SamanthaSamantha came into our lives on 19th August 2000. We had just returned from our honeymoon

and decided that we wanted to get a dog. Well, Steve Gibson wanted a dog, but Steve Wylie wasn’t quite ready for one. Steve G. can be very persuasive.

We adopted Samantha from the Petaluma Animal Shelter, about 45 miles north of San Francisco. Her bio had been posted on their website; she was a stray that ended up in the shelter in June. She had no identification, so the shelter had named her Wiley. We were looking for a female Terrier mix around 2 years old, and that was how they described this dog. The fact that she had been given the same name (different spelling) as Steve W. was the confirmation that she was meant for us.

We drove up together on 12th August to meet her, after calling to confirm that she was still available. The dogs we had seen at the San Francisco SPCA had all been larger dogs (Rottweilers, pit bulls, and German shepherds), so we confirmed that she wasn’t too big. Just 24 pounds, they said.


It didn’t take too long to know for sure that she was the dog for us. It was a particularly hot day, and we walked down the road with her for only a short distance. She found some shade and laid down on a patch of grass, and wouldn’t budge. So picked her up and carried her back to the shelter.

We paid the adoption fee and signed the papers, but had to wait a week until we could bring her back to San Francisco. California State Law requires that all dogs adopted from animal shelters be spayed or neutered before they are taken home. So Steve W. drove back to Petaluma the following Saturday to bring her to her new home.


She knew she was home from the minute we walked into the door. She laid right down on the carpet and looked up at us as if she had always lived here. The only thing left was — what should we call her?

Wiley obviously wasn’t the right name. It didn’t really fit a female dog, and it would appear a little egotistical in Steve Wylie’s mind to keep the name. We had always talked about naming whatever dog we got Steve, so that we could keep on being the Steves.

One evening we were walking her around the neighborhood, and the idea struck us. Why not call her Samantha Stevens? She would still have the name Steve, but in her last name. Steve G. called to her. “Samantha!” She turned her head and looked at us. Her name was now official.


She’s got tons of energy. We knew that Terriers were energetic and playful. We probably weren’t prepared for how much. She loves to run and chase tennis balls. Most people who see her comment on what a fast runner she is. We are now fairly certain of her heritage, a mix of Basenji and Manchester Terrier. Her coat is very smooth and shiny, like the Manchester, but her coloring is very similar to the tri-color Basenji. Her running speed and aloofness with strangers also suggest Basenji, but she has a smooth forehead and button ears like the standard Manchester. Once she gets to know you, she is very loving and affectionate. She’s not completely barkless, but she only talks when she really needs to get your attention.

She has a puppy play group at the local playground that she meets as often as possible. Her boyfriend Rudi (a blue-point brindle miniature dachshund who’s hearing impaired) and good friend Kobi (a Tibetan terrier) play with her almost every day. Sammy the Border Collie and Hillary the English Spaniel sometimes join the fun. She is not comfortable with dogs she doesn’t know, especially if they are bigger than she is.

She is fiercely protective of her daddies and her buddies. If she thinks you are about to be attacked, she will step in as a defense. Giving her praise for her protection is all she requires.