Good night friends. Let me say before Karen Kirkman Hankel tells her story, that she is the ultimate Social Media Princess. Second to none. OK, here’s here story below;
Our family member, Karen Kirkman Hanckel leads us out tonight with a very touching story. Karen is part of Sammy & Family’s immediate family;
In July of 2012 I decided to join Facebook. I kept hearing family and friends talk about it and I thought it would be a good way to keep up with family. Of course, I was a late comer as social media was already the way to communicate and the youngies in our family were already on FB for years. Anyway, I had no idea how it worked but after just a few days I was connected to most of my family, cousins and old high school friends.
It was just great catching up with a lot of people that I had kinda lost touch with for many years. One of my oldest (before high school) and dearest friends, Donna-Gayle, kept sharing this little dog’s picture almost everyday. I was fascinated by him because he was so cute that I thought he can’t possibly be real. He looked like an adorable stuffed toy!! Of course, it was even more fascinating that he was in photos and doing things in every landmark in New York City:) I just couldn’t believe that here was this precious dog in my favorite city in the world! I went to Sammy’s page and liked Everybody Loves Sammy so that I would see his daily posts of inspiration and animal advocacy. Everyday, I loved the posts and looked forward to them morning and night. ELS is a very interactive page and I enjoyed the contact and hearing more and more about Sammy. I couldn’t resist his charming, beautiful smile.
He always looked like he was smiling. Just the happiest little dog I’d ever seen.:) You get the picture, I was really falling in love with Sammy.
To fast forward the story a little, I became friends with Scott, Jessica and many of the Everybody Loves Sammy community. They are all a great bunch of animal lovers and we had Sammy at the center of our friendships. As time progressed, I felt that I would love to meet Sammy and Scott in person. But they were in NYC and I was in Virginia by then. I just knew that if I possibly could I wanted to hold Sammy in my arms. It was my dream. Then, after Scott and Vanessa had been dating long distance for awhile, they announced they were getting married in Central Park in June of 2013. I thought, oh wow, somehow I have to get there and meet them personally. I really wanted to take Scott up on the open invitation to the wedding. My husband, John, was out of town for work, so I booked a train ticket for myself to NY so I could make the wedding. John came home 2 days before I was supposed to leave on Saturday morning. He had a fit and said “you can’t go to NYC by yourself to a wedding to meet people you’ve never met” LOL, it was a little strange I guess.
Anyway, knowing I was going, he couldn’t talk me out of it. So he had me book a ticket on the train for him as well. Friday night at 11:30, the Amtrak people called and said the train was going to be delayed by two hours. I was so upset because the delay would mean missing the wedding. I cried and cried because I could see my “dream” of meeting Sammy going up in smoke. John said go to bed because we’re getting up in a few hours and driving to NYC. So we did. Left @ 4:00am and drove into lower Manhattan at around 10:30 Saturday morning!
I didn’t care about not getting any sleep because I was too excited about meeting Sammy anyway.
We checked into our hotel and leisurely walked a few blocks to the Motor Boat Pond in Central Park. I was so worried we were in the wrong place but then all of a sudden, I heard Scott with his true NY accent talking and coming down the hill to the pond. My heart skipped a beat as I was standing there and I first saw Sammy.
I couldn’t believe it was really happening and I was seeing him for real. And Scott, Vanessa and Henry:) It really was my dream come true.!!!
The wedding was so nice. Scott and Vanessa treated us like old friends and I held Sammy & Henry. The pictures from that beautiful perfect June afternoon in Central Park will be forever in my mind and my heart.
We met so many people that day like Jennifer and her kids, Jo Ellen, Briggette, Brian, Ron, Diane and others that are treasured friends now. Nothing more special than Sammy though:) Henry is the love man, what a sweetheart. We’ve visited several more times since that day and hope to see Sammy and Family again soon but that first meeting in the Park will always be one of my most favorite memories ever.
Sammy & Family would like to close with having Karen and John at our wedding, and Jo Ellen Berryman took our wedding day to unprecedented heights. June 15th , 2013 was one of the nicest days I have seen in NYC after 44 years old at that point. God is great. And God was exceptional to us that day.
Signing off from Puerto Rico, Dr. Harp Seal for Sammy & Family on day 231.