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Memories of Sam (Samwise)
Sam left us the day before New Years' Eve 2020. That is significant because he was the second beloved we lost in 2020. We lost our little Jake in Aug (https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/JAKE342/Resident.htm)
and now Sam. Losing Sam just compounded the dreadful year 2020.

This has been more than difficult as I am finding that words are so inadequate to describe Sam and my relationship with Sam. He was more than special.

We love and cherish all our dogs and they return that love but often we have to share their love with children. It is the nature of families. However, children grow up and new routines and responsibilities come along and the dogs clearly assume a greater role in the life of the older adults. These dogs now become the cherished child, the companion, the best friend, the confidant. That was Sam for me while Jake was Mary's.

Sam (short for Samwise named after Frodo's best friend and companion) was a rescue and three legged when we got him. He was 50lbs of strong, so much so, that he required a harness and special collar to slow him down. As a youngster he was single-minded and you better just try to keep up. He accompanied me when I taught school two hours away from home. He road with me everywhere. He ran with me. He loved the water and would jump into ponds and rivers and of course, he loved to drink standing water from any puddle or roadside gutter. He would chase bunnies and squirrels but never catch them. On walks, he would bark at horses and cows and they would come to see him. He actually got a small herd of cows to come across a little valley to see what all the commotion was about. He was so picky about doing his business. It had to be in tall grass and he would circle and circle and circle until he would stop, triangulate with those three legs, and make it happen.

Sam and I grew close because of our living away from home to teach. He became my best friend and I guess like a little brother. He followed me and would often lay down in my office at my feet even after my teaching days were done.

I loved the way he would get excited when my wife or I would say "let's go for a ride." He would jump up on that solitary back leg and bark his "hurry up." One day, while I was outside doing chores, he actually wandered off and I was frantic looking for him. So I started shouting "Who wants to go for a ride?" After running around the neighborhood I found him sitting in the opened door car waiting to go for the ride. In the middle of the night, I would hear him growl underneath his breath and I knew that bunnies were in the back yard. Sam and I would go to the back door and I would yell outside " Lookout here he comes." Sam would tear out, up the hill, running back and forth along the fence letting all those dangerous bunnies whose yard it was they were invading.

As you can tell, Sam was not a lap dog. While most dogs sleep a clear majority of the day, not Sam. He was on guard and would only sleep when there was nothing going on, no place to go, and nothing to eat.

Now Sam did have issues with Vets. We think it was the trauma before we got him when he lost his leg after being hit by a car and left for dead along the road. Fortunately, a kind state trooper in Virginia rescued Sam. However, he never got over his dread of Vets. Giving him his inoculation was like trying to give a Raptor a shot.

Sam was fun, adventurous, excited about life and living, but age, dreaded age, and the loss of Jake, caught up with him. It was heartbreaking to see him fade physically, but he was alert, aware, and involved to the very last day. He passed peacefully with my wife and me at his side. He has left a hole in our old hearts that were already damaged by the loss of Jake.
We are heartbroken and I am suffering the loss of my best friend, my little brother, my good boy Sammy.

It is January 11, 2021, and the loss of Sam continues to hurt and continues to cloud each day. I have been going through pictures and videos and they bring me such joy and tears. I love seeing him in action and so vibrant but then I look where he would lay and he is not there. Dinner time is especially tough as we feed our two boys Luke and Harley but not Sam. This is compounded knowing that just a year ago dinner time included Jake too. So we have gone from feeding four boys to two.

January 13, it is two weeks Mister and you are so missed.

Hey Sammy it is a full year now and I wanted to write something here even tho you know I am sending you messages, hugs, and love through Maggie. Your pictures are in every room. We put the sowing machine in your notch and have your picture laying in the notch along with Jake and Luke. I have had the candle lit all year to remember you, Jake, and Luke. It has been part of Christmas for the last two weeks but today it will stand all by itself. The world is not right and there is a hole in my heart, our hearts. Love Dad.

Hey Sammy it is now two years and my heart still grieves. I miss you so much and of course, especially today. I put a peanut butter jar next to one of your pictures because I know how you loved to finish them up. I looked at the shirt I was wearing when you died. It is on the shelf since that day. I saw one of your hairs clinging to the shirt as I cling to your memory. I would hope you come to visit and if you want you can lead me home. Love Dad

Please also visit Lucky.

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