As a solitary 7-year-old kid on a farm, I had a lot tied up in Sammy the beagle.
We explored every corner of our 15-acre property in southern Ontario together. Every day, we charted fresh paths through the corn field, named grassy knolls after each other and sent garbage bag boats sailing down briny rivers.
We chased geese, got chased by geese, chased my dad, got chased by my dad.
The two of us hid out together in some patch of grass only we knew about. We were the cool kids on the farm. The only kids. Except for my sister, but ... girl. Yuck.
Every now and then, we walked down that long, straight country road to the general store. Our kingdom was built upon candy and milk bones.
During one of our many adventures, Sammy was criss-crossing that lonely road, playing with another dog who came out of nowhere. In the country, animals always come out of nowhere.