Wednesday, August 10, 2016

One Big Old Boy

Good Morning Friends! Today's post is a tribute to our daughter and her family's first dog Sampson. Kim and her hubby got Sampson when they were a young married couple expecting their first daughter. Kim and hubby had been looking for a Great Dane when they came upon this fellow-a big adult Newfoundland mix. I met them at the Humane Society to check this dog out and couldn't believe how big he was, how much fur he had and how high he could bounce. I didn't say jump, because he'd get all four feet off the ground. Sampson was approximately 2 years old and not quite fully grown-he was thin as most strays are. I remember he got a deep gash on his leg shortly after they got him and when sil took him to the vet for stitches he was told that Sampson had a high pain tolerance. For some reason this fact stuck in my head. He loved being outside and preferred it over being in the house. He also loved to run and when he had the chance would go out on a long run, with sil chasing him. Hubby and I often got called into the chase as well. Kim's family grew and before you knew it we were all moving to Colorado, in the winter. Sampson showed that he loved the snow and so he had a dog house in the garage and a doggy door leading to the yard, plus lots of blankets for his bed. The cold never stopped him. This first photo was taken probably four years ago at their old house. Sampson has always been a wonderful watch dog, mainly because of his size, weighing in at approximately 120 lbs.  At their old house one day, years ago, he was outside with Kim's oldest and her youngest at the time, when he started barking and wouldn't stop. Sil opened the door and told him to be quiet and again he wouldn't stop. Sil went out and Sampson was standing between the two girls and a large snake. At first sil thought it was a rattler and Sampson would not let it anywhere near the girls. It ended up being a bull snake, which a policeman told us all after it was killed. This is the yard where he protected the children.  On another note, when the family moved to their current home two years ago and backed up to Open Space, there was no way of knowing just how many bull snakes would venture into their yard.  As always, Sampson would alert the family and stand between any of them and the snake. In recent months however, as soon as Kim or her man would be there he would go into the garage and nap-as if to say "I've done my job".
These next two photos were taken this week.  The years have passed and age has taken its toll on this incredible dog.  Kim's hubby had a job where he had to travel internationally on a regular basis and having Sampson at their home always made everyone, including this mom, feel more secure.  Nobody would have been allowed in their yard or home.  Sampson is now about 14 years old; it is becoming obvious that he is suffering from weak hind legs-probably hip dysplasia.  He has truly been the best dog ever and it is with a heavy heart that Kim and her hubby have made the decision to do the second kindest thing possible for him-to set him free.  The first kindest thing was to adopt him and give him the best home possible.

As I type this, it grieves my heart, not for what will happen this week but for what a fantastic, loyal, loving dog he's been and how much I will miss him, let alone the family.  As I've watched him the last couple of weeks, it is absolutely apparent that it is time.  I was going to post this after the fact, but know I won't be able to.  I am so thankful he was the first dog Kim and her hubby had-it is amazing that he has lived to such a ripe old age, given his breed and size.  Well done Sampson. Thank you for being there and watching over all of us, especially my grands.  WE will always cherish the dog you have been.
When the time comes, Old Boy run free.


  1. Sampson is a handsome boy. We are sorry to hear his time has come, but knowing you and your wonderful family, we are sure he has lived an amazingly love-filled and good life. Hugs.

    Woos - Ciara and Lightning

  2. Hugs for Sampson's family as they help him this one last time. Our last cat, Patches, made it to 16. They are indeed, family.

  3. I'm so sorry. It is never easy, and your hearts will be heavy as you miss such an incredible dog. I'm thinking of you.

  4. What a wonderful story. Sending lots of hugs to you Sampson
    Lily & Edward

  5. What a beautiful tribute to Sampson. Our pets are family.....and it is easy to see how much you care about your granddog.


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