In 1990, a bull terrier mix with a pirates patch over her right eye, and aninky black wonder dog cape covering her white body, ran along a lonely roadoutside San Luis Obispo, California. A passerby rescued the running dog and brought her to the local animal shelter. And once there, she earned a reputation as anunfriendly dog, intimidating all those who passed by her kennel. But not my friendJohn who said, The first time I saw her, she stood straight and serious, her bodyforming an H. Rather than fearing this somber dog, John brought her home to hisgirlfriend Anne who lived in Santa Barbara, California. And so began a journey of my cherished friend, Sam, the dog who taught me how to face and overcome mygreatest fear.I first heard about Sam when Anne called me and said, I got a dog. Sufferingfrom a debilitating illness, Anne often had a tough time getting through the day. Sowhen she uttered the words, dog, my immediatethought, which I kept to myself, was I hope this is one of those old, mellow, sleep all day, cat-like dogs, becauseAnne didnt have the energy for much more. Then I met Sam, the canine version of Eliza Doolittle. She had the willand the friendly, aim to please personality you only findin dogs, but she definitely needed some work.