Will Rogers once said, “If there are no dogs in heaven, then I want to go where they went.” Two weeks ago we lost our fifteen-year-old cocker spaniel Sammy. We got him as a companion for Chaucer, our older dog, who has been pushing up tufts of new-sprung grass for three years now. They shared the same parents: Sadie and Rocky Joe Cocker, a sassy little spotted spaniel with Groucho Marx eyebrows.
Sammy wasn’t my first choice from the litter of ten. I had my eye on a fat spotted pup, but my husband and two sons insisted on the coal-black runt with the white star on his chest. Thank goodness. We named him Samson. But that name was too formal and never really stuck. He has always been just Sammy to us.
Chaucer was the alpha dog in our house, and he made no bones about it. If ...