“She’s Not Mean…She Just Looks That Way….”

Schatzi came to our family via a yard sale. No joke.

Grandma spent her Wednesdays checking out the yard and garage sales in the area. She and Grandpa used to go together—Mom said Grandpa waited for the weekly paper with all the listings like a dog waiting for a bone. He’d mark all the ads that sounded worthwhile, and early Wednesday morning, off they’d go.

Schatzi 1991 (5) - CopyI’ve never been able to figure out why the Wednesday edition was always delivered on Tuesday nights. Humans—go figure!

Anyway, Grandma eventually went back to her Wednesday routine alone. One day, she came home all excited. At one of the sales, she’d found a black German shepherd, free for a good home.

“Why didn’t you take her?” Mom asked. Grandma used to raise German shepherds for show and had long wanted another one—just as a pet.

Grandma looked surprised. “I didn’t know if you’d be okay with it—”

Now it was Mom’s turn to be surprised. “When have you ever cared what I thought about anything?” she wanted to know.

After dinner, they returned to the scene of the crime—I mean the yard sale—and brought home yet another addition to our family. I didn’t meet her right away. Grandma wasn’t sure she and Sandy would get along, so the new dog on the block was confined to the back yard with a brand-new doghouse.

I was curious. “I wonder what she’s like?”

“Big dog, big appetite,” Sam One said. “For her, you’d just be a tasty little nugget.”

Not an image I wanted to have stuck in my head….


Being part of a large, diverse family of creatures was never dull—ever. I had a lot of adopted siblings. But it was Sam One who was most like a true brother to me—not because he was a fellow avian, but because we had a connection that went beyond blood, beyond family. We shared a bond I can’t put into words.

Sam 1 picWhen Mom first saw me in the pet shop, she thought the bird she’d lost years ago had come back to her. I guess in a way, that’s true. He was always with me, and through me, he had come back to her.

“How long had you been—away—from Mom before we met?” I asked him one night.

“Eleven years,” he said. “I’d look in on her from time to time. I knew she missed me. She always wondered where I ended up. She still does.”

“And you don’t remember?”

He shook his head. “No. If I were supposed to know, I would, but….”

“You’ve missed her all these years.”

“Yes,” he said sadly. “I wish I could let her know I’m here.”

“I think she knows.”



6 responses

  1. I think they liked each other more than I realized. When Sandy was really sick, Iggy let her sleep close to her on the sleeping bag. And when the others were all gone, Sam seemed to miss them.

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