An Ode to Jamie Wyeth, St. Gretta, and St. Alex

The Mom Person went off this weekend to spend some time with one of her Very Special Friends. I didn’t get to go, but it seems that she had a great time. They became friends a very long time ago when they each had a different dog than they have now. The Mom Person had a black Lab — St. Gretta. Kay had a Great Pyrenees that I’m guessing was a saint as well. His name was Alex. And the 4 of them spent a lot of time together visiting hospitals and such, doing Animal Assisted Therapy and doing their part to make the world a little bit better for lots of kids.

img221St. Alex

The Mom Person and Kay have a mutual admiration for the Wyeth family of artists. N.C., Andrew, and Jamie. And this weekend Kay gave the Mom Person a treasure of a book that is illustrated by Jamie Wyeth. The book is titled Sammy in the Sky, and is written by Barbara Walsh. It was published in 2011 by Candlewick Press.

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It is a love story between a dog and his girl. “My dad said Sammy was the best hound dog in the whole world. All I knew was that I loved Sammy and Sammy loved me.” But dogs don’t live as long as little girls and when Sammy’s life on earth comes to an end, the girl and her family find a way to celebrate the joy that was Sammy.  This is a BooHoo kind of story. My Mom Person was shedding a lot of tears. Ultimately that’s what loving a dog is all about. Tears of joy, tears of triumph, tears of frustration, tears of sadness. And lots of laughter to go along with the tears. We dogs have pretty strong spirits. The Mom Person still sees St Gretta around sometimes and I know that when I leave this world I really won’t be gone.

For me, this book was all about smiles. Sammy had a great family who loved and cherished him for the dog that he was. And they kept that love strong even after he was gone. What more could a dog ask for?

Death is not a happy topic of conversation, but it is a part of everyone’s life. Ms. Walsh has created a lovely story of a blissful relationship between a girl and a dog. And Mr. Wyeth’s paintings are a perfect fit. Sammy in the Sky is a beautiful celebration of a super dog. It is truly a treasure book. You should check it out.

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8 thoughts on “An Ode to Jamie Wyeth, St. Gretta, and St. Alex

  1. Hi Janet – What a lovely, loving tribute to Gretta & Alex!!!! You are SO special to me. And I am in awe of your talents – what a great writer you are ……….. expressing deep thoughts & feelings so clearly!!! Thank you for all you do making the world a better place!! Kay

  2. I have just added Sammy in the Sky to my library book order based on your very touching recommendation. Sometimes, I think the big people around children don’t give enough thought to the trauma of severing such a connection. I’ve had to deal with it a few times myself, so I know how it feels and that it needs to be acknowledged. This books seems that it will be a great vehicle to get those feelings out there. Thanks, Rhythm.

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