Sam I Am, 30 May 1998 - 1 November 2013

My darling pug, Sam I Am, died today.

I'd known him since the day he was born - his parents were my Mom's and sister's pugs. I had thought I was going to keep his sister, but one day I was sitting in the kitchen, and he walked up to me and laid his head on my foot, and that was that.

He'd been my friend my entire adult life. He came with me from Texas to Minnesota for law school, and then grad school. He moved with me to New York, and then back to Minnesota. He really liked riding in the car, thank goodness. He was there through relationships, and there when they ended.

He had a terrific grin, and was a total flirt. His favorite thing in the world was meeting people. He loved to listen to audiobooks, and had favorites - Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, and Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. (This meant Sam got starstruck the first time he met Neil, and sat on Neil's feet, so his new friend couldn't leave.) He also loved to listen to "Dude Looks Like  Lady" with my brother Joe. He was clearly a pug of varied and eclectic tastes.

He was a sweet, sweet boy, who had been patient and brave through a lot of difficult recent health issues. If I could have given him forever, healthy and safe, I would have. My friend Maria said she was raising a glass to the dogstar tonight in his memory, and that is how I will think of Sam I Am. Shining.