On April 3, 2007 I went to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to meet the Doberman I had wanted for 28 years. He was coming from Cambria Dobermans in Holton, Indiana, home to many champion Dobermans bred by Ann Ramsbottom-White and her husband Jim White. I had done quite a bit of research on issues like the genetic diseases found in the Doberman breed and I was satisfied that the risk in buying from Cambria was minimal. At first I was to have a puppy from a litter born in February, but that didn't work out. In late March Jim called me saying that they had an "older" puppy that had been returned to them and would I be interested. At the time Sami was about a year old (his birthday is March 31) and because the idea of not having to deal with the ear cropping and housebreaking, the thought immediately appealed to me. Jim sent me a couple photos by email and the next day I called him to let him know there was no doubt in my mind. I wanted him, and the sooner the better. Sami was on a plane out of Cleveland the next day and I met him that night at the air freight terminal at Sea-Tac.
Sami's pedigree is stunning: one of his grandfathers has sired 144 AKC champions, both of his parents are champions, and a half-sister of his has won Best of Breed at the Westminster show two years running, in 2007 and again in 2008. Although I don't plan to show him (he's ineligible because he's been neutered) he does have all the qualities of a champion.
The history of his name is interesting. I had done a bit of research before he arrived, thinking I would have a puppy with no previous name. Because he was a year old he had been named Sampson (with a "p"). I thought that a bit cumbersome, so I shortened it to Sami, and that has stuck. His registered AKC name is Cambria's Brown Derby.
A couple days after he arrived I took him to the off-leash dog park for a run. I like this photo so much I use it as the wallpaper on my computer.
|Only a few days after Sami arrived I had the folks from Invisible Fence come out to install their system around my property. I was concerned about the heavy traffic on the road in front, as well as the possibility that he might get "the wanderlust" and decide to go exploring on his own. As part of their contract they provide training for the dog to get accustomed to the system. To help with that training they bring their own dog. Here Sami and his mentor and playmate, Molly, take a break from the rigorous training agenda. The two had a great time racing around the yard in between the official training sessions. Sadly, at the time of this writing (April 2008) I just learned that Molly is no longer with us. She had a short (five years) but good life. She was a real sweetheart. May she rest in peace.|
|Here, Sami and Molly cavort around the yard. Despite the appearance of teeth, they got along famously and had a lot of fun.|
|One day Jimmy came to visit. Here, they are sharing affections. Note Sami's passive-submissive body language.|
|Sami has a really docile personality but he's absolutely death on toys. This miniature truck tire originally had a rope attached to it, knotted through a hole in the tread. Sami chewed that off in a matter of days. When he started tearing off chunks of the tire and eating them I decided it was time to put a stop to it, and took it away.|
|One day in July (2007) I took the camera out while Sami was getting his exercise. Here's a rapid-fire sequence from that session. I just love the way Dobermans run --- it's like the wind.|
During the warm months I keep the garden hose connected to the bib next to the garage. The anti-siphon valve on the faucet constantly leaks, and Sami uses it as a source of drinking water. He always heads for it when we get home from an outing. I thought it photo-worthy, and here's the best of a sequence. I had never imagined how long his tongue is but the camera sure does show it.
|Sami is always fascinated when I change my bed. He always likes to rest his head whenever it's without its sheets and blanket.|
In October '07 I brought Sami along on a trip to the Gulf Islands of British Columbia with Kim and Jeff. This is his favorite viewing point while we're underway.
|One of Sami's favorite snacks is ice cubes. Whenever he hears the ice dispenser running, he comes from wherever he has been to get a handout. He always chews them up and if he drops any pieces he picks them up so there are no puddles on the floor. Unfortunately it's too hard to photograph him taking the ice cube, so the narrative will have to suffice.|
|Here, he does his lap-dog thing with Kim at Christmastime '07|
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