We got Sampson shortly after we were married. I remember the day Ray came into Wal-mart, where I was working at the time. He had been to Murfreesboro and had a surprise for me. I wanted a yorkie for the longest and I wanted a girl. He went to Petsmart (I know...adopt don't shop. We later heard the store was getting puppies from mills. And the store closed. But we still rescued him). Anyway, all they had was a boy, I was a little disappointed but once I saw him my heart melted into a million pieces. I guess he claimed me as his human when he peed on my leg one night when I failed to listen and take him outside. ;)
Sampson was 11 years old when we had to make the difficult decision. He started having issues with his heart about a year ago and was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. But even with that diagnose he still played like a pup. He would run after Lila and play as if nothing was wrong. But last Thursday, he took a complete 180 turn within a matter of minutes and he was breathing very heavy. I knew in my heart this was the end. By Friday afternoon, his meds still weren't helping with the breathing so I called the vet and took him in. The vet confirmed what I already knew. There was nothing more that could be done. Dr. Keele said he didn't think he was in pain, but he was in distress and soon his adominal muscles would fail and he would drown. Hearing those words, I busted into tears. He suggested they could put him in an oxygen chamber to help him out or even send him to a cardiologist in Nashville. But those were things that would only be a quick fix. I couldn't keep him alive forever. When I said no and asked the process of ending his pain, he asked if I wanted to do it then. I couldn't. I was alone and I didn't want Ray coming home from work and then finding out Sampson was gone. He needed to say goodbye as well.
Once Ray was home from work, I gave him the news with Sampson sitting in my lap. He was like me, already realizing. We cried like babies but he's family. We took him for one last ride that night. We hoped he would just pass in his sleep. But he didn't. The next morning, I fed him some chicken pieces and we left early enough for one last stop at Starbucks to pick up a puppuccino. He at first didn't want any but after a bit started eating it. Ray didn't want me to go, but I had to be with him. Even if I was a blubbering mess, I couldn't do that to him.
The staff at All Creatures was amazing, they had a room set up with a bench for us to sit on. They gave us as much time as we wanted with him. The vet came in and gave him a sedative to make him go to sleep. I believe he knew what was going on. He didn't fight or yelp or anything. He was ready. I don't think I'll ever forget the look in his eyes. I held him in my arms as he fell asleep. Poor Ray had to leave before that ever happened. I didn't stay for the final process. My heart couldn't take it.
|We had one last photo shoot together. :(|
|I'm so glad Lila was still for this one. Normally, she's all|
over the place.
|One last stop at Starbucks|
We brought him home and buried him in the front yard near the steps. His favorite place to go potty every morning. So much so, that his urine was killing the grass. ;) We did a pawprint in some clay and I did a few prints on some paper. I added his collar to his neck and put in his favorite toy. Lila came over to sniff him and she even looked down into the hole after he was placed. I think she knew then something wasn't right.
|This was taken a few days later. We picked up Lila a new bed|
and toys. She went outside to potty and brought along her pup.
Dropping it where Sampson is buried.
A few of the memories I will cherish of our sweet boy...
- His love of riding in the car. Seriously, if you made the mistake of saying "ride" he would perk up and run around the house. And you had better be ready to head out the door once you brought out his car seat. He would jump on you and run to the door. And sometimes he would do a little growl as if to say "hurry up."
|This was in the drive thru line at Starbucks. I wonder if our eyes|
get that big once we reach the window?! ;)
- His love for treats. He knew where I kept them at under the sink and if I left the door open he would sit there waiting for you to get him one.
- We had a few nicknames for him and he would totally answer to them all. ;) The names were: Sam, Tina (when the hair on his face would get too long) and Fatty. Fatty ended after he started to lose a bunch of weight. On Thursday, he weighed 10.2 pounds.
- The corner of the couch being his spot. If Lila was there he would stare at her until she moved. And his struggle for jumping up on the couch. Sometimes I would have to help him up. #shortdogproblems
- His subtle way of letting you know the water bowls were empty. He would toss them around with his nose.
- His excitment for when it was time to eat. He would grab up a toy and take off to where the food was kept tossing that thing like crazy. I guess he liked to eat. ;)
- His super long tongue. Bless him, he couldn't keep it in his mouth.
- And him willing to put up with the camera in his face. Here are a few of my favorites.
|From his birthday session this year|
My heart is broken.........