Marsha Canham's Blog

December 6, 2011

Saying goodbye to a dear soul.

Filed under: Caesars Through the Fence — marshacanham @ 7:29 am

My big beautiful gentle girl died yesterday. She was an English Springer, big and goofy and loveable. Scampi was named after shrimp scampi, don’t ask me why, it just suited her, but as it turned out, shrimp was one of her favorite things to eat.  We weren’t sure how old she was when we got her, Austin picked her out of the pound the year after we moved into the new house, and that was in 2000. I foolishly promised him we could get a dog when “Grammy got grass”. The weekend the builder put grass down, Austin got in the car and said okay, lets go get my dog. We went to the pound, and I was thinking small dog, small dog. But the only small dog had a huge sign on the cage saying “Not good with children.” Most of the others were Rotweillers or labs or Shepherds, and we were about to leave, when Austin spotted Scamp. She was the only dog that wasn’t barking, the only one that just came to the end of the cage, with her head down, peeking up at us, and when Austin put his hand out, she licked it.

We were done like dirt. She had us.

The vet wasn’t sure how old she was, she guessed no more than two. But she walked through the front door that first day and just sat on the rug shaking, like she wasn’t sure what she was expected to do. That lasted about a day, then it was wahhhh hooooo I’m home!

We honestly thought she was psycho the first couple of years, she was so full of energy. I had to buy a separate wading pool for her because she would climb right into the kids’ pool as soon as I filled it and she wouldn’t get out.  She’d just sprawl out like she owned it and the kids had to play around her. She loved the kids, was never rambunctious around them, would let them use her for a pillow or a big moving toy. She had a lot of buddies in the neighborhood too…Woody–a big lab up the street whose owners tied him off to cement blocks to deter him from wandering down the street.  Pretty much every day though, Woody would come loping down the road dragging the blocks behind him. Dudley lived across the street, a big English Sheepdog, and another great friend of Scamp and Woody. They’re both gone too, so I hope they’ve found each other over that rainbow bridge and are playing havoc like the three caballeros again.

Five years ago, when I brought Suzie into the house, she was just a little black furball, barely 8 weeks old, and looked like a mouse beside Scampi. But Scamp instantly took on the mother role and from that day on they were inseparable.  Slept together, ate together, walked side by side wherever they went, usually with Suzie dashing and weaving around Scamp’s legs.

Unconditional love, that’s all she ever gave. I don’t think there was a person she didn’t like, didn’t lick to death, didn’t snuggle up beside. Yeah, she thought she was a lap dog, all 45 lbs of her, and she thought her rightful place in a car was behind the wheel. She loved going for rides, the longer the better, and didn’t even care whose car it was. Several times people came to visit and left the car door open a few minutes too long while they said goodnight…they’d drive out, reach the end of the driveway, and pull back in, open the door, and throft Scamp out.

Unfortunately she went to live with Stupid last winter and I haven’t seen her since last January when I went south. There was a size restriction in the park in Florida, and she was too big to go down with me. She was almost completely deaf by then and slowing down, but she always loped to the door to meet me when she felt the vibrations from the door slamming.  Her one flaw, if you could call it that, was that she adored him.  She was by my side all day, but the minute he came home, I was forgotten, so at least I know she was happy her last few months.  He promised to bring her over to visit a few times, but never did. It took Suzie a while, after we got back from Florida in the spring,  to stop looking for her in the house or out in the yard. It took me a long time too. I still get out of bed carefully at night so as not to trip over her, then have to remind myself she’s not there.

She was a great dog, and I hope she meets Walter over the bridge too. I’d retype the poem here, The Rainbow Bridge, but I don’ t think I can cry anymore tonight.

Bye Scamp. See you over the bridge.



  1. Augh made me cry before work, Marsha. We lost our pup of 10 yrs over the summer. I feel your pain and the heartbreak. But we were both lucky to have such amazing animals as part of our families. I’m still cracking up over the pool and how your guests had to eject her from their cars when they tried to leave. Thank you for sharing. You were blessed in your Scampi. ❤

    Comment by Sue Cloud — December 6, 2011 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

  2. Sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is tough. In September, I lost my cat, who was fifteen years old. He was my baby before I had babies. Like you, I still expect to see him laying at the end of my bed. He was truly my cat. If I got up to sleep on the couch he would follow me out there.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by Juliet — December 6, 2011 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  3. A wonderful tribute! We had a Pomeranian named Buttons. She was at least 20 when she died. A dash of Terrier thrown in there to help her have a long and happy life. Lived long enough to raise all of us kids and then close to 19 years old lost sight and mobility. We made a statue made in her likeness and have to this day. She was our friend, our babysitter, and our playmate. I still miss her and that was years and years ago. Take heart my friend….you are not alone

    Comment by Bren — December 6, 2011 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

  4. Marsha, I’m thinking your wonderful pup Scampi deserves a character in one of your new books. She would have been the perfect companion for the endearing aunt in SWEPT AWAY.

    Comment by Regan — December 6, 2011 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  5. I was told, many times by various psychics, that the first to greet us when we pass are our pets. That was the only thing that consoled me when I had to put my pupster, Kelly, down five years ago. He was the light of my life and I still miss him everyday.

    We bring them home, they become a part of our family and we grieve their loss as much as we would when a family member passes. However, the love they give to us in return is a special gift. And, you gave your Scamp a special gift by providing a loving home and a good life.

    I’m sorry for your loss. But, I do believe with all my heart that you will be reunited with Scamp again on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.


    Comment by caseykelly3 — December 6, 2011 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

  6. I knew Scampi and she was a beautiful, sweet, affectionate dog. A true treasure. I know you’ve missed her all these months and this is terribly painful. I’ve been through it, too, as you know, Marsha, and my thoughts are with you and the family…except for Stupid! :o)

    Comment by JILLMETCALF — December 7, 2011 @ 12:11 am | Reply

  7. Sorry for your loss Marsha. I didn’t know Scamp, but I’m sure you and Suzie will miss her. They become so much a part of our lives and they are the only ones I know who give you unconditional love. Carolyn

    Comment by Carolyn Betts — December 7, 2011 @ 12:46 am | Reply

  8. Feeling for you, Marsha. Thanks for sharing Scampi’s story and that truly beautiful photo of her.


    Comment by Cynthia Wright — December 7, 2011 @ 4:02 am | Reply

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