Sunday, November 13, 2022

Barry Wilker & Sam

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Barry Wilker. I am a retired interior designer who spent 43 years in the depths of residential interiors. Now I write, paint and read. I have written a book, The Lapone Sisters, which is my debut novel.

My canine friend here is Sam, an 18-month-old Springer Spaniel puppy.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

This is more a cocktail with a canine than Coffee with a canine. Every evening around 6:30, just before dinner, David has a Gin and I have a Scotch. We sit with Sam and talk about the day and what we are going to do tomorrow. Sam just listens. Before our dinner we give him his cocktail, which is a training treat.

What's brewing?

Gin and scotch.

Any treats for you or Sam on this occasion?

Just the normal treats. Training treats and kisses.

How were you and Sam united?

We were united via kismet. We are a dog family. Our previous two PBGV’s (Petit Brussels Griffon Vendeens) died 2 years apart. We were waiting for the breeder to let us pick one from a new litter that was 6 months in the future. We became pretty morose. We lost our last PBGV in November of 2021. During the depths of depression, a neighbor became worried about us and came across Sam at 7 months old. Sam was up for adoption due to a divorce situation. We were interviewed here at our home and loved him immediately. He had been professionally trained so there was very little for us to do other than love him and get him used to having parents 24/7. It was easy for the 3 of us.

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

He came with his name. Sam. That was somewhat problematic at first because my father’s name was Sam. Toward the end of my father’s life, we were not very close. After trying to think of names that rhymed with Sam, once he entered our lives, I knew he had to keep his name.

Sometimes I call him Sammy-Whammy.

Does Sam do more to help or hinder your writing?

Writing, does he hinder? Not in the least. He lays by me in his bed and sleeps.

I truly think that he understands about 150 words. In fact, I know he does.

Speaking of writing - I want to share something that I wrote about 8 years ago.

“When I look at my Dog and stare deep into his eyes; I often wonder If he was once a person, and now he is still a person, only with Locked in Syndrome.

And when I think, maybe; and wonder possibly as a person he talked too much, and never bothered to listen?

Being a dog is sort of an abstract punishment; you can have all the love in the world and yet, the only way to say thank you is to wag your tail.

Being mistreated and punished is the same thing. You have nowhere to turn; only curl up in a corner and be miserable.

Some people only like to do that as a sport.

Being miserable is their comfort.

But being a dog is to remain silent, good or bad.

I love Dogs.” ---Barry Wilker

Has Sam inspired you to create any fictional canines?

Just Sam the dog that speaks with his eyes. I have never had a dog this literal with his body language.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Sam is always after the chipmunks in the yard. He has realized that all of the deer are his gentle friends. And he flips out at the sight of turkeys. It’s about the only time he barks. Turkeys hate loud noises and he scares them off, after which he proudly struts away with me.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

I’ve included a photo of Sam with his favorite doll [photo right]. Mr. Piggy. He loves to find sticks and chew, but that is when he gets the comment in English, “No, drop it,” and he does.

Who is Sam's best pet-pal?

Sam has a number of neighborhood dogs that he socializes with during his morning walks. He is infatuated with Goya and Luna (small mixed breed dogs) and he also has a good relationship with two Beagles, Wyatt and Liddy. He is telepathic with an older Standard Poodle, named Cody. Cody is generally dog averse. They sit across the road and communicate while we communicate with Cody’s owner. There are many more. Every so often Sam has play dates in our yard with my brother’s Weimaraner, who is named Asher.

What is Sam's best quality?

Sam’s best quality is being himself.

If Sam could change one thing about Nashvillians, what would it be?

Sam should be a poster dog for kindness in Nashville.

If Sam could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

If I could ask Sam one question in English, it would be “Who were you before we met at this time? I know you are someone from the past-- and you know who it is, but you can’t tell me.”

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Sam could speak, who should voice him?

I think Sam could use the voice of Paul Newman.

What advice would Sam give if asked?

His advice would be “Love me and I will Love you.” And Sam also has some helpful hints from Heloise that we won’t go into.

Visit Barry Wilker's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

1 comment:

  1. Goya & Luna are equally obsessed with Sam 🐶♥️🐶♥️🐶