Two wooden boxes

By Benny Huckleberry, as told by Liz Hoffmann | Feb 26, 2020

My human has two small wooden boxes on the night table next to her bed and I asked her what they were for. She got a serious look on her face and sat down to talk to me.

“Benny, my dear, in those boxes are the ashes of my two beloved companions, my Sampson and my Spanky,”

I wasn’t sure what she meant, although I’ve heard her reference Sampson and Spanky many times before.

Sampson was the very first dog that she ever adopted. When they met, he was a thrice given-up, five-year old German shepherd mix.

He was about 50 lbs., when he should have been 70 lbs. He had some scars on his body, very sad eyes, and never wagged his tail. Humans definitely failed this boy.

My human saw him when she went to the shelter to adopt a puppy. But instead, she came home with him. She told me it was because the puppies always get adopted, and Sampson was on the euthanasia list.

She dug down deep into her heart and knew that she couldn’t let that happen.

She said, “everyone deserves a chance, Benny, and all doggies deserve to wag their tails.”

Well, I know that her kindness paid off since I’ve heard many stories about Sampson over the years. Stories about with a bit of love, kindness and consistency, Sampson evolved into the most amazing, stalwart and loyal companion that she could ever have hoped for.

I also know that before Sampson passed away, my human adopted another dog named Spanky. She told me that Spanky was a silly name, especially for a dog that grew up to be one hundred and thirty pounds!

Once again, my human said that Spanky was not who she was looking for. When she met him, he was only 5 months old and already sixty pounds. No one wanted to adopt him because he would submissively urinate out of fear, and shy away from people. She told me that she remembered again, that “everyone deserves a chance.”

So, when she got to the shelter and they brought him out, things took an unusual turn. Instead of being scared and recalcitrant, the minute Spanky saw my human, he ran over, climbed into her lap and licked her face.

The shelter staff was amazed and couldn’t explain his lack of fear. My human told me that some dogs can see right into your heart and see that you are kind. So that day, my human brought Spanky home and made him part of the family too.

Spanky was by her side through the heartache of Sampson’s passing, which was very hard on her. He also helped my human with the adoption of a new dog, my German shepherd sister Ilsa.

I’ve been told that Ilsa was the most challenging dog that my human ever adopted, because she’d been mistreated from puppyhood until adulthood. That said, my human remembered that “everyone deserves a chance” and despite Ilsa’s problems, she improved under Spanky’s watchful eye and became an important comfort to my human when Spanky passed on a few years later.

Which gets me back to the two wooden boxes. While I know that Sampson and Spanky are no longer living and I don’t understand much about death, I do know that they will always be here.

Whether it’s with their ashes in a box, or in the stories my human tells, or in the chew marks on the bedroom furniture, their presence is still felt. Most important of all, they live large in my human’s heart for all of eternity.

I know it’s sad that we all have to pass away someday, but if we can love the unexpected even when it’s not what we’re looking for, and give things a chance, then we all can live on in each other.

With love,

Benny H.

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Elizabeth Hoffmann | Feb 26, 2020 19:48

Glad that you understand Syd!

Thank you for reading :)

Posted by: SYD LEACH | Feb 26, 2020 19:23

We also have two boxes  that we look at remember the dog and thing that they did..Love it every day

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