Saturday, June 16, 2007

Missing Sam

Yesterday was one of the hardest days. When I woke up in the morning I never thought that I'd be saying goodbye to one of the most wonderful, completely loyal, loving sweethearts in my life. My Sammy.

Sammy joined our family in 1995. We went on a vacation to visit my parents and next door to them in the backyard was this hairy, unkempt, neglected, urine-smelling energetic, loving springer spaniel named Sam. I'd go over and visit and play with Sam in his small, dirty kennel surrounded by cyclone fencing. My heart broke for this 10 month old who so desired to be with people, but the family he was with wanted no part of him. They fed him and threw out more hay to absorb the urine in his kennel, but they weren't interested in making him a part of their family. They didn't even want to pet him and would shriek and run inside when he approached.
During our visit my husband and I decided to ask them if they'd allow us to have Sam and we'd give them $100 in exchange. They agreed! So I headed down to the local pet store, bought a crate and Sam joined us on our plane flight home. He had a new family who was crazy in love with him.

On the drive home from the airport I phoned our groomer and requested an emergency haircut. This doggie was going to look the part of the beautiful black and white English Springer Spaniel that he was. We had an appointment the next day.

At home awaited our other springer Maggie and Jonah our cat. Maggie was excited for the mellow, easy-going playmate, and Jonah even went along with the new addition. There was no way you couldn't fall in love with Sam. A friend told me yesterday that she was never fearful of Sam, yet she fears all other dogs. He was so gentle and kind.

Fast-forward twelve years... Sam has been my constant companion in the garden. He always perked up when he saw me pull out my tennis shoes as he knew we'd be jogging or walking. The neighbors all knew him as the gentle sweetheart trotting across the property. He watched out for the kids and me and warned us if there was anyone approaching the house. He was the perfect companion.

The last few weeks have been hard for Sam. He had drastic weight loss and was having a hard time doing his normal activities. We learned this week that he had acute kidney failure. He was going quickly. He woke up yesterday and was very disoriented throughout the day and having a hard time standing as he had lost so much muscle mass. As a family we decided that we didn't want to see our gentle friend suffer. He wil be greatly missed and our home just feels so empty without him. Please keep us in your prayers during this time.

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