REVIEWS: Sam&Oliver – Stoke


Be bold, ambitious and take a leap of faith.

Many of life’s greatest discoveries, creations and changes happened because someone dared to question why. Dared to color outside the lines and take a chance at an idea. One of my dogs, Sam, is the very definition of rebel.

His chaotically good nature is a combination of good heart and free spirit; a pathfinder, benevolent and complete disregard for regulations.

Sam has been picked up by the police and brought home in a squad car for breaking out of the yard, stung by bees for wandering into the bushes, stepped on, drugged, knocked around and trapped in a closet. If it happens, it happens to Sam. That’s not to say he doesn’t go looking for trouble, but trouble always seems to find Sam, somehow.

One particular day, Sam had managed to wiggle himself between the fence and a large shrub and ran into the woods across the neighbor’s yard. I gave chase, and it was cat-and-mouse game of tag for about 15 minutes. Every time I thought I had Sam cornered, he would duck under a shrub or under some brush, where I couldn’t fit. By the time I had run around the obstacle, Sam had doubled back or moved on, and I found myself trying to keep up with a small dog who was outsmarting me.

When I finally managed to catch up to Sam, he had already made his way back to the yard. I shook my head and admired his tenacity to find adventure and fun in the world so full of boundaries and rules. I turned and locked the gate behind me, then started to head back into the house. Through all that chase I smiled and admitted to myself that it was actually quite entertaining trying to outmaneuver Sam. I heard a rustling in the bushes and when I glanced over, there was Sam, on the other side of the fence again, watching me for a moment before dashing back into the woods.

Sam taught me to let my guard down, to take chances and always include an element of enjoyment in everyday life. As we get older, we realize that some rules were made to be broken… to have courage enough to live on my own terms and never apologize for it. Go against the grain if need be, take the road less traveled and refuse to conform.

Our Reviewers for this one are Matt Burns, The Machine, & Dale Gilbert

Matt Burns

The Machine

Dale Gilbert


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