden's Anthony Michael Hall curls at the same time. Also coming up is Anna Cole's training lesson with her eager, intelligent German Shepherd 'Claude Giroux'.