Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Zach and I came back from school shopping last Thursday,and Rick was laying on the bed.

He had made a phone call we were both putting off. He had called our vet to make an appointment to put Samson out of his misery. We had to be there on Monday. Rick said he almost threw up when he was still on the phone,he felt so bad.

However,it had to be done.

We got Samson from a local ASPCA in December 2003. In fact,Rick and Samson were up here in the house before Zach and I were. When we decided to buy a house,the first thing Rick said was,"I want a dog." We looked on line,and he saw this dog that to me looked mean (he didn't like his picture taken). Rick went the ASPCA to check him out and he really liked  him-he was a black lab/bull mastiff cross that was a lovely brindle color. They figured he about a year and half. He had been left behind by people who moved-literally,left tied up outside. A kind neighbor took him in and brought him to a shelter,and he was moved to the ASPCA where we got him. When Rick brought us to check Samson out,we were put in a room and Samson walked right up to Zach,sat next to him,and leaned on him ( Zach was in kindergarten). We knew we had to have this dog. Zach named him Samson Sunny D Shaw.

He was a lovely dog,and I even forgave him when he got loose,grabbed a chicken,dragged it into our neighbors yard and ate it. Feathers and all.

We noticed in the last year that he was starting to slow down,which was to be expected. Then,his hind legs started giving out  a bit. Xrays showed he had arthritis in both his hind legs. We were told it wasn't going to get better,but we could put him on some nerve pain medication to help with comfort,and fish oil to help his joints. It worked to a point. Then,he started not being able to squat when he pooped,and sometimes he didn't even bark to go out-he would just poop,like he didn't even know he had to. Then his legs started getting worse and worse-he would fall on his stomach climbing the stairs,or getting off the couch. We knew what we had to do,but we kept putting it off-for us,even though we knew it really wasn't fair to him. He was nearing 13 years old,and we had him almost 11 years. His face had turned gray and we could tell he was tired.

The worst part was knowing that Monday was coming up.I would look at him laying in the sun and think "he has no clue that this is last time he will lay there." When we were driving him to the vets,we rolled down the window and he stuck his nose out,smelling the fresh air. I cried the whole way. Rick asked if I wanted him to drive,but I was OK to drive. It was the longest 6 minute drive of my life.

Rick,Zach,Richie,and I went into the room with Samson. The vet and her asst were so very nice,and I felt bad for them,having to do this. I laid down on the floor next to Samson,put my head on his side,and held him. Rick and Zach patted him,and Richie licked his ear.

It was painless and quick.We went out the back door and had a group hug,crying. I was so glad all of us went together.

I had every intention of going about my day to try and keep things normal,but there was no way I could. I was a mess the whole day-I cried so much that I got a terrible headache and had to lay down. None of us went to Scouts that night-my head hurt too much and I randomly burst into tears. 

Yesterday was better,but I was still quite drained and still cried once in a while. The house is so quiet without his heavy steps in it.

We miss you,Samson. I hope you are running in a meadow somewhere,chasing chickens.


  1. If love is measured, weighted if you will, by how much affection that everyone had for Samson, then he is surely the most fortunate dog in the Universe.

    In my work I often hear someone say that they could never have a pet because it would be too terrible, too hard when it died. I understand that fear, but I know from my own experiences and those of people I know, that loss and missing a pet, longing for him/her to have just one more week, only one more day before having to say goodbye is outweighed by the fun and love and silliness and heart that living with companion animals brings into our lives.

    I feel the same way about farm critters, too.

    I am imagining that in heaven, Samson is probably surrounded by a whole bunch of chickens, raptly listening, in awe and astonishment (and with wide eyes and chills) to his story of the day that he captured one of them, fled to a far, far, far away place and ate. Feathers and all.

    All my best to all of you. Samson is still one super-duper lucky fellow.


  2. It's always hard letting them go isn't it. saw your post on FB and commented there. I'm just catching up on blogs today, it's wet and I feel like crap, so what else is there to do? I saw our dog around the place for after he had gone (years ago) kept seeing his tail through doorways xx