The most loyal golden retriever ever to come into this world was born fourteen years and one month ago. From his first moments with us, Sam was at the center of our family, all heart and soul, connecting each of us in his own special puppy way. Never has a tail wagged faster than his would upon greeting us. Never has a dog curled up faster into the lap of someone he only just met. Sam just wanted one thing out of life: for everyone around him to be happy. And he never spent a day in his life failing to live up to that expectation he held for us, always at our side, always trying to find an excuse to make us scratch his ears and belly, because he knew we'd like it just as much as he, and that sometimes we'd need that just as much, too.|
It was impossible to meet Sam and not love him, and it was equally impossible for him to meet you and not love you. He was heart was just too big for it to go down any other way.
A week ago we had to say goodbye to our dearest friend. We would've given anything on this earth to save him, but there was no cure for what ailed him, no treatment; nothing. They say you don't really know how much you love someone until they're gone. That isn't always true. When Sam was diagnosed, all of the love we had for him hit home like a thousand sledgehammers against our hearts, but for that I'm grateful, because we had a chance to shower him with the same unconditional, unequaled, incredible love he gave to us all his life, right up until the moment we had to say goodbye.
Sam, you were the best, most loyal, loving friend a person could ever hope to have, and we will see you in our dreams ten thousand times, and then one day we will see you again for real, and all the pain between now and then will be forgotten and only the love we had for each other will remain.
Sam, my buddy, I have so many times wanted to write to you on your memorial page here, but the words have always failed me. I look back and simply can't believe it's been three years since you passed. So much has changed since you left. Donna's best friend Nancy passed away the summer after you passed. The dog she adopted about six months before she passed, Ellie, is cute and rambunctious, just like you. You two would have been good friends. About a year after Nancy passed, the Porter's moved to Florida. Peter to this day goes to the gate to look for Ellie. He misses her terribly. She was his only playmate after you passed. I know he still wonders where you are and misses you daily, just as Donna and I still do.
Last year, the world was stricken by a pandemic. It changed a lot of things for the worse. Earlier this year, there was some good news, though. Bethy got married to Aaron. You would've liked Aaron. He is a dog person.
Three months after their marriage, things took a deep nose dive into the bad again, though, and that winter was the darkest of my life. I lost Simon, my dad, and Billie in less than two months. My dad always liked you and asked about you, and you and Simon were best buds. Billie of course loved you, but you know how she liked to keep her feelings to herself, except when it came to me. I want you to know that never a day goes by that I don't think about you. Each night, I light a candle and recall a memory we shared, and each night right before I go to bed, I sit with your urns and say a little something to each of you--you, Simon, Billie, Sugarfoot, and Tiger. Each night when I do that I get choked up. I miss you all so damn much.
Until we meet again, I'll think of you every day. You were an amazing light in our lives, a light that will shine forever, my friend.
Sam, I can't believe it's been five years since you were last with us. So much has changed. I've lost my father, Simon and Billie; Donna lost her best friend, Nancy. There's been a pandemic. The whole world seems to be at odds over just about everything. The future seems a one-way road of bad and getting worse by the day. I sure wish I could roll back to when you were here. I miss you greeting me at the front door; God, I miss that more than ever. It's funny how you appreciate things so much more when you don't have them, even if you appreciated them a lot when you did. We're trying to hang in around here. Pete had his surgery last Monday for removal of a benign cyst on his back left leg and to have nine of his teeth removed. He's recovered remarkably well. He misses having a playmate. He loved having Billie and Simon around. Simon would curl up in his in his chest on the couch. It was so damn cute, and I miss seeing that so damn much. Billie would give him attention, too, in her own Billie way. She was a ball of love, that little girl. But Pete needs a doggie playmate, and we can't give him one. You were his playmate, his mentor too, for a while, and he would be in bliss if he could have you back for just five minutes to play in the yard.
Every night, while we sit on the couch and watch the hours away, your spot on the couch is missing you. We used to say "Nice and cozy, right?", and you'd raise your head and yawn and doggie smile at us. I miss the heck out of that. I miss, too, how you'd stick your head out the window on the way home from the park. Big doggie smile there, too. Can't believe those days are gone. There's just so much loss now, and the future gets harder and harder to bear, the greater the weight of it day by day. But one day we'll be in each other's company again, and the freight of all that loss will be not even a memory. That is the day I want to have. All of us together again. No sadness. Only joy.
I love you, and I will miss you always, Sammy. You light shines on, my friend.